Phil Mickelson biographer kicked out of LIV Golf press area

Maybe Phil Mickelson is fed up with Alan Shipnuck or Greg Norman wanted to make a point.

Either way, one of the strangest days in recent golf history ended Thursday night at the Centurion Golf Club near London with Shipnuck, the author of “Phil: The Rip-Roaring ( and Unauthorized!) Biography of Golf’s Most Colorful Superstar”, being removed from what is known as the flash interview area at the inaugural LIV Golf Invitational Series event.

Shipnuck, partner of The Fire Pit Collective, traveled to the UK for the event and followed Mickelson on his first round. Afterward, Mickelson spoke to members of the press, as is customary.

However, Shipnuck was not allowed to join.

He wrote on Twitter:

“Well, a few 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 ?) Never a dull moment here.”

Golfweek contacted Shipnuck, who replied via text: “I was accredited and was standing in the flash zone at the start of Phil’s presser when they came to get me.”

Not allowing an accredited member of the press to attend a player’s press conference is unheard of on other golf tours, but things got stranger in the moments that followed.

Shipnuck texted LIV Golf commissioner Greg Norman to report the incident, and Norman replied that he hadn’t heard of it. Shipnuck didn’t know when he sent the message that Norman had seen it all.

In an email to Golfweek, Shipnuck said: “I have no ill will towards Phil. I just wanted to ask him a boring golf question, which is my job. Either he’s way too sensitive or people at LIV are overly overprotective, but either way they overreact.

This incident comes two days after Associated Press reporter Rob Harris was cut off, kicked out of LIV’s media center and reprimanded by LIV officials for not being “polite”. Harris was allowed back into the media center about 10 minutes later, according to ESPN.

“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 pull me out,” Shipnuck said.

The second round of the LIV Golf London event takes place on Friday at 9.30am ET. LIV Golf does not have a TV contract but broadcasts the tournament on its YouTube channel.

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

“Or maybe I’ll focus on Chantananuwat Ratchanon. … he seems like a nice boy.

Golfweek’s Steve DiMeglio contributed to this article.

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