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Phil Mickelson Skipping Phoenix to Play in Saudi Arabia

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23 minutes ago, Double Mocha Man said:

I'm skipping the Masters this year to play in a local scramble.  It's a charity event to get food donations for Phil's family.

Sadly this probably won't even cover his wine bill.

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He doesn't even bother with a glass for a $650 bottle of wine.

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It's kind of funny, when an athlete speaks out about politics everybody screams "Shut up and play"! Now when one DOESN'T take a political stance, he's crucified for it...

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Before too long, he gonna be raking (the $$) with the seniors, like Bern Hard and now Strick.  SAME THING.  30 years aint enough support ?  Everybodys gotta think about down the road.  Who's gonna turn down that kinda $$ ?  Get used to it. 

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10 hours ago, Seenya said:

Now when one DOESN'T take a political stance, he's crucified for it...

I think playing is taking a stance, albeit not a loud or firm one. But it still says something, and so does almost everyone else.

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I’m a Phil fan, but I’m disappointed.  I don’t see any kind of “stance” here, but it’s an absolute slight to the organizers and fans in Phoenix.   
 

I genuinely hope that he reconsiders.

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Now, i neither agree or like whats been going on in Saudi at the moment but here's a question. If Phil is supporting the regime by playing in a tournament, does the same stand for the 600+ competitors taking part in January's Dakar Rally (Saudi have a 3 year deal)?

90% of those guys do it for the love of the sport and the challenge and stand to make nothing from it money wise.

I know OP was in regards to Golf but im sure its relevant for all sporting events taking place in Saudi?

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6 minutes ago, RussUK said:

Now, i neither agree or like whats been going on in Saudi at the moment but here's a question. If Phil is supporting the regime by playing in a tournament, does the same stand for the 600+ competitors taking part in January's Dakar Rally (Saudi have a 3 year deal)?

This is different because Phil is taking appearance fee money directly from the murderers, and the reason they have this event (it's only the second year) is to try to polish their image. It's also different for a guy who is struggling to get by on the European Tour, his home tour, over Phil, an American with lots of money, playing off his home Tour and getting an appearance fee.

Phil offered a snotty "you'll be okay" Twitter post last night that was as condescending to golf fans as the comments he made after the blatantly disrespectful, stupid behavior he had at Shinnecock.

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5 minutes ago, RussUK said:

Now, i neither agree or like whats been going on in Saudi at the moment but here's a question. If Phil is supporting the regime by playing in a tournament, does the same stand for the 600+ competitors taking part in January's Dakar Rally (Saudi have a 3 year deal)?

90% of those guys do it for the love of the sport and the challenge and stand to make nothing from it money wise.

I know OP was in regards to Golf but im sure its relevant for all sporting events taking place in Saudi?

Equally, if a European Tour player comes over here to play in a tournament, does it necessarily mean that they support whichever administration happens to be in power at the time?

Sometimes people read way too much into the choices that other people make.

1 minute ago, iacas said:

 

Phil offered a snotty "you'll be okay" Twitter post last night that was as condescending to golf fans as the comments he made after the blatantly disrespectful, stupid behavior he had at Shinnecock.

Yeah, that was a shitty little comment.

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1 minute ago, David in FL said:

Equally, if a European Tour player comes over here to play in a tournament, does it necessarily mean that they support whichever administration happens to be in power at the time?

It's different when the administration is the ones actually putting on the event. It's not just an event in a "bad" country - the administration is actually created and hosts the event.

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6 minutes ago, David in FL said:

Equally, if a European Tour player comes over here to play in a tournament, does it necessarily mean that they support whichever administration happens to be in power at the time?

Sometimes people read way too much into the choices that other people make.

 I just hear a lot of people saying events shouldn't be held in places like this and if they are not to compete which is hard on many of the comeptitors.

I watch the Dakar every year so it will be interesting to watch in regards to whether many competitors pull out or not. In regards to security it'll be the safest in years.

Back to Phil, it does have the whiff of greed to it. Often the case with some people, the more money they have the more money they "need".

Edited by RussUK

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6 minutes ago, RussUK said:

 I just hear a lot of people saying events shouldn't be held in places like this and if they are not to compete which is hard on many of the comeptitors.

It's about much more than the event being hosted in a "bad" country.

And yeah, there are tweets out there of people who are saying "Yeah, we still love you Phil."

It is what it is. I suspect there's a good chance he walks it back, but who knows… he didn't walk back the USGA thing, either.

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The fact that it was the Phoenix Open is a part of it. Mickelson is (or was) very popular out there.

Sounds like Phil isn't the only one going to Saudi Arabia. From what I've read you have Koepka, Dustin Johnson and Patrick Reed going out there along with a bunch of European guys. Given the record of the host country, Phill is well in line for criticism, but these other guys shouldn't be getting a free pass either. 

 

 

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6 minutes ago, mcanadiens said:

The fact that it was the Phoenix Open is a part of it. Mickelson is (or was) very popular out there.

Sounds like Phil isn't the only one going to Saudi Arabia. From what I've read you have Koepka, Dustin Johnson and Patrick Reed going out there along with a bunch of European guys. Given the record of the host country, Phill is well in line for criticism, but these other guys shouldn't be getting a free pass either.

They aren't. Many were criticized last year.

They also weren't skipping a quasi-"hometown" event to play it, either.

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I don't like to discuss politics, but SA is a bad place. Bin Laden was from there. Most, if not all of the 9/11 guys were from there. If they didn't have oil, we would probably call them a terrorist country. Phil can do what he wants, but I give credit to the guys that pass up the payday. A lot of folks have said that the Phil everyone sees is a phony. Mabye this shows the real Phil. Possibly he's not the good guy that the public sees. I know this changes my opinion.

 

 

 

Edited by Sandy Divot

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I understand why Phil is the target here, ut this also applies to other players. It's very unfortunate that large sports organizations are bought by regimes like Saudi-Arabia, but sadly it's money that matters in this world, and more is better.

It is maybe particularly sad for golf (at least the PGA tour), which has always donated huge amounts of money to charity. At the same time, regimes like SA are being endorsed with events like this.

For me it's not about chasing money, I understand that a large paycheck is always enticing, even if you are a multi-millionaire. It's the location and controversy of the host. If this was an event in any country without similar controversies, I don't care. I understand that residents of Phoenix and Phil fans still react, but that would be a difference situation.

Top level chess has had some players skip large events held in regimes like this, and  some of them are not sitting in huge bank accounts.

Sure, the players are not going to the media and talking about how awesome the regime is, but when you take their money, you endorse them in my opinion. When Phil cuts Phoenix at the same time, he comes out particularly bad, but he's probably laughing all the way to the bank. He hasn't given off the best impression in recent years. 

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Ask yourself why Saudi Arabia would want to host a golf tournament despite not having a strong golfing population: it's for PR. By accepting their money and playing in the event, Phil (and everyone in the field, but particularly those getting the big attendance fees) is performing PR on their behalf.

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Big fan of the Saudi government, great administration, fair for sure. Great amenities, lovely Haut-Brion, etc. Very pleased with the level of care they give to tour pros as the PGA tour can be a third world gulag at times, especially if you've been grinding for three plus decades like Phil has. Really unfair and frankly, he's suffered enough. I hear women were just allowed to drive by themselves too, which I applaud. It definitely shows they're moving forward and being progressive. They've nearly caught up to the west now for sure IMO. That journalist guy, whatever happened there, seems like a misunderstanding or something. All the facts aren't really out, so it's unfair for us to start jumping to conclusions just yet. Plus Phil's a family man first, a golfer second. He needn't trouble himself with these cause-célèbre-du-jours that seem to pop up everyday now. Also, I'm pretty sure that journalist is fine somewhere, probably sipping Haut-Brion in Dubai as I type this. You don't know.

I equate this to that time Mariah Carey played that four-song set for Muammar Gaddafi's 2009 New Years Eve bash for a cool million bucks... you know, obviously before his people rose up and killed him just a couple years later for decades of atrocities. That totally wasn't tone deaf and was totally her right as a performer. Sure, the audience was filled with murderous generals and various terrorist sponsors yucking it up over Haut-Brion and avocado toast but so what? #hatersgonnahate

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