HomeSportsGolf‘We all make mistakes’: Rory McIlroy hopeful Phil Mickelson returns to golf...

‘We all make mistakes’: Rory McIlroy hopeful Phil Mickelson returns to golf soon

Rory McIlroy hopes that people “forgive” Phil Mickelson for his comments about the Saudi-backed breakaway tour, claiming that “everyone makes mistakes”.

Mickelson has taken a break from golf and lost a number of sponsors for his remarks that he was prepared to overlook human rights abuses in Saudi Arabia and join the venture to put pressure on the PGA Tour.

McIlroy originally labelled the American “naive, selfish, egotistical, [and] ignorant”.

However ahead of the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Bay Hill, Florida, the Northern Irishman stated that he believed the players wanted the left-hander back on tour, urging “forgiveness” for Mickelson.

“It is unfortunate,” said McIlroy of Mickelson. “I think Phil has been a wonderful ambassador for the game of golf, still is a wonderful ambassador for the game of golf.

“Look, Phil will be back. I think the players want to see him back. He’s done such a wonderful job for the game of golf and he’s represented the game very, very well for the entirety of his career.

“We all make mistakes. We all say things we want to take back. No one is different in that regard.

“But we should be allowed to make mistakes. We should be allowed to ask for forgiveness and for people to forgive us and move on.

“Hopefully, he comes back at some stage, he will be, people will welcome him back and be glad that he is back.”

Mickelson claimed that he had made his comments off-the-record to Alan Shipnuck, but the American writer has denied that claim, suggesting that the golfer had “not once” asked not to be quoted during their chat.

Shipnuck is compiling a biography of Mickelson, who last year became the oldest major champion in history with victory at the 2021 US Open.

McIlroy is hoping to secure the trophy and commemorative red sweater at the Arnold Palmer Invitational for a second time, having finished three shots ahead of Bryson DeChambeau in 2018.

“This is a course that has fitted my eye from the first time I played here,” said McIlroy ahead of the first round in the Orlando suburbs.

Defending champion DeChambeau is absent from the event due to injury.

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