Phil Mickelson’s controversial comments about the PGA Tour and organizers of a Saudi Arabia-backed breakaway league continue to create backlash, as the six-time major champion will no longer serve as host of The American Express event in La Quinta, California.
The PGA Tour on Saturday told The Desert Sun that in addition to Mickelson not returning as host in January 2023, the Mickelson Foundation will no longer be the charitable arm of the event.
On Friday, it was announced that Callaway Golf paused its relationship with Mickelson while Workday ended its sponsorship with him. Two other sponsors, KPMG and Amstel Light, cut ties with Mickelson earlier in the week.
Author Alan Shipnuck released an excerpt from his upcoming unauthorized biography of Mickelson last week. In it, Mickelson described the Saudis as “scary” but said he was looking past their controversial history of human rights violations to gain leverage with the PGA Tour.
His comments drew widespread criticism — including from fellow PGA Tour players — leading Mickelson to apologize days later.
“Although it doesn’t look this way now given my recent comments, my actions throughout this process have always been with the best interests of golf, my peers, sponsors and fans,” Mickelson wrote. “There is the problem of off-the-record comments being shared out of context and without my consent, but the bigger issue is that I used words 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 that he was taking time away from golf “to prioritize the ones I love most and to work on being the man I want to be.”
On the “Fire Pit Collective” podcast, Shipnuck said Mickelson reached out to him to discuss the PGA Tour and other issues in November. Shipnuck said Mickelson never said their discussion was off the record or for background purposes only, and knew it would be used in his book.
“I have made a lot of mistakes in my life and many have been shared with the public,” Mickelson wrote as part of his statement. “My intent was never to hurt anyone and I’m sorry to the people I have negatively impacted. This has always been about supporting the players and I appreciate all the people who have given me the benefit of doubt.”
Mickelson, 51, had served as host of The American Express event since 2020.
Last month, American Express extended its title sponsorship deal with the event through 2028. According to The Desert Sun, the event has resulted in $68 million being distributed to local charities since it debuted in 1960.
ESPN’s Mark Schlabach contributed to this report.