Phil Mickelson Has More To Lose Than Sponsors

    • He announced that he needs “some time away” from golf following backlash from controversial comments.
    • Parent company Heineken pulled its Amstel Light deal, and longtime sponsor KPMG severed ties with golfer.

Embroiled in controversy for comments regarding the breakaway Saudi-based Super Golf League, Phil Mickelson announced that he needs “some time away” from golf.

On Tuesday, Mickelson apologized for saying he would look past Saudi human rights violations if it would help force changes to the PGA Tour’s distribution of money.

An extended leave would only exacerbate his recent drop to No. 183 in the FedExCup standings and No. 41 in the world — plus, he’s missed the last four Tour events and would be unprepared for the rapidly approaching Masters. 

It’s not only the prospect of his legacy taking a hit, but also his net worth, thanks to the exodus of a pair of sponsors.

  • His 45 career victories are tied with Walter Hagen for eighth all-time (Tiger Woods and Sam Snead top the list with 82). 
  • He is tied for 12th all-time with six major wins (Jack Nicklaus is No. 1 with 18) and famously still needs to win the U.S. Open for a career grand slam.
  • He was Forbes’ 29th highest-paid athlete in 2021 ($41M) with $40M in endorsements. He has made $800M in endorsements over his career.
  • Parent company Heineken pulled its Amstel Light deal, and longtime sponsor KPMG severed ties with Mickelson.

Mickelson ($95M) is second only to Woods ($121M) in career earnings and has added just $140,608 this season.

In his four starts this season, his best finish was a T30 at the Sentry Tournament of Champions in January. That was followed by missed cuts at The American Express and Farmers Insurance Open.