3:34 PM PT — One of Mickelson’s biggest sponsors, accounting giant KPMG, announced it has “mutually agreed” to part ways with the golfer following the controversy.
“We wish him the best,” KPMG officials said in a statement.
Phil Mickelson says the insensitive comments he made recently about a new Saudi golf league were taken “out of context and without my consent” … but the golf star is still issuing a mea culpa nonetheless.
Phil broke it all down in a lengthy statement on his social media page Tuesday … just days after he admitted to supporting the formation of a new Saudi golf league, despite what he called the country’s “horrible record of human rights.”
“We know they killed (Washington Post reporter and U.S. resident Jamal) Khashoggi and have a horrible record on human rights,” Mickelson said, according to The Fire Pit Collective.
“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 shape how the PGA Tour operates.”
Phil went on to say that he believed the new Saudi league — which was reportedly trying to sway top American golfers with millions of dollars in cash — could force big and necessary changes on the PGA Tour.
While Phil said Tuesday the comments were “off record” and out of context — he admitted that the words were offensive and regrettable regardless.
“It was reckless, I offended people, and I am deeply sorry for my choice of words,” Mickelson said in his statement. “I’m beyond disappointed and will make every effort to self-reflect and learn from this.”
He continued, “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.”
Phil then hinted he could take a step away from the game for a while following the controversy … saying he “desperately” needs “some time away.”
We should note … Phil’s worked hard to change the game over the years, including a revamp of the US Ryder Cup system and helped to create the Player Impact Program … a monumental moment for player pay.