Callaway ‘pauses’ Phil Mickelson partnership, marking latest fallout from Saudi league remarks
The fallout from Phil Mickelson’s controversial comments regarding his involvement with the proposed Saudi Golf League continued Friday as Callaway, one of Mickelson’s primary sponsors since 2004, said it was putting its sponsorship of the six-time major winner on “pause.”
“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,” Callaway said in a statement. “Phil has apologized and we know he regrets how he handled recent events. We recognize 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 re-evaluate our ongoing relationship at a later date.”
With the announcement, Callaway became the fourth of Mickelson’s sponsors to publicly distance themselves from him, joining Workday, Amstel Light and KPMG.
Last week, golf writer Alan Shipnuck published comments Mickelson made to him in November, in which Mickelson referred to the Saudis as “scary m—–f——” and admitted his involvement with the SGL was a means of gaining leverage on the PGA Tour.
Days after the remarks were made public, Mickelson issued a lengthy statement on social media. “I have incredible partners, and these relationships mean so much more to me than a contract,” he said. “The last thing I would ever want to do is compromise them or their business in any way, and I have given all of them the option to pause or end the relationship as I understand it might be necessary given the current circumstances.”
Mickelson’s statement also said he intends to take time away “to prioritize the ones I love most and work on being the man I want to be.”