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Brandel Chamblee, a former PGA Tour golfer who serves as an analyst for the Golf Channel, ripped Phil Mickelson and other LIV Golf competitors ahead of the U.S. Open this week.
Chamblee tweeted Tuesday that Mickelson and LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman should be removed from the World Golf Hall of Fame.
“As far as I know, it’s never happened that an athlete has been kicked out of their Hall Of Fame but both Norman & Mickelson should be removed from the Hall Of Fame. They’ve dishonored the game & they threaten to destroy the game that they have both so enormously profited from,” Chamblee tweeted.
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Mickelson addressed the media on Monday ahead of the U.S. Open and responded to the scrutiny he received for playing in the Saudi-funded golf league.
“I respect and I understand their opinions, and I understand that they have strong feelings and strong emotions regarding this choice. And I certainly respect that,” Mickelson said, adding joining LIV Golf was the “right decision” for him.
Mickelson is reportedly making $200 million, and it is something that has not sat well with Chamblee. He said over the weekend he did not buy into the notion the golfers who jumped for LIV Golf were trying to grow the game. Instead, Chamblee said, they were “destroying the game” and “their reputations.”
Chamblee continued Monday after Mickelson’s press conference.
“He’s suffering the consequences of a decision he made that some believe he was taking a flamethrower to the PGA Tour,” Chamblee said, via Golf Week. “By my count there were 22 questions and not a single question about being the oldest major champion of all time, not a single question about trying to complete the career Grand Slam. It was all about his decision to join a league that I think many view as an attempt at a hostile takeover.
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“He’s been pretty darn successful in the media center at manipulating to whatever extent he can, but there have been moments over the years where he’s been atrocious in the media center. Most notably in 2014 at the Ryder Cup, where we got I think a real glimpse into who Phil Mickelson is. Machiavellian? Sure. Blaming Tom Watson for his failures in the Ryder Cup, and then when asked after literally denigrating one of the greats in the game in front of the whole world by a media member, why would you do such a thing? He almost acted incredulous and said, ‘How could you take what I just did as denigrating Tom Watson?’ Everyone in that room knew what they were seeing. It was disingenuous at best, but duplicitous more accurately describes it.”
Chamblee added: “Nothing I’ve seen from Phil Mickelson from that moment to this moment has changed. It turns out when you’re trying to sell a lie, it’s hard to talk with a great deal of comfort and ease.”
LIV Golf has been taking a ton of heat since its inception and this week was no exception.
Rory McIlroy led the charge among PGA Tour golfers. He continually lashed out at Norman after passing him on the PGA Tour all-time wins list and then blasted those who turned their back on the Tour after making statements committing to the league.
“I guess I took a lot of players’ statements at face value. I guess that’s what I got wrong,” McIlroy said ahead of the first round of the U.S. Open, via The Independent. “You had people committed to the PGA Tour, and that’s what the statements were that were put out. People went back on that.”
“It’s disappointing, “he added. “The players that are staying on the PGA Tour feel slighted in some way. If those guys thought outside of themselves, they would see this is not the best for everyone. My dad said to me a long time ago, once you make your bed, you lie in it, and they’ve made their bed. That’s their decision, and they have to live with that.”
He would later tell Sky Sports he thought LIV Golf’s emergence could only hurt the game.
“If it [LIV Golf series] keeps going the way it’s going, it’s going to fracture the game more than it already is. The professional world in golf has already been fractured,” he told the outlet.
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“There’s so many different tours and so many different things to follow. I’ve always been an advocate of making it more cohesive and trying to get people working together more, but this is ripping that apart.
“If the Saudis are hellbent on spending money in golf, let’s try to get it spent in a way that benefits the wider ecosystem. That’s where I would like to see it going, but whether that happens or not remains to be seen.”