Phil Mickelson Masters practice round. Phil Mickelson tees off on the 18th hole during a practice round for The Masters golf tournament at the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia, on April 4, 2023. Pga The Masters Practice Round

Despite not being recognized by the Official World Golf Rankings, 18 LIV golfers competed in the Masters earlier this month. Now, those in the Saudi-backed venture, like Phil Mickelson, are arguing that there needs to be more inclusivity for major tournaments.

Some LIV golfers have secure invitations to different majors for a while. Past winners of the Masters and PGA Championship have lifetime invitations to those events. Past champions can play in the Open Championship until they’re 60. A winner of any major carries a 5-year exemption into the others. But for the most part, LIV players are running out of ways to qualify.

LIV events are not recognized in the Official World Golf Rankings. And with the members not playing in any non-majors, LIV golfers will be largely shut out of major competition quickly unless something changes.

That doesn’t sit right with Mickelson.

The six-time major champion said that the World Golf Rankings will lose credibility if they don’t find a way to be inclusive and get some of the best LIV players in their field.

“It’s going to all iron itself out because if you’re one of the majors, if you’re the Masters, you’re not looking at, we should keep these guys out,” Mickelson said via on Wednesday ahead of LIV Golf Singapore. “You’re saying to yourself, we want to have the best field, we want to have the best players, and these guys added a lot to the tournament this year at the Masters.”

“They’re going to have to find a way to get the best LIV players in their field if they want to have the best field in golf and be really what major championship is about,” Mickelson said. “If the World Golf Rankings doesn’t find a way to be inclusive, then the majors will just find another way to include LIV because it’s no longer a credible way.

“So it will all iron itself out for the simple reason that it’s in the best interest of everybody, especially the tournaments, the majors, to have the best players.”

It remains to be seen what other avenues will be taken, but right now, LIV Golf’s application for world-ranking points is still under review.


About Sam Neumann

Since the beginning of 2023, Sam has been a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. A 2021 graduate of Temple University, Sam is a Charlotte native, who currently calls Greenville, South Carolina his home. He also has a love/hate relationship with the New York Mets and Jets.