July 16, 2024
Phil Mickelson

He wasn’t too pleased with the PGA Tour in 2022. What was the rationale behind Lefty’s feelings? Well, the 54-year-old had dished out one too many, with his primary one being related to the limited media rights of PGA Tour Pros. Even so, he was receptive to the merger while celebrating the “awesome day” when the framework agreement was announced. But as times change, so does Phil Mickelson. The golfer, come June 2024, was spotted mentioning how LIV Golf’s presence has changed things in the sport. He even pointed out how the merger was ‘not necessary’.

“We have elevated events every week out here on LIV,” said Mickelson in an interview with Bloomberg, as per The Mirror. He also mentioned how the current situation on the PGA Tour was changing, all thanks to the PIF-funded circuit. “We have equity, and we have the ability to use our social media platforms however we want to promote the game. This is starting to change now, and is changing on the PGA Tour.”
Phil Mickelson
The HyFlyers GC skipper was alluding to the recent happenings on the circuit, with Jay Monahan rolling out eight elevated events, providing a prize purse of $20 million per contest. Moreover, the deal that the league had with SSG led to the formation of the PGA TOUR Enterprises. This, in turn, allowed players to receive a portion of the revenue through the ‘Player Equity Program,’ similar to how LIV players hold ownership in the 13 teams.

Amidst all of these developments, the talks for the deal between PIF and the PGA Tour are still ongoing. Mickelson is now beginning to question the necessity of the entire process. “Is it necessary that there is a merger? Probably not,” said the golfer. “But it would be a good thing if there was not any hostility.”

The 54-year-old was hopeful that the situation would become much better for the whole sport, even if there was no merger. “I need to let that stuff go,” he added. “I need to let go of all of those experiences I have had in the past that were less than positive… of my hostilities, and we all do for the better of the game.” The professional seemed to be referring to the remarks he made about the men’s circuit two years ago.

Phil Mickelson’s anti-PGA Tour comments in 2022
Mickelson shared his thoughts on the Jay Monahan-led circuit with Golf Digest in February 2022. He highlighted how player freedom is restricted by the league when he said, “The players don’t have access to their own media. If the Tour wanted to end any threat, they could just hand back the media rights to the players… There are many issues, but that is one of the biggest.”

The golfer then recounted his experiences playing in ‘The Match’. Apparently, the LIV Golf Pro had to pay the circuit money to receive his own rights for the event. “When I did ‘The Match’ – there have been five of them – the tour forced me to pay them $1 million each time. For my own media rights. That type of greed is, to me, beyond obnoxious.”

The HyFlyers GC skipper has even used many words to denote the men’s circuit, including “manipulative, coercive,” and “obnoxiously greedy,” as per Alan Shipnuck. Despite his past, he appears to have changed his ways and reached out to the PGA Tour. But whether Monahan will accept it remains to be seen!

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