Ball is in his court, says PGA Tour chief Jay Monahan of Phil Mickelson
Jay Monahan, the PGA Tour commissioner, still has no desire to speak to Greg Norman about his proposed Saudi Super League, but he is ready and willing to have a chat with Phil Mickelson.
“As it relates to Phil, the ball is in his court,” said Monahan, speaking at TPC Sawgrass in Florida in the build up to The Players Championship this week.
Mickelson, the 2007 winner, is missing the event for the first time since 1994 after taking a break on the back of his damaging comments about both the Saudi Super League and the PGA Tour last month.
“He has said that he's stepping away and he wants time for reflection,” added Monahan of the current PGA champion. “That's something that I and we are going to respect and honour.
“When he's ready to come back to the PGA Tour, we're going to have that conversation. That's a conversation I look forward to.
“I have not talked to Phil since he made his comments and since he said that he was stepping away.
“I would welcome a phone call from him. But it's hard for me to talk about the different scenarios that could play out.”
While Mickelson was highly critical of the PGA Tour, it doesn’t seem as though Monahan wants to see the six-time major winner cast adrift.
“Listen, he's a player that's won 45 times on the PGA Tour,” he continued. “He's had a Hall of Fame career. He's won here at The Players Championship. He's inspired a lot of people and helped grow this Tour, his Tour.
“So as difficult as it is to read some of the things that were said, ultimately a conversation will be had when he's ready to have it, and I will be ready to have it, as well.”
Monahan was asked if he’d ever felt over the past fortnight or so if the ball was in his court to reach out to Mickelson?
“No, I didn't,” he insisted. “I've had a lot of conversations with Phil, and my conversations with Phil will stay between the two of us.
“But I know the man well enough, and I've had enough conversations with him where that's not something that I thought at that point in time I should or needed to do. Certainly had my phone on.”
Norman, in his role as CEO of LIV Golf Investments, attacked Monahan in an open letter, accusing him of “going too far, being unfair and likely violating the law” in his opposition of the Saudi Super League.
All the game’s top players have now pledged their loyalty to the PGA Tour and Monahan insists he isn’t worried about a threat caused by any breakaway circuit.
“I'd like to emphatically reiterate what I told our players at our mandatory player meeting two weeks ago at the Honda Classic,” he said.
“The PGA Tour is moving on. We have too much momentum and too much to accomplish to be consistently distracted by rumors of other golf leagues and their attempts to disrupt our players, our partners, and, most importantly, our fans from enjoying the tour and the game we all love so much.
“I am grateful for the strong support our top players have shown recently and publicly, and I'm extremely proud that we've turned the conversation around to focus on what we do best.
“Which is delivering world-class golf tournaments with the best players to the best fans, all while positively impacting the communities in which we play. We are and we always will be focused on legacy, not leverage.”
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