Whether you liked what you heard or not, San Diego resident Phil Mickelson had a vested interest in making Torrey Pines' North Course better. But for reasons that aren't totally clear, the longtime resident has pulled out of the project to renovate the North citing a California Fair Political Practice Commission ruling.
Tod Leonard with the full report and strong quotes from Mickelson, who leaves a project that will now be carried out by the always dangerous combination of a non-local contractor running the show, with potentially a non-local consulting architect along for the ride.
“I’m deeply disappointed with this entire process,” said Mickelson, the native San Diegan and 42-time winner on the PGA Tour. “We did a lot of good work, we had overwhelming support from the residents of San Diego on this project and now we’re disqualified from bidding on it.”
Construction bids for the North Course were due to the city today. Landscapes Unlimited, the company that was previously teamed with Phil Mickelson Design for the project, was to submit a bid without him attached.
Contacted by the San Diego Union-Tribune, San Diego City Golf Manager Mark Marney was reviewing Mickelson's comments and did not have a comment as of noon on Tuesday.
And the toughest comments from the press release, which I have not received...
Noting the doubling of the project budget in his press release, Mickelson said, “My vision was to make Torrey Pines North more environmentally sustainable, more enjoyable for amateurs of all abilities, more challenging for PGA Tour players and we were planning to do it for less than $6 million. The city and Golf Division’s $12.6 million budget is far higher than we expected or intended.
“It really is unfortunate. San Diegans and visitors deserve a better North Course but they don’t need or want one that costs as much as this one will.”