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Phil Mickelson softens stance, might return to Detroit

Phil Mickelson tees off on the 18th during the second round of the Rocket Mortgage Classic at the Detroit Golf Club in Detroit on Friday, July 2, 2021.
Phil Mickelson tees off on the 18th during the second round of the Rocket Mortgage Classic at the Detroit Golf Club in Detroit on Friday, July 2, 2021.

One day after saying he wouldn’t play in the Rocket Mortgage Classic again after this week, Phil Mickelson cracked the door Friday to a possible return to Detroit.

The six-time major champion made his initial stance Thursday while angered over a Detroit News story regarding Mickelson being cheated out of a $500,000 gambling payout by a Detroit-based bookie more than two decades ago.

Mickelson posted his reaction to the story on his Twitter feed, ending with a comment regarding the relatively new Detroit tournament, “I won’t be back”.

However, after receiving a positive reception from the crowds on Thursday and Friday, Mickelson laid out a scenario that would see him come back to play in the Rocket Mortgage Classic.

“People were awesome and they were so nice, so I would say this, I don’t want it to be divisive,” Mickelson said. “I didn’t like the way that felt with the reporter. The people here were so nice that I’ll make a deal with them. There’s a guy, Mike Sullivan, trying to raise 50,000 signatures. If he gets 50,000 and all of those 50,000 agree to do one random act of kindness for another member of the community, I’m in.”

He added, “I just think that this tournament has sponsors, from Rocket Mortgage to a lot of local sponsors to a lot of the people in the community, that are trying to come together and do something good for the community. And if the members of the community will come together, I’d love to be back. But what I won’t tolerate is that kind of divisive attitude from that particular reporter. It’s just not helpful to anybody in any way.”

Mickelson shot 69-72 to barely make the cut at 3-under-par 141.

The 51-year-old San Diego native won the PGA Championship in May for his sixth career major championship.

–Field Level Media