Callaway and Workday have joined the list of sponsors who are distancing themselves from Phil Mickelson after his controversial statements and involvement with a prospective Saudi-backed golf league.
“Callaway does not condone Phil Mickelson’s comments and we were very disappointed in his choice of words – they in no way reflect Callaway’s values or what we stand for as a company,” a company spokesperson told Golf Digest on Saturday.
“Phil has since apologised and we know he regrets how he handled recent events. We recognise his desire to take some 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.”
Golf Channel was the first to report Callaway’s decision.
Earlier on Friday, Workday told Golf Digest that it had decided to drop Mickelson from its list of ambassadors.
“At this time, Workday and Phil Mickelson have mutually and amicably agreed to not renew our brand sponsorship that ends this March,” a Workday spokesperson told Golf Digest on Saturday. “We want to thank Phil for his great contributions as a Workday ambassador, both on and off the course. And we continue to wish him and his family all the best.”
Mickelson had been a representative for Workday since April 2017 and he re-upped with Callaway, his club sponsor since 2004, in 2017, with the company saying he would represent it for “the remainder of his competitive playing career.”
Workday and Callaway joined KPMG and Heineken/Amstel in dropping Mickelson, 51, after he released a statement Tuesday afternoon acknowledging the comments he made in a November interview to golf writer Alan Shipnuck were “reckless.” Mickelson said he would be taking “some time away to prioritise the ones I love most and work on being the man I want to be.” Mickelson, in his words, also said he gave his partners “the option to pause or end the relationship as I understand it might be necessary given the current circumstances.”
Shortly after his statement Tuesday, KPMG – one of Mickelson’s primary and longtime financial backers – announced it ended its relationship with the six-time Major winner.
“KPMG US and Phil Mickelson have mutually agreed to end our sponsorship effective immediately. We wish him the best,” read a statement from a company spokesperson. “KPMG continues to sponsor brand ambassadors on the PGA Tour and LPGA Tour and is the title sponsor of the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, a Major on the LPGA Tour.”
On Wednesday, a spokesperson for Heineken, the parent company of Amstel, said the beer giant had let Mickelson go. “We made the decision to go our separate ways and end Amstel Light’s partnership with Phil Mickelson,” the spokesperson said. “We wish him all the best.”
Mickelson came under fire for justifying his relationship with the Saudi government – a regime Mickelson conceded that had a “horrible human rights record” and executes “people over there for being gay” – as a means of leverage against the PGA Tour.
[IMAGE: Sam Greenwood]