LIV Golf got underway Thursday with a lot of questions with its first event in London. One person seeking answers was not allowed to stay.
Golf writer Alan Shipnuck was kicked out of Thursday’s news conference when Phil Mickelson began to speak. Shipnuck has written a book about Mickelson. LIV Golf is being led by former golf great Greg Norman.
“Well, a couple of neckless security dudes just physically removed me from Phil Mickelson's press conference, saying they were acting on orders from their boss, whom they refused to name. (Greg Norman? MBS? Al Capone?) Never a dull moment up in here,” Shipnuck wrote on Twitter.
Mickelson was among a group of 17 golfers who were officially booted from the PGA Tour on Thursday as the tour refused to permit members from participating in the new league. LIV Golf has garnered criticism for being backed by the Saudi government, which is accused of violating human rights.
“I am here to do my job,” Shipnuck told CNN. “The biggest news maker at a very important event. It was an awkward moment, and just revealing of Norman's kind of strong-arm tactics. Obviously, he sort of -- he is sort of inculcated the way the Saudis do business and so, it was a weak moment on their part. I am a reporter doing my job. What are they afraid of?”
Besides Mickelson, the LIV Golf Invitational also includes some other former major champions, including Dustin Johnson Sergio Garcia, Graeme McDowell, Martin Kaymer and Louis Oosthuizen.