Rory McIlroy calls for forgiveness for Phil Mickelson

Four-time Major winner Rory McIlroy has called on the golfing world to welcome Phil Mickelson back to the PGA Tour and to forgive the reigning PGA Championship winner for his comments on the PGA Tour and a proposed breakaway league. 

Mickelson is currently taking a break away from the game, following the fall-out from his claims that the PGA Tour are “manipulative and coercive” before ironically going on to admit he was using the threat of a breakaway to “reshape” how the Tour operates, and also revealing he’d recruited three other players to the league and that he and other players paid attorneys to construct the proposed league’s operating agreement.

The six-time Major winner has lost several of his sponsors since the comments, including Workday and KPMG while Callaway has ‘paused’ its relationship with the left-hander.

“It is unfortunate. I think Phil has been a wonderful ambassador for the game of golf, still is a wonderful ambassador for the game of golf,” said McIlroy, who had previously referred to Mickelson’s comments as “egotistical and ignorant”.

“It’s unfortunate that a few comments that he thought he was making in confidence or off the record got out there and were — not used against him, but this whole situation is unfortunate.

“Phil will be back. I think the players want to see him back. He’s done such a wonderful job for the game of golf, and he’s represented the game of golf very, very well for the entirety of his career.

“Look, we all make mistakes. We all say things we want to take back. No one is different in that regard. But we should be allowed to make mistakes, and we should be allowed to ask for forgiveness and for people to forgive us and move on. Hopefully, he comes back at some stage, and he will, and people will welcome him back and be glad that he is back.”

McIlroy was speaking ahead of the Arnold Palmer Invitational, which he won in 2018, as he looks to continue his impressive form in the lead up to the Masters Tournament. The Ulsterman has finished in the top 10 in four of his last six starts, including a win at the CJ Cup, and will be hoping to carry that form into Augusta National where he will have the opportunity to win the Career Grand Slam once again.

With the chance to join an elite club of just five golfers in winning all four Major Championships, will the 32-year-old head out to Georgia early on a scouting mission?

“I used to go on scouting missions and go for prep, and now I usually just go for the wine,” he said.

“They’ve got a nice wine cellar there. I probably won’t go up early this year. I do have two weeks off after THE PLAYERS before San Antonio. I might find my way up there at some point. And as well, there has been a couple of changes on 11 and 15 that I’ve heard about that I would like to see, and especially not getting in playing the week before and probably not getting in there until the Monday. I might go up there for a night or two and have a little look around, but I haven’t made any plans yet.”

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