Phil Mickelson said he’s heard about the current upheaval in the sport and the changes it brings from “many” professional golfers on LIV Golf and the PGA Tour.
“I think players on both sides of the LIV and the PGA Tour appreciate what’s going on,” Mickelson, 52, told Sports Illustrated in an interview published Thursday. “Every player benefits from it. … There is no influence. There is no other option.”
PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan announced last week that the PGA Tour’s top players have committed to 20 events starting in 2023, including 13 high-level events with an average prize pool of $20 million.
“I’m very happy that the top players are being heard and their opinions are being taken seriously. And these events are happening,” Mickelson said.
However, Mickelson is no longer involved in the discussions. After 30 years, his PGA Tour membership was suspended and other players joined LIV Golf. He was one of those suspended golfers who filed an antitrust lawsuit against the PGA Tour.
“My commitment right now is LIV,” Mickelson told Sports Illustrated. “We’ve done some major disruption to the game of golf and created some very unique opportunities for players and fans. We’re just getting started.
“I would say I’m happy that the top players who are really driving the tour and creating interest are being heard. What they’re doing for the tour is being valued now. I’m happy to see that happen.”
Mickelson said he doesn’t think the PGA Tour’s new direction is “the right one.” He said he had discussed the issue several times with former commissioner Tim Finchem, then Monaghan — “it’s interesting, there are some parallels,” he said.
Instead, Mickelson said everyone would benefit from the clash between the two tours.
“Nothing will change unless there is influence,” Mickelson told SI. “All players should be thankful for what LIV is doing. Players on LIV because they get their chance. And the PGA Tour [golfers]The leverage provided to accomplish these changes.
“I think any big change is going to be disruptive. LIV is disruptive. There’s no doubt about it. I think in the end, everything is going to be the way it should be. I think it might be worth it wherever we are in the process.”
He later added: “I think we’re in a period of grace before everything resolves itself. I’m sure it will come in time. I’m sure the groups will come together in time and find a solution. There’s a lot of upside, especially in the globally.”
The six-time major champion said he “wholeheartedly” wants to play in the 2023 Masters after missing the Masters this year in addition to the PGA Championship. Mickelson also said he doesn’t think the majors will ban those who switch to LIV Golf from playing.
“I believe with all my heart that I will be at Augusta [in 2023]Mickelson told SI. “I have a lot of respect for it.” [Masters chairman Fred Ridley] and professional leadership. So far, there has been no threat at all. I’m not saying it can’t be changed. I just don’t see how this would benefit anyone. I believe they are smart enough to be great leaders who can see this. “
Mickelson added: “I’m sure they understand how the absence of many of the top players in the world can ruin their game. And how that’s going to hurt the game of golf.”