hil Mickelson has issued a grovelling apology for his comments on a proposed Saudi-backed Super Golf League.
In an interview given at the end of last year, Mickelson suggested that his rumoured involvement in the breakaway league was simply an attempt to gain leverage over the PGA Tour.
“We know they killed [journalist, Jamal] Khashoggi and have a horrible record on human rights,” the 51-year-old said. “They execute people over there for being gay.
“Knowing all of this, why would I even consider it? Because this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reshape how the PGA Tour operates.”
There has been a huge backlash to those comments, with Rory McIlroy labelling Mickelson ‘naive, selfish, egotistical, ignorant’.
Dustin Johnson and Bryson DeChambeau put an end to recent rumours as they confirmed over the weekend that they would not be joining the breakaway league, which looks to be increasingly falling apart before any schedule or field has been announced.
Mickelson has now addressed his comments in a long statement posted on his Twitter account, claiming his words were given off the record and taken out of context, but he apologised for the nature of what he said.
Mickelson said: “I used words I sincerely regret that do not reflect my true feelings or intentions.
“It was reckless, I offended people, and I am deeply sorry for my choice of words. I’m beyond disappointed and will make every effort to self-reflect and learn from this.”
He added: “I have made a lot of mistakes in my life and many have been shared with the public. My intent was never to hurt anyone and I’m so sorry to the people I have negatively impacted.
“This has always been about supporting the players and the game and I appreciate all the people who have given me the benefit of the doubt.”
He concluded the statement by revealing the mental toll he has been under in recent years and announced he will now be taking some time away from the sport.
“The past 10 years I have felt the pressure and stress slowly affecting me at a deeper level,” Mickelson said.
“I know I have not been my best and desperately need some time away to prioritise the ones I love most and work on being the man I want to be.
KPMG, who have sponsored Mickelson for well over a decade, announced on Tuesday that the partnership has been ended after a mutual agreement.