BROOKLINE, Mass. -- Phil Mickelson has been a PGA Tour golfer for more than 30 years, and he has no intention of closing that chapter of his career anytime soon.
There's one massive problem with that, though.
Mickelson has embarked on a new journey with LIV Golf -- the new, controversial Saudi-backed league that is competing with the PGA Tour and poaching some of its notable players. The 51-year-old star reportedly signed a contract with LIV Golf earlier this month that is worth around $200 million, per Brentley Romine of The Golf Channel.
The decision to join LIV Golf has come with consequences for Mickelson. Not only has he faced enormous criticism for golf and political reasons, the PGA Tour suspended all 17 of its members -- including Mickelson -- who participated in the inaugural LIV Golf tournament in London over the weekend.
Competing in both tours just isn't an option right now, but Mickelson still isn't giving up on the idea.
"My preference is to be able to choose which path I like, one or the other or both," Mickelson said Monday afternoon inside a packed press conference area at The Country Club in Brookline, Mass., the site of this week's U.S. Open.
"I feel that I gave as much back to the PGA Tour and the game of golf that I could throughout my 30 years here. Through my accomplishments on the course, I've earned a lifetime membership. I intend to keep that. And then choose, going forward, which events to play and not."
The inability to play on both tours makes it hard for Mickelson to nail down a firm schedule for 2022. That said, he does plan to compete at the British Open next month.
"I think it's been pretty public that I've been suspended, along with a bunch of other players," Mickelson said. "It would only be speculative going forward. I am going to play the LIV events. I'm going to play the British Open. Anything other than that would be pure speculation. I don't know how it's going to play out."
Mickelson said Monday he hasn't spoken to PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan since October of last year. Given the forcefulness of Monahan's comments over the last week regarding LIV Golf and the PGA Tour players competing in it, the chances of Mickelson resuming his PGA Tour career anytime soon seems nothing more than a longshot.
"I'm very appreciative of the many memories, opportunities, experiences, friendships the PGA Tour has provided and those are going to last a lifetime," Mickelson said. "But I'm hopeful that I'll have a chance to create more."
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