Phil Mickelson Cannot Consider Rocket Mortgage Classic Return To Detroit After Report Released
Phil Mickelson made his career first appearance at the third edition of the Rocket Mortgage Classic this week in Detroit. It may also have been his last. Speaking to reporters on Thursday, the 51-year-old said he couldn’t imagine trying to return to the event after Detroit News has resurfaced a decades-old story in which he was allegedly once defrauded by a Michigan bookie, costing him hundreds of thousands of dollars.
âPlaying here was tough; I wouldn’t normally. I usually take a few weeks off after the US Open,â said Mickelson. âBut I really liked what Rocket Mortgage tried to do with this community. And I felt like as a PGA Champion I would be able to bring some value and maybe to help the tournament. And I think [The Detroit News] did an article this week that was very opportunistic, selfish and irresponsible. When you have a dividing voice like that, you can’t bring people together. “
Mickelson saw the newspaper article as an unnecessary personal attack, say on twitter in response to criticism that it was “more of an attempt at defamation”. The story reported Federal Court records obtained in a jury trial that took place in 2007.
âIt was so much effort for me to be here,â added Mickelson. âHaving this type of unnecessary attack – it’s not like I care, I mean it happened 20 years ago. But it’s just the lack of appreciation. Yeah, I don’t see that happening. I don’t see myself. Not that I don’t like the people here and they haven’t been great, but not with that kind of thing going on. “
Mickelson was excellent on the course Thursday, clocking a first lap of 69 to put him T40 on the standings before Friday. After winning the PGA Championship in May, he missed the cup at Charles Schwab and finished outside the top 50 at the US Open and Travelers Championship, but he seems to be getting back in shape with The Match on deck for next week and The Championship opens on July 15th.
âI played really well,â Mickelson said after the round. He added Twitter: “My swing looks like Kiawah again after playing like this for the past two weeks. Just in time for The Match.”