June 21, 2024
Phil Mickelson

One of the biggest problems for LIV Golf players right now is that their events don’t earn World Golf Rankings points like PGA Tour players do. That shuts many of the competitors out of the four major tournaments. Phil Mickelson posted a warning to those tournament organizers, but then appears to have quickly deleted it.

The gist of Mickelson’s now-deleted post on X (formerly Twitter), which was saved for posterity by others on X, is that the major tournaments need LIV Golf players more than the LIV Golf players need to play in the major tournaments.

Phil Mickelson was responding to a post about players in this weekend’s Volvo China Open getting an opportunity to qualify for the PGA Championship, while players in this week’s LIV Golf Singapore event did not. Brooks Koepka won that event, by the way.

Phil Mickelson’s year
LIV Golf star Phil Mickelson posted a stern warning to the organizers of the four major golf tournaments, but then quickly deleted it.

Here’s what Mickelson wrote:

“Maybe some LIV players won’t be missed. But what if NONE of the LIV players played? Would they be missed? What about next year when more great players join? Or the following year? At some point they will care and will have to answer questions to sponsors and television. FAAFO.”

FAAFO stands for “F**k Around And Find Out” in hip internet slang.

There’s a lot to unpack here. First, Mickelson does make a valid point that if zero LIV golfers participated in the four majors (Masters, PGA Championship, U.S. Open and British Open), that would be bad for golf and for those tournaments.

It’s hard to call a tournament a major if it’s missing some of the best golfers in the world, like Jon Rahm, Brooks Koepka, Cam Smith and others. But is he suggesting that LIV players who are qualified for those majors are considering sitting them out in solidarity? That seems unlikely.

He also slips in a line about “more great players” leaving the PGA Tour to join LIV Golf. Name names, Phil! Rory McIlroy and Scottie Scheffler have repeatedly shot down rumors that they are considering that move and those are the players that might actually change the way the majors consider competitors. Same with Tiger Woods, who most assuredly isn’t joining LIV.

“Maybe some LIV players won’t be missed.” Spot on there, Phil. Despite Talor Gooch trying to convince us that PGA golf tournament winners should have an asterisk if he’s not in the field, no casual golf fan cares if Gooch plays in a tournament.

There are only a few players on the LIV Golf tour who move the needle for fans. Mickelson can say things like this because he’s one of them. Love him or hate him, people tune in to watch Mickelson. Same goes for Rahm, Koepka, Dustin Johnson and Bryson DeChambeau.

After that, though, who do fans miss? Marc Leishman? Joaquin Niemann? Tyrell Hatton? All good players, to be sure, but not athletes that fans are begging to watch play the sport.

The idea that the majors need LIV players more than the players need majors is absurd. Every professional golfer’s career is defined by their performance in major championships.

LIV players need to play in the majors for their legacy, not the other way around. Honestly, I hope we can find a way to get all of those players into these tournaments because that’s what’s best for the game of golf.

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