June 21, 2024
Phil Mickelson

Phil Mickelson

Phil Mickelson has been at the centre of the saga between LIV Golf and the PGA Tour, and the six-time major champion has had his say on a possible merger deal

Phil Mickelson believes a peace agreement between the PGA Tour and LIV Golf is ‘not necessary’. Mickelson has found himself at the centre of the split within professional golf, having become the first high-profile name to pledge his support behind the Saudi-funded league in 2022.

Since then a whole host of stars have opted to follow in the footsteps of Mickelson, with the likes of Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka and Jon Rahm all signing on the dotted line with the LIV setup. In doing so, members of the breakaway league have been banned from competing on the PGA Tour.

Last June however, it appeared hostilities were set to come to an end after the PGA Tour announced a shock framework agreement with the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia (PIF), that would end their hostilities with LIV.
Eleven months on though, the two sides are still yet to sign off a deal as negotiations continue. Initially it was confirmed that a deadline of December 31 was set to get the peace treaty over the line, however this target was missed at the end of 2023.

Five months on, talks remain ongoing however Mickelson believes there is no need for the two rival tours to align. “The competition that both tours are providing is elevating both tours,” he told Bloomberg TV at LIV Singapore. “Is it necessary that there’s a merger? Probably not. But it would be a good thing if there wasn’t any hostility.”

This is not the first time the six-time major champion has had his say on the future of the professional game, having addressed LIV’s upcoming plans in his pre-tournament press conference on Wednesday. And whilst the picture still remains unclear, Mickelson believes the Saudi-backed series will continue to add big names to its roster.

Phil Mickelson
Phil Mickelson addressed the future of LIV Golf ( Image: Bloomberg TV)

“I think there’s a lot of things that are going to transpire over the next five or ten years. I’m very bullish and excited about what that means for LIV Golf,” he commented. “There’s also a lot of uncertainty. I think the thing that I do know is I think the quality of the players will continue to get better each year.

“I think that the ability and the sites that we move to throughout the world will continue to excite players and excite fans… I see the global game of golf growing at an extremely high level. I think that’s exciting for everyone involved in the game because we are going to reach markets that we didn’t reach before.

“I think it’s going to inspire more golf courses, inspire more manufacturers selling clubs and equipment, but also inspiring young kids to try to play golf professionally.” On a personal level, Mickelson opened up on his future with the former PGA Tour star closer to the end of his career than the start.

Revealing retirement could well be round the corner, he claimed as part of his Bloomberg interview: “I’m 53 now and my career, you know, if I’m being truthful it’s toward its end. Now, I would like to help others find the same enjoyment and fulfilment that the game of golf has provided me.”

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