A gruesome spectator sparked furious criticism of Phil Mickelson as the golf legend teed off on the first hole of the LIV Golf tournament in New Jersey on Friday.

Mickelson withdrew from his first shot of the three-day event after a fan in the gallery was heard shouting: "Do it for the Saudi royal family!"

The breakaway golf course is funded in large part by the Saudi Arabian government's sovereign wealth fund,

prompting criticism that the regime is using professional sports and athletes to cover up well-documented human rights abuses.

Along with LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman, Mickelson was one of the first major golf stars to leave the PGA Tour for the beginner circuit. Countless other big names followed,

including Dustin Johnson, Bubba Watson, Brooks Koepka, Bryson DeChambeau, Patrick Reed, Cameron Smith, Sergio Garcia, Henrik Stenson and more.

Over the weekend, the LIV event was held at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey. 

Former President Trump was on hand for the festivities and attended a pro-am event on Thursday.