Phil Mickelson sent a surprising video message to Northern Ireland golf expert David Feherty, welcoming him to LIV Golf the team is from a gorilla sanctuary in Rwanda.
The 52-year-old six-time major champion is one of a group of high-profile golfers who made a Bangor man feel welcome with a video posted on social media.
Former golf star Feherty, who has worked for CBS and NBC in his media career, is the latest big name to join the controversial Saudi-backed LIV Golf Tour, which was launched as a rival to the PGA Tour earlier this year .
The 63-year-old joins Eagle White, Dom Boulet, Troy Mullins, Jerry Foltz and Su-Ann Heng who are already commentating and reporting for LIV.
Featured by Feherty, the promotional video features messages from LIV golfers from various locations, including Northern Ireland Graham McDowellBryson DeChambeau, Sergio Garcia, Ian Powter, Lee Westwood and Kevin Na.
At first, the video appears to show a new golfer joining the team, and then it’s revealed to be Feherty. He also appears in the music video.
But it’s the part of Mickelson that surprised golf fans, coming right at the end of the video call. It shows a Californian known as Lefty standing in a gorilla sanctuary in Rwanda. Wearing a black mask, the golfer includes a gorilla in the video as he salutes Feherty.
“Hey David. That’s Phil here under this mask in Rwanda hanging with the gorillas,” Mickelson says.
“Just wanted to welcome you to LIV.”
McDowell also welcomes Feherty to LIV, describing him as a “fan favorite” and a “future Hall of Famer.”
He then adds: “He’s just another guy with a broken Northern Irish accent to go with me.”
In addition to adding Feherty to its ranks, LIV Golf also recently attracted European Ryder Cup captain Henrik Stenson and PGA Tour players Charles Howell III and Jason Kokrak.
After taking a $40 million fee from LIV, Stenson relinquished his role as Team Europe leader for the 2023 Ryder Cup, causing problems for the Ryder Cup Europe in their quest to bring the trophy back to Italy next year.