“The fact that things like that could potentially get hurt because of some of the people that are leaving, and if more go, it’s just sad,” Thomas said. “There’s really no other way to say it. It just makes me sad.” He added: “I lost a lot of sleep last week thinking about what could happen.”
On Sunday, Monahan, who declined an interview request through a spokesman, spoke to Jim Nantz during the CBS broadcast of the Canadian Open. “You have to ask yourself the question, why is this group spending so much money, billions of dollars, recruiting players and chasing a concept with no possibility of a return?” Monahan said, later adding, “I would ask any player that has left, or any player that would consider leaving, have you ever had to apologize for being a member of the PGA Tour?”
The U.S. Open, which Mickelson is playing for the 31st time, is the only major tournament he has not won, and he has had more than his share of heartbreak, finishing as runner-up six times. He played the course Sunday and said, “it’s going to be a brutal test of golf. That’s what this championship is all about.”
Wearing his trademark black outfit but without the familiar sponsorship patches of Callaway, Heineken, KPMG and Workday, Mickelson acknowledged the obvious — his decision to join LIV Golf did not come without repercussions. His sponsors dropped him after incendiary comments made to the journalist Alan Shipnuck became public.
Mickelson then retreated from the public stage, calling his self-enforced hiatus “a necessary time and an opportunity for me to step away a little bit and put a little bit of thought and reflection into going forward and how to best prioritize things.” He has done that, he said.
“It’s nice to be back,” he said. “Golf is fortunate to be back, and I’m excited to be back here and participate in this incredible championship that has eluded me for my whole career.”