Although the golf tour battles are still raging, Phil Mickelson, a LIV Golf commit, feels a victor has already been chosen, and he is on the winning team.
At a raucous press conference on Thursday at the LIV Golf tournament in Saudi Arabia, Phil Mickelson vigorously defended his new tour’s home ground from the podium.
“I firmly believe that I’m on the winning side of how things are going to evolve and shape in the coming years for professional golf,” Mickelson said. “I love the way they involve us and listen to us in decisions. I mean it’s so inclusive, it’s so fluid that things, LIV Golf is leading. Whether it’s shorts, whether it’s other aspects of professional golf that are going to change and evolve, those positions will be led by LIV.”
Mickelson’s remarks come as the nine-event LIV Invitational Series, a type of beta test for the next full-time league that is anticipated to begin in earnest in 2023, in which the Saudi-backed upstart league is taking part, enters its final stretch. The competition in Jeddah this week is the season’s last pure stroke-play competition; Miami will host the season’s last “team championship” the last week of October.
In his debut season with LIV, Mickelson has had difficulty on the course, with only one top-10 result in seven outings in the 48-man, no-cut events. Personal success, however, has nothing to do with awards, according to Mickelson, especially given the direction of professional golf, in his opinion.
“I see LIV Golf trending upwards, I see the PGA Tour trending downwards,” he said. “I love the side that I’m on. And I love how I feel. I love how I’m reinvigorated and excited to play golf and compete. I love the experience. I love the way they treat us.”
That’s a ton of support for Phil, who has, without a doubt, had no qualms in expressing his anger with his former job. The conflict between the upstart and the establishment was started by Mickelson back in January when he accused the PGA Tour of abusing players by hiding billions of dollars in digital assets from them, among other alleged misdeeds.
The PGA Tour, where Mickelson had enjoyed a lifetime membership, has subsequently placed him on an indefinite suspension.
“There were a lot of opportunities that were left open for somebody to come in and do this,” Mickelson said. “I think that, as I said earlier, for a long, long time, my 30 years on the PGA Tour, pretty much all the best players played on the PGA Tour, at least for the last 20 years. That will never be the case again. I think going forward you have to pick a side. You have to pick what side do you think is going to be successful.”
Mickelson joined a group of LIV Golf players who were fighting the PGA Tour earlier this summer in order to save their membership. Since dropping the lawsuit, he has advocated for the two parties to come to an agreement to determine the best course of action. But if the press conference on Thursday is anything to go by, it’s obvious whose side Mickelson believes to be in the driver’s seat.
“We play against a lot of the best players in the world on LIV and there are a lot of the best players in the world on the PGA Tour,” he said. “Until both sides sit down and have a conversation and work something out, both sides are going to continue to change and evolve.”
Original article posted on Golf.com
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