Mickelson WAS suspended by the PGA Tour

It may seem like a lifetime away but a few months ago there was plenty of speculation over whether Phil Mickelson was suspended or not by the PGA Tour following his comments on Saudi Arabia and leveraging the PGA Tour in February.

The left-handed put out a statement, explaining that he was taking a personal leave of absence and the PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan, speaking at The Players on March 8, then stressed that they would not comment on player suspensions, while adding that Mickelson had to answer for his actions.

In among Mickelson's words he explained: "I know I need to be accountable. For the past 31 years I have lived a very public life and I have strived to live up to my own expectations, be the role model the fans deserve, and be someone that inspires others. I’ve worked to compete at the highest level, be available to media, represent my sponsors with integrity, engage with volunteers and sign every autograph for my incredible fans. I have experienced many successful and rewarding moments that I will always cherish, but I have often failed myself and others too. The past 10 years I have felt the pressure and stress slowly affecting me at a deeper level. 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.”

In this week's lawsuit against the PGA Tour by the 11 LIV Golf members (from the Tour) we finally got the truth that Mickelson, as many had predicted, had received a ban by the Tour.

“On March 22, 2022, the Commissioner suspended Plaintiff Mickelson (with the opportunity to apply for reinstatement in May of 2022) for, among other alleged reasons, 'attempting to recruit players to join [LIV Golf],'” reads the complaint. “Following an appeal, the appeals committee (a three-person committee comprised of members of the Tour Policy Board) affirmed the Commissioner’s two-month suspension."

Mickelson then tried to get his playing rights back after the US Open (and Centurion) but to no avail.

"On June 20, 2022, Mr. Mickelson applied for reinstatement from the two-month suspension. The Tour denied his request, stating that Plaintiff Mickelson violated Tour regulations by participating in the LIV Golf London Invitational. In addition to denying his request for reinstatement, the Tour extended Plaintiff Mickelson’s suspension, forbidding him from seeking reinstatement to play professional golf with the Tour until March 31, 2023.”

The Tour tour then extended the suspension for Mickelson’s participation in the LIV Golf Portland event, "deferring even the mere opportunity to apply for reinstatement until after March 31, 2024.”

Mickelson is now part of 11 LIV players who have filed an antitrust lawsuit against the PGA Tour to challenge their suspensions. Three players - Talor Gooch, Hudson Swafford and Matt Jones - are bizarrely seeking a temporary restraining order to allow them to compete in the FedEx Cup play-offs.