Phil Mickelson on the 7th green during the second round of the U.S. Open golf tournament at Los Angeles Country Club. Jun 16, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA; Phil Mickelson on the 7th green during the second round of the U.S. Open golf tournament at Los Angeles Country Club. Mandatory Credit: Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports

Unofficially, Phil Mickelson has become the spokesman for LIV Golf. He was one of the first golfers to leave the PGA Tour to join LIV Golf, kickstarting a ton of controversy.

Mickelson has certainly made a lot of money since coming over to LIV, but it may have come at the cost of his reputation.

Several current and former PGA golfers have called out Mickelson over the years for what they feel was a betrayal and lack of loyalty towards the Tour that helped him build his legacy.

One of those golfers is Eddie Pepperell, who plays on the European Tour. Pepperell says that Mickelson’s reputation has been tarnished since joining LIV Golf.

“This is all about money. Anyone involved with LIV that tries to say otherwise is just lying. Phil would never have gone for $20 million, he would never have gone for free,” Pepperell said in a recent interview.

Pepperell continued to say that he believed Mickelson left because he wanted to make changes in the PGA and it was easier to go to LIV Golf for the money and to make those changes internally.

“I know he wanted to make changes to the PGA Tour and he was probably quite right in some of those changes that he’d have liked to have seen, but let’s be honest, if LIV had said you can still make those changes and come and play for us for $15 million or for free or even £40 million, he probably would’ve said no,” he said. “So, it was always about money and the fact of the matter is, the Saudis could meet almost all of his demands and then some.”

But in the overall scheme of things, it still boils down to money for Mickelson and the other golfers.

“As far as I’m concerned, somebody like Phil in particular, I would consider him a mercenary in all of this, and in my mind, his legacy is practically tarnished. I love Phil Mickelson and people like him, I respect them greatly, but the same goes for Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter,’ he added.

Many golf fans became upset with Mickelson not because he left for another league, but because he went for a league backed by a country that has harmed the United States. Some see Mickelson and the other golfers who followed him as traitors and greedy.

Pepperell echoed those sentiments too.

“These are influential figures who like I said, have chosen their own bank accounts and their own personal increase in wealth above all else and that’s not something I fundamentally admire, nor respect and that’s how I feel. I think that’s how a lot of people feel when you see the eyewatering sums being thrown around,” he said. “We are still in the time of certain excesses for sure in society, but there’s also a lot of hardship out there, and when you’re trying to engage good feelings from the fans and the consumers, this is not the way to do it.”

{National Club Golfer}

About Stacey Mickles

Stacey is a 1995 graduate of the University of Alabama who has previously worked for other publications such as Sportskeeda and Saturday Down South.