When LIV Golf first began targeting PGA Tour stars to defect over to the new Saudi-backed league, golf superstar Phil Mickelson was one of the first big names to jump ship and join the new league with after promises of a massive cash payment. And it’s safe to say he does not regret that decision.
LIV Golf gets plenty of hate from the golf community, but Phil Mickelson defended the Saudi-backed tour this week, claiming it was the best way to prepare for golf’s major championships.
“Love LIV or hate it, it’s the best way/Tour to be your best in the majors. Enough events to keep you sharp, fresh and ready, yet not be worn down from too many tournaments or obligations. 14 LIV events, 34 weeks left open to prepare for the 4 majors. Fact,” Phil Mickelson said in a tweet.
Love LIV or hate it, it’s the best way/Tour to be your best in the majors. Enough events to keep you sharp, fresh and ready, yet not be worn down from too many tournaments or obligations. 14 LIV events, 34 weeks left open to prepare for the 4 majors. Fact.
— Phil Mickelson (@PhilMickelson) May 23, 2023
It’s a pretty bold claim, and the golf world had plenty to say about it on social media with plenty pointing out that while this may technically be true, eventually most LIV Golf athletes won’t have enough OWGR points to be eligible for major tournaments.
Next we should cancel NFL and NBA regular season!
World Cup? Go straight to the tournament!
The rest is just nonsense!
No one wants to watch the best athletes play against each other in a various locations under different circumstances!
— Nikhil Verma, MD (Insert Check Mark) (@DrNVSportsSpine) May 23, 2023
Maybe for those who are already established major champions. Your league's intransigence WRT OWGR eligibility ensures that the guys who are not yet major-tested never will be. A goofy format ensures that the other 40 guys will never get enough points to ever sniff a major. Fact https://t.co/CXXReaqaeK
— Howard M. Burgers 🍔 (@HMBurgerz) May 23, 2023
Imagine if the Harlem Globetrotters poached LeBron and Steph Curry from the NBA, quadrupled their salaries, and played 20 exhibition games around the world before returning refreshed for the NBA Playoffs.
Surely NBA fans would embrace the load management. Fact. https://t.co/qoDzRWl4Dj
— John Haslbauer (@PGATout) May 23, 2023
Imagine being Phil and not acknowledging that most LIV golfers won't be eligible for majors soon because of OWGR points 😂 https://t.co/Y6q0wEV6Qb
— Pedro Pantilones (@golfingpanti) May 23, 2023
But it's absolutely not a fact though is it?
It's great if you're old, have injuries, like to prepare more than play
If you're a player who likes lots of tournament golf then no, it's not the best place
Not like Phil to go over the top is it? https://t.co/tERhZevm44
— Paul Higham (@SportsPaulH) May 23, 2023
There's always moving targets with LIV. Just play where you want, man. I'm so tired of the tour wars. https://t.co/PlzxIXv03z
— Mark (@markymarky42) May 23, 2023
Mickelson himself has seen some success at major tournaments since joining LIV, finishing in second at this year’s Masters. Additionally, fellow LIV Golfer Brookes Koepka became the first LIV Golf athlete to win a major championship this weekend when he claimed victory at the 105th PGA Championship at Oak Hill Country Club on Sunday.