July 23, 2024

Six-time major winner Phil Mickelson said Wednesday that more PGA Tour players will move to LIV Golf Saudi Arabia backed by the Saudis, despite a framework agreement on a merger by the end of 2023.

The 53-year-old American left-hander, one of the first to switch from the PGA to the new tour last year, spoke on Wednesday before the start of the season-ending LIV Golf Team Championship at Doral on Wednesday.

“I’ve been fielding calls, as we all have, from players who are free agents to PGA Tour players to DP World Tour players wanting to come in,” Mickelson said.
When asked if he expected an “exodus” of talent from the PGA and DP World tours, Mickelson was confident there would be more movement.

“Do I think so? No, I knew it was going to happen,” Mickelson said. “When players watch LIV, they want to be a part of it.
“Everyone here has fun and enjoys what we do, enjoys the team aspect, enjoys each other and the camaraderie and enjoys playing golf around the world and all the benefits coming from this tournament.

“So there are a lot of players who see this and want to be a part of it. The question is how many places are available. There are more players wanting to go than there are places. » Merger talks between the three tours have continued since the framework agreement was announced in June, but the deadline is December 31 to complete the deal.

The PGA Tour Board consisting of a majority of players, including Tiger Woods, must approve any merger deal.
“I think the merger talks allow for that,” Mickelson said of the players moving to LIV. “I think it allows and opens the door for that.”

A door slammed on LIV Golf last week was by the Board of Governors of the Official World Golf Rankings (OWGR), which rejected LIV Golf’s call to assign points to its events. themselves, citing limited player revenue issues and issues with LIV’s team format affecting individual play. 4,444 LIV players were banned from participating in PGA Tour events, limited restrict their ability to earn ranking points. However,

Mickelson says there’s more to this rejection than meets the eye. “I want to shed light on exactly why they do what they do. That’s not what they announced,” Mickelson said.

“There’s a lot going on behind the scenes about how important it is for us to get points (to match) the PGA Tour.”

American Brooks Koepka, this year’s PGA Championship champion, and Australian Cameron Smith, last year’s British Open champion, are the only LIV players still in the top 50 in the world rankings, the key threshold for entry. participate in major tournaments.

Mickelson said professional tours need to ensure other top LIV players have access to their events.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *