Phil Mickelson has confirmed he will play in the first event of the controversial LIV Golf Invitational Series, but he still intends to feature at the upcoming majors this year.

Dustin Johnson headlined the entrant list for the opening event at Centurion Club near London, which starts on Thursday, but Mickelson was an initial surprise omission from the entry list for the Saudi Arabia-funded competition.

Sergio Garcia, Louis Oosthuizen and Lee Westwood are also among the high-profile names set to feature at the three-day event that will have 12 teams and 48 players.

Mickelson was met with widespread condemnation after criticising the PGA Tour earlier this year, for which he apologised and vowed to take a step back from the game – even missing the defence of his US PGA Championship last month.

His comments on LIV Golf were also met with significant backlash after he said Saudi Arabia has "a horrible record on human rights", but added he was willing to commit to the league as it was "a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reshape how the PGA Tour operates".

But Mickelson, who once again reiterated his apologies for his earlier comments, announced on Monday that he will indeed play at the inaugural LIV Golf event.

"I am ready to come back to play the game I love but after 32 years this new path is a fresh start, one that is exciting for me at this stage of my career and is clearly transformative, not just for myself, but ideally for the game and my peers," the American said in a statement. 

"I also love the progressive format and think it will be exciting for fans. Just as importantly, it will provide balance, allowing me to focus on a healthier approach to life on and off the course.

"I am incredibly grateful for what this game and the PGA Tour has given me. I would like to think that I have given back as well but now I am excited about this new opportunity."

Mickelson opted to not defend his PGA Championship this year amid the furore, but the 51-year-old plans to return to compete at the majors alongside his LIV Golf involvement.

"I am thrilled to begin with LIV Golf and I appreciate everyone involved. I also intend to play the majors," he added.

"I fully realise and respect some may disagree with this decision and have strong opinions and I emphasise with that. I have a renewed spirit and excitement for the game.

"I am incredibly grateful for the support of my fans, partners, and peers and I hope in time, those sentiments, relationships and support continue."

Greg Norman, chief executive and commissioner of LIV Golf, added in a statement reported by Sky Sports: "Phil Mickelson is unequivocally one of the greatest golfers of this generation.

"His contributions to the sport and connection to fans around the globe cannot be overstated and we are grateful to have him.

"He strengthens an exciting field for London where we're proud to launch a new era for golf."