Golf: 6-Time Major Champ Phil Mickelson Sees Surge in PGA Pros Eager to Join LIV


Golf: 6-Time Major Champ Phil Mickelson Sees Surge in PGA Pros Eager to Join LIV

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Six-time major champion Phil Mickelson predicts more PGA Tour players will make the switch to the Saudi-backed LIV Golf, despite ongoing merger talks set to conclude by the end of 2023. The 53-year-old American lefty, who was among the first to transition from the PGA to LIV last year, expressed his thoughts ahead of the LIV Golf Team Championship in Doral, starting this Friday.

Mickelson revealed that he’s been receiving calls from players, ranging from free agents to PGA Tour and DP World Tour participants, all expressing their desire to join LIV Golf. When asked about the possibility of a mass exodus from the PGA and DP World Tours, Mickelson expressed confidence in seeing more movement, stating, “I know that’s going to happen. When players look at LIV, they’re wanting to be a part of it.”

He highlighted the enthusiasm and camaraderie among LIV Golf participants and the global exposure it offers. However, the key question remains the number of available spots, as the interest in joining LIV surpasses the vacancies.

Merger talks continue among the three tours since a framework agreement announcement in June, with a December 31 deadline for a final deal. The approval of a merger deal requires the support of a PGA Tour Policy Board, including influential players like Tiger Woods.

Mickelson believes that merger talks could facilitate players’ transition to LIV Golf. Nevertheless, LIV Golf encountered a setback when the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) board rejected their appeal to earn ranking points for their events. The board cited issues such as player turnover rates and team format affecting individual play.

Mickelson shed light on the situation, claiming there’s more to the rejection than meets the eye. He emphasized the importance of earning points to rival the PGA Tour.

Two LIV players, Brooks Koepka and Cameron Smith, remain in the world rankings’ top 50, which determines entry into major tournaments. Mickelson called on major championships to ensure LIV players have a pathway into their events, suggesting they create opportunities without undermining the PGA Tour’s TV contracts and revenue.

Koepka echoed these sentiments, emphasizing the talent within LIV Golf and the need to provide deserving players with opportunities to compete in majors.


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