June 14, 2024
Phil Mickelson

Phil Mickelson has discussed his future ( Image: Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)

Peeved Brandel Chamblee has let rip at Phil Mickelson and told the LIV Golf heavyweight he’s the defector who has irritated him the most.

The beloved star of the Golf Channel has been a vocal dissenter of the Saudi-backed breakaway league and doubled down on his critiques with a full-on takedown of Mickelson’s standing in golf since leaving the PGA. Chamblee – in an illuminating sitdown with USA Today – didn’t miss as he tore strips off Lefty and weighed in on the current landscape of the PGA, LIV and what comes next with both sides seeking a resolution. Rory McIlory might have mellowed but Chamblee isn’t backing down.

Speaking to Golf Week, Chamblee had no problem spilling his fury about the renegade who has left him vexed, he said: “Well, Phil. Hardly any of these other players had the popularity to make a difference to tilt the game one direction or another. Phil had the potential to do a lot of good in the game. Look, he could have sat in that chair as a commentator for the next 20, 30 years. I have no doubt that he’d have been good at it.

“By all accounts, he’s a pretty smart guy. By all accounts, he spent a lot of time thinking about some cool stuff in the game of golf, and I would have liked to have listened to him for 20 or 30 years. I’d liked to have heard what he had to say. The fans loved him. You know, within the small world of golf, there were a lot of people that didn’t particularly care for him, but I certainly enjoyed watching him play.
Phil Mickelson

“I didn’t love the way he played. I heard him say somewhere along the line that he got criticised for his aggressive style of play. It’s like, who else out here besides Tiger has won more than me? Maybe some people should try to play more like me. If there’s one criticism I have of what’s going on out here outside of the LIV world, it’s that everybody is being coached in the same way. They know their dispersion rates. They know where to play and everybody is counting cards, so to speak.

“Phil wasn’t afraid to hit on 16, to make a gambling analogy, which may not be entirely fair to Phil, but as a gambler on the golf course, that’s what people pay to watch. Do something that’s a little bit risky, crazy — he did some things that were crazy on the golf course, like here on 16 out of the right trees. But he had a very high level of skill and a very high level of knowledge of what he was capable of, and it was fun to watch him.

“I’m disappointed in him because he could have left the game in a better place. People were, early in his career or most of his career, they were making the analogy that he had similarities to Palmer, go for broke, gave the fans what they wanted, and I think he turned his back on the game. He turned his back on the stage that made him who he was and all the people that came before him.

“I think that the players that have gone to LIV have done a disservice to the game of golf. It’s like they’re going to get theirs. It’s like they’re all pulling the ladders up. They had to climb up those ladders to get to where they were, and the people that had placed those ladders were the generations that came before them. But they got there, and they think, well, I did it all on my own, I’m going to get everything for me. I’m pulling the ladders up.

“I think Phil could have done a lot of good for the game of golf. Instead he’s really hurt the game.”

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