This article was last updated on April 16, 2022
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Phil Mickelson’s golf club supplier Callaway has ‘paused’ its deal as the fallout from six-time major champion’s dealings with a Saudi Arabia-backed breakaway golf league continues.
Mickelson has been under intense scrutiny since his disastrous interview with golf journalist Alan Shipnuck was published earlier this month. The 51-year-old said he was willing to put aside Saudi Arabia’s’ shocking human rights record and the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi for a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reshape how the PGA Tour operates”.
An official statement released by Callaway on 26th February read: ‘Callaway does not condone Phil Mickelson’s comments and we were very disappointed in his choice of words – they in no way reflect our values or what we stand for as a company.
‘Phil has apologised and we know he regrets how he handled recent events. We recognise his desire to take time away from the game and respect that decision. At this time we have agreed to pause our partnership and will reevaluate our ongoing relationship at a later date.’
Phil Mickelson loses KPMG and Amstel deals after Saudi breakaway comments
Callaway has supplied Mickelson’s clubs since 2004, most recently signing an extension in 2017 which was said to cover the rest of the veteran star’s playing career. Callaway’s deal is one of Mickelson’s most lucrative contracts, contributing to an annual sponsorship income of US$42 million, according to Sportico.
Workday and Callaway became the third and fourth brands respectively to publicly distance themselves from Mickelson, after accountancy firm KPMG and Amstel Light did so in the immediate aftermath of his comments.
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A statement from the financial management software firm on 25th February read: ‘At this time, Workday and Phil Mickelson have mutually and amicably agreed to not renew our brand sponsorship that ends this March.’
Mickelson has also been dropped as the tournament host of The American Express event, the PGA Tour confirmed to The Desert Sun.
The North American golf series told the local Palm Springs news outlet that Mickelson, who had been the competition’s host since 2020, would be dropped from his role. The charitable Mickelson Foundation, a contracted partner of the tournament until 2024, is also withdrawing its involvement in the event.
Mickelson issued a statement apologising for his comments and has now confirmed he will take an indefinite break from the game.
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