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News & Tours

Horschel: Mickelson's comments 'idiotic,' have tarnished his legacy

February 21, 2022

Ben Jared

Billy Horschel joined the growing choir of players to criticize Phil Mickelson for the six-time major winner’s comments regarding the proposed Saudi-backed golf league.

Horschel, speaking on the Fairways of Life podcast, called Mickelson’s remarks to the Fire Pit Collective “idiotic” and untrue while asserting Mickelson has tarnished his legacy.

"They were a little bit idiotic to tell you the truth. I think some of the statements he made are lies, are false, are—I don’t know where he got his information from,” Horschel said. “It’s unbelievable that he would say certain things because I think he does understand how the PGA Tour works. He’s had obviously more experience and more time and more communications with Tim Finchem and Jay Monahan over the years.

“And so, for him to say certain things about obnoxious greed and the PGA Tour sitting on $20 billion to $30 billion and some of these other things, which are complete lies because I’m in the PAC meetings. I may not see all the numbers that a player director may see in board meetings, but I see enough to understand that the money is being used correctly and it’s being used how the PGA Tour says it is. It’s tough because this guy—I say this guy—Phil has done so great, and he’s been a great ambassador to the game of golf, and I honestly feel that he’s hurting his reputation and he’s tarnishing his legacy a little bit."

Horschel, a six-time winner on tour and former FedEx Cup champ, went so far as to question if Mickelson has lost his long-presumed spot as captain of the United States captain for the 2025 Ryder Cup at Bethpage Black.

"It’s going to be interesting," Horschel continued. "Obviously, that’s a decision with the PGA of America and the former captains … I would say at this point right now, if that decision had to be made, if the Ryder Cup was next year for Bethpage, and we all thought he was going to get it and that decision was going to be made, it would be hard-pressed for me to see him actually getting that spot. I would think they would sort of say, Hey, we just can’t go down that route. But, you know, we’re three or four years away from that timeline, and things can be corrected, and people can admit wrong and do things the right way going forward. At the same time, how much does Phil actually want to be captain? That’s an honest question. … If that’s what he really wants to be is a Ryder Cup captain, maybe there’s some way for him to sort of fix anything that has hurt him from possibly being in that spot."

Horschel’s statements echo the thoughts of Rory McIlroy, who said on Sunday at Riviera that Mickelson’s comments were “naive, selfish, egotistical, ignorant.”