Phil Mickelson Biographer Alan Shipnuck removed from LIV interview area after event | Launderer’s report

Aitor Alcalde/LIV Golf/Getty Images

Golf writer Alan Shipnuck has been inexplicably removed from the interview area during the inaugural event of the LIV Golf Invitational series at Centurion Golf Club near London.

Shipnuck, who wrote Phil: The heartbreaking (and unauthorized!) biography of golf’s most colorful superstar, had followed Mickelson for his first lap. When Mickelson finished playing and went to talk to reporters, Shipnuck was not allowed to join, per golf weekit’s David Dusek.

Afterwards, Shipnuck insinuated that LIV Golf commissioner Greg Norman had something to do with his dismissal:

Alan Shipnuck @AlanShipnuck

Well, two neckless security guys physically pulled me out of Phil Mickelson’s press conference, saying they were acting on orders from their boss, whom they declined to name. (Greg Norman? MBS? Al Capone?) You never get bored here.

Shipnuck said golf week he contacted Norman directly and Norman replied that he had not heard of the situation. However, it was later revealed that Norman witnessed it all:

Alan Shipnuck @AlanShipnuck

Oh, mystery solved!🙄 https://t.co/6eML5RIQbq pic.twitter.com/dsr7XycPXo

As far as Shipnuck knows, he didn’t break any rules. He said golf week in a text message, “I was accredited and standing in the flash zone at the start of Phil’s presser when they came for me.”

An excerpt from Shipnuck’s book published in February led to a series of criticisms for Mickelson and LIV Golf. While discussing possible participation in the breakaway golf league, which is funded by the Saudi government, Mickelson reportedly said:

“They’re scary motherfuckers to get involved with. We know they killed [Washington Post reporter and U.S. resident Jamal] Khashoggi and have a horrible human rights record. They execute people there for being gay. Knowing all of this, why would I even consider it? Because it’s a unique opportunity to reshape the way the PGA Tour works.”

Mickelson apologized for remarks following part of the reaction. He was also asked to elaborate on comments on Wednesday:

“I don’t condone human rights violations at all. No one here does, anywhere in the world. I’m certainly aware of what happened with Jamal Khashoggi, and I think that’s I’ve also seen the good that the game of golf has done throughout history, and I think LIV Golf will do a lot of good for the game as well. Why am I here.

Mickelson declined to elaborate on specifics of his issues with the PGA Tour, but many have speculated that money is the main reason players switch to LIV Golf and quit the PGA Tour. According to Golf Channel Brentley RomineMickelson — who also refused to give up his PGA Tour membership — is being paid around $200 million to compete in LIV Golf events.

Shipnuck said in an email to golf week that he doesn’t know who called to have it removed.

“I have no ill will towards Phil,” he wrote. “I just wanted to ask him a boring golf question, which is my job. Either he’s too sensitive or the people at LIV are too overprotective, but either way they overreact.”

Shipnuck also said authorities used intimidation to get him out of the area.

“The security guards were inappropriately aggressive and physical, given that I was just there trying to figure out the bizarre reasons they were citing for wanting to take me out,” he said.

This is not the first incident a member of the media has faced this week at the event. According to Dusek, Associated Press reporter Rob Harris was cut off and removed from the LIV media center. LIV officials reportedly chastised Harris for not being “polite.” Harris was eventually allowed to return to the media center.

The second round of the LIV Golf event is scheduled to begin Friday at 9:30 a.m. ET. For his part, Shipnuck said he would not be deterred.

“This whole situation is messy and ridiculous,” Shipnuck told golf week. “If I have another boring golf question for Phil I’ll ask it because I’ve traveled 6,000 miles to be here and I’m not inclined to be silenced by Greg Norman and his henchmen.”

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