The Open: Mickelson tells reporter to 'let it go dude' over LIV Golf questioning

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Phil Mickelson told a reporter to "let it go dude" as he was bombarded with LIV Golf-related questions following his first round at The Open.

Mickelson lifted the Claret Jug in 2013, but he was absent at the Champions' Dinner and Celebration of Champions events at St Andrews.

The American has become accustomed to probing from journalists since he signed up to the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Invitational Series.

LIV Golf chief executive Greg Norman was disinvited from the major this week by the Royal and Ancient Golf Club.

Mickelson, who shot a level-par 72 in his opening round, revealed he agreed not to attend the pre-tournament celebrations.

He said: "The R&A contacted me a couple weeks before and said 'look, we don't think it's a great idea you go, but if you want to, you can'," Mickelson told reporters.

"I just didn't want to make a big deal about it, so I said, 'fine'. We both kind of agreed that it would be best if I didn't."

Asked if he was sad to have missed out, he replied: "No, no. Not at all. I think that I couldn't be more excited and ecstatic with where I'm at.

"I love the events. I get to have golf in my life and competitive golf in my life on a scale that is fun, exciting, different, and lets me play and compete but still do the things outside that I want to do."

Mickelson made his frustration clear when he was asked about not being able to join greats such as Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson and Tiger Woods at the dinner.

"Let it go, dude. Let it go. That's three times you've asked the same question," he said.

"I don't know what to tell you. I couldn't be happier."

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