Mickelson and LIV Golf draw fans and trouble to Oregon

He urged Mickelson to “be a man, get up, accept the truth about who you go to bed with.”

The Saudi government has long denied any involvement in the September 11 attacks. The 9/11 commission found in its 2004 report “no evidence that the Saudi government as an institution or senior Saudi officials individually funded al-Qaeda, which carried out the attacks.” However, there has been speculation about the involvement of other, lower-level officials, and an FBI investigation uncovered circumstantial evidence of such support, according to a 2020 report by The New York Times Magazine and ProPublica.

Tim Frolich, a Brooklyn banker who fled the 80th floor of the South Tower but badly injured his left foot and ankle while running before the tower collapsed, said the golfers were “ransom” and had “blood money.” from the LIV series. The Saudi Arabian-sponsored tour offered signing bonuses that some reported are in the nine figures to lure some golfers like Mickelson off the PGA Tour.

“This is nothing more than a group of very talented athletes who seem to have turned their backs on the crime of murder,” said Frolich, who turns 58 this month.

Mickelson was not made available to reporters Thursday. In an interview published in February, he told his biographer Alan Shipnuck that the Saudis were “scary” and had a “horrific human rights record,” including the 2018 assassination and dismemberment of Washington Post columnist and dissident Jamal Khashoggi, Mickelson later apologized for his comments. He joined LIV Golf in June.

No official attendance figures have been announced for the opening round of the three-day tournament, which was played under cloudless skies with temperatures in the 70s. But the crowd watching mostly aging players decline was perhaps only a third of the daily attendance of around 25,000 at a typical event on the rival PGA Tour. Mickelson, 52, finished the round three over par and eight behind leader Carlos Ortiz of Mexico. Still, Mickelson has a vocal and dedicated following.

A number of viewers surveyed said they were simply interested in watching a sporting event and avoiding geopolitics.