Phil Mickelson continues to face the consequences of his controversial comments about the PGA Tour and a proposed Saudi-backed breakaway league.
The six-time major champion lost two more sponsors Friday — Callaway Golf and Workday.
Workday told Golf Digest early Friday that it was cutting ties with Mickelson, and Callaway later announced its decision to pause its relationship with the 51-year-old Mickelson, becoming the fourth longtime partner to distance itself from him in the past week.
Mickelson has enjoyed a 17-year partnership with Callaway, and in 2017, they agreed to extend that partnership for the remainder of his playing career.
“Callaway does not condone Phil Mickelson’s comments and we were very disappointed in his choice of words — they in no way reflect our values or what we stand for as a company,” the company said in a statement. “Phil has apologized and we know he regrets how he handled recent events. We recognize his desire to take time away from the game and respect that decision. At this time we have agreed to pause our partnership & will reevaluate our ongoing relationship at a later date.”
Earlier this week, KPMG and Amstel Light announced the termination of their partnerships with Mickelson.
Golf writer Alan Shipnuck, whose Mickelson biography is scheduled to come out in May, revealed Mickelson’s comments explaining his decision to partner with a Saudi-backed league that would rival the PGA Tour. In his explanation, Mickelson claimed the new league was necessary — despite Saudi Arabia’s horrific human rights violations — in order to reshape the golf landscape.
“They’re scary motherf—ers to get involved with,” Mickelson said. “We know they killed [Washington Post reporter and U.S. resident Jamal] Khashoggi and have a horrible record on human rights. They execute people over there for being gay. Knowing all of this, why would I even consider it? Because this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reshape how the PGA Tour operates.”
Mickelson explained that the Tour strong-armed its participants and restricted its golfers’ financial earning potential, accusing them of “obnoxious greed.” The Saudi league, he suggested, would grant players more freedom, power and earning potential.
Mickelson has since apologized for the comments and accused Shipnuck of relating “off the record comments being shared out of context and without my consent.”
Amid the controversy, Mickelson has taken time away from golf.