Phil Mickelson Says ‘Maybe’ On Return Of Rocket Mortgage Classic If Petition Reaches 50,000 Signatures
Phil Mickelson made his career first appearance at the third edition of the Rocket Mortgage Classic this week in Detroit. It may also have been his last. Speaking to reporters on Thursday, the 51-year-old said he couldn’t imagine trying to return to the event after Detroit News has resurfaced a decades-old story in which he was allegedly once defrauded by a Michigan bookie, costing him hundreds of thousands of dollars.
“Playing here was tough; I wouldn’t normally. I usually take a few weeks off after the US Open,” said Mickelson. “But I really liked what Rocket Mortgage tried to do with this community. And I felt like as a PGA Champion I would be able to bring some value and maybe to help the tournament. And I think [The Detroit News] did an article this week that was very opportunistic, selfish and irresponsible. When you have a dividing voice like that, you can’t bring people together. “
Mickelson saw the newspaper article as an unnecessary personal attack, say on twitter in response to criticism that it was “more of an attempt at defamation”. The story recounted Federal Court records obtained in a jury trial that took place in 2007.
“It was so much effort for me to be here,” added Mickelson. “Having this type of unnecessary attack – it’s not like I care, I mean it happened 20 years ago. But it’s just the lack of appreciation. Yeah, I don’t see that happening. Not that I don’t like the people here and that they haven’t been great, but not with that kind of thing going on. “
Mickelson was excellent on the course Thursday, clocking a first lap of 69 to put him T40 on the standings before Friday. After winning the PGA Championship in May, he missed the cup at Charles Schwab and finished outside the top 50 at the US Open and Travelers Championship, but he seems to be getting back in shape with The Match on deck for next week and The Championship opens on July 15th.
“I played really well,” Mickelson said after the round. He added Twitter: “My swing looks like Kiawah again after playing like this for the past two weeks. Just in time for The Match.”
After the second round on Friday night, the story took a pretty interesting turn. Mickelson received a tweet from a man named Mike Sullivan, who is from Michigan, and asked Lefty if he had petitioned 50,000 people if he returned to this tournament. Mickelson replied on Twitter: “Maybe.” The petition currently has just over 10,000 signatures.
“I don’t want to divide,” Mickelson said after the second round. “I didn’t like the way I felt with the reporter. The people here were so nice that I’m going to make a deal with them. There’s a guy named Mike Sullivan trying to collect 50,000 signatures. he gets 50,000 and all those 50,000 agree to do a random act of kindness for another member of the community, I’m in it.
“I just think this tournament has sponsors, from Rocket Mortgage to a lot of local sponsors to a lot of people in the community, who are trying to come together and do something good for the community. If the community members come together. will reunite, I would love to be back, but what I won’t tolerate is that kind of divisive attitude on the part of this particular reporter. It’s not helpful to anyone in any way. “