'If he is sincerely sorry ... he deserves a second chance': Golfers respond to Phil Mickelson's Saudi Arabia comments

    Phil Mickelson during day three of the PIF Saudi International on February 5, 2022, in Al Murooj, Saudi Arabia.

    (CNN)PGA Tour golfers, including Brooks Koepka and Daniel Berger, have been discussing Phil Mickelson's recent comments on the reported Saudi-backed breakaway golf tour, the Super Golf League.

    On Tuesday, six-time major winner Mickelson said comments he made regarding the reported tour were off the record -- a claim the reporter who interviewed him has denied -- and said they were shared out of context and without his consent.
    The Super League is reportedly a Saudi-backed venture that is attempting to attract golfers away from golf's main tours, the PGA Tour and the DP World Tour, with offers of big money.
      Last week, Mickelson was quoted from a 2021 interview with author Alan Shipnuck for his upcoming book, "Phil: The Rip-Roaring (and Unauthorized!) Biography of Golf's Most Colorful Superstar," as saying that he would consider joining the proposed Super League because it is a "once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reshape how the PGA Tour operates."
        Shipnuck quoted Mickelson as saying disparaging things about Saudi Arabia's human rights record and asserting that the kingdom killed journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
        Four-time PGA Tour winner Daniel Berger says Mickelson "deserves a second chance" if he is remorseful about his comments.
        "I don't know much about the whole Phil, Saudi thing. I try not to pay attention it," he said.
          "I just think it's kind of like noise, but my experience with Phil in the past has been good experiences and I think everyone deserves a second chance, so if he sincerely is sorry for what he said, then I think he deserves a second chance."
          Since Mickelson's comments, several leading golf stars -- including Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson and Bryson DeChambeau -- have reiterated their commitment to the PGA Tour, with Berger now also following suit.
          "I've always been behind the Tour. I think Commissioner [Jay] Monahan is the right guy for the job," he said. "I think he's done an amazing job through Covid, something that people didn't give him enough credit for, what he was able to do in such challenging times.
          "There's no one I would trust more to guide the Tour through all of these difficult times and I think he's done a great job. I like where the Tour is headed. I like the new initiatives that have been brought out."
          Four-time major winner Brooks Koepka says he "skimmed over" Mickelson's comments and remains "happy with the PGA Tour," but doesn't think this is the last players and fans will hear of a breakaway tour.
            "I think everyone out here is happy," he said. "He [Mickelson] can think whatever he wants to think, man, he can do whatever he wants to do. So I think everybody out here is happy and I think a lot of people out here have the same opinion.
            "I don't [think talk of the breakaway league is over]. Everyone talks about money," he added. "They've [Saudi Arabia] got enough of it. I don't see it backing down; they can just double up and they'll figure it out. They'll get their guys. Somebody will sell out and go to it."