Golf

‘It’s toward the end’: Phil Mickelson reveals he’s thinking retirement

Phil Mickelson last week at LIV Golf’s event in Australia.
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Phil Mickelson, never lacking in confidence, for better or worse, had trouble with the sentence. 
He’s considering retiring, but it took him a while to find the words to say it. 
“I’m 53 now,” Mickelson said, “and my career, you know, it’s — if I’m being truthful, it’s on — it’s — it’s — I’m a — it’s towards its end.” 
The six-time major winner, now one of the faces of Saudi-backed LIV Golf, offered the revelation during an interview for an upcoming episode of Bloomberg TV’s “Latitude with Haslinda Amin.” On Thursday, Bloomberg shared a 47-second video of the interview, which you can watch here, and published a story co-written by Amin and Giles Turner, which you can read here
This week, Mickelson is playing LIV’s event in Singapore, and in a media session on Thursday morning, he made no mention of retirement. Notably, the session was lighter — at one point, he was asked about being “the OG of golf viral videos,” which drew this response:
“No, I just say a lot of stupid s**t that goes viral.”  
Later in the press conference, Mickelson was asked where he sees LIV in the next five to 10 years, and he was mostly vague. 
“I think there’s a lot of things that are going to transpire over the next five or 10 years,” he said. “I’m very bullish and excited about what that means for LIV Golf.
“But there’s also a lot of uncertainty. I think the things that I do know is I think the quality of the players will continue to get better each year. I think that the ability and the sites that we move throughout the world will continue to excite players and excite fans. We’ll be going to more countries outside of the United States that really are starving for world-class professional golf, and we’ll have a lot more receptions like we had at Adelaide [where LIV played last week].
“With Singapore and the tourism department getting involved and loving the event that transpired last year and wanting us to come back, that seems to be the case right now where a lot of countries are negotiating and trying to get a LIV event there. So I see the global game of golf growing at an extremely high level.
“I think that’s exciting for everyone involved in the game because we are going to reach markets that we didn’t reach before. I think it’s going to inspire more golf courses, inspire more manufacturers selling clubs and equipment, but also inspiring young kids to try to play golf professionally. I just see that the game of golf is going to grow on a much more global basis because of the excitement and the presence that LIV Golf has.”
In the short video shared by Bloomberg, Mickelson did not say when he would retire. He followed his opening remark by saying he wanted to “help others to find the same enjoyment, fulfillment that the game of golf has provided me.”
“I’d like them to experience that as well,” he continued. “And so there’s moments where you’re out on a golf course alone and you have this solace, it’s very solitude, and you’re at peace. Or when you’re with your family and friends where you’re laughing and having a good time. Or when you’re competing in the club championship or the junior event, like you’re feeling that competition. Or when you’re playing golf at the highest level and competing against the best players in the world. Like all of that creates such fulfillment, whether you’re practicing on your own or with friends. There’s so many great things about this game of golf, and I would love others to experience those things.”  
“I’m 53 now and my career, you know, if I’m being truthful it’s toward its end.”

Phil Mickelson has given perhaps his biggest hint yet that he’s considering retiring from a stellar career in golf https://t.co/sJpsdPWcFd pic.twitter.com/lRVbfjwxMi
Also in the Bloomberg story, Mickelson said he didn’t necessarily believe a deal needed to be struck that would bring together LIV and PGA Tour players. LIV is currently playing its third season, and the Tour and LIV’s backer, the Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund, continue to negotiate a funding deal that was first announced last June. 
“The competition that both tours are providing is elevating both tours,” Mickelson told Bloomberg. “Is it necessary that there’s a merger? Probably not. But it would be a good thing if there wasn’t any hostility.”
Editor’s note: To read the Bloomberg complete story with Mickelson, please click here. The upcoming Bloomberg video with Mickelson, meanwhile, will be shown here.  

Nick Piastowski is a Senior Editor at Golf.com and Golf Magazine. In his role, he is responsible for editing, writing and developing stories across the golf space. And when he’s not writing about ways to hit the golf ball farther and straighter, the Milwaukee native is probably playing the game, hitting the ball left, right and short, and drinking a cold beer to wash away his score. You can reach out to him about any of these topics — his stories, his game or his beers — at nick.piastowski@golf.com.
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