Augusta National Chairman Fred Ridley Asked If Saudi Golf League Players Will Be Banned From The Masters

Fred Ridley On If Saudi Golf League Players Will Be Banned From Masters

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  • Augusta National chairman Fred Ridley spoke about the Saudi Golf League during his annual press conference.
  • Ridley also offered insight into why Phil Mickelson isn’t playing in the 2022 Masters.
  • Be sure to check out more golf stories at BroBible here.

One of the many magical things about the Masters is that when tournament week arrives, the tournament itself, Augusta National, and the history of the event dominates the headlines. The outside noise swirling around the golf world gets put on mute and the focus is solely on who may put on the green jacket come Sunday.

This year has been no different. The Saudi Golf League has been the most talked-about topic in golf for months on end and we made it all the way to Wednesday before it was even mentioned.

Augusta National chairman Fred Ridley held his annual press conference on Wednesday and he was asked about the breakaway, Saudi-backed golf circuit. Specifically, Ridley was asked whether or not any players that do make the jump to the breakaway tour would be banned from playing in future Masters. He did his best in avoiding answering that question directly.

“Our mission is to always act in the best interest of the game in whatever form that may take,” Ridley began. “I think that golf is in a good place right now. There’s more participation, the purses on the professional tours are the highest they’ve ever been.”

“We’ve been pretty clear in our belief that the world tours have done a great job in promoting the game over the years. Beyond that, there’s so much that we don’t know about what might happen or what could happen, I can’t say much more beyond that.”

Phil Mickelson Was Invited To Play In 2022 Masters

Speaking of the Saudi Golf League, Ridley also explained that Phil Mickelson was invited to play in this year’s Masters, but pulled out of the event in February.

Many in the golf world assumed Mickelson wasn’t invited from playing after his harsh comments toward the PGA Tour and his personal involvement with the Saudi Golf League.

“I would like to say we did not disinvite Phil,” Ridley said. “Phil is a three-time Masters champion and is invited in that category and many other categories; he’s the defending PGA champion.

“Phil reached out to me … and let me know that he did not intend to play. That was by way of a text, and I thanked him for his courtesy in letting me know.

We last heard from Mickelson in February when he issued an apology for his comments. He announced that he’d be taking a break from the game in his statement as well.