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Phil Mickelson has warned the majors that they will have no choice but to “answer to sponsors” when “more great players” join LIV Golf.

The prospective merger between the PGA Tour and the Saudi Public Investment Fund which bankrolls LIV has not stopped the breakaway league coaxing more big names from the traditional circuits.

Uncertainty still reigns over a deal that would bring the sport’s warring factions together, and in the meantime, LIV are forging ahead with plans for the 2025 season.

Having already made a big statement of intent with the capture of two-time Masters champion Jon Rahm, it is understood that commissioner Greg Norman is targeting more PGA Tour stars to replace out-of-contract LIV players at the end of the season.

• 11 LIV Golf stars who have skipped US Open qualifying

• Golfer, 61, quit the game for 20 years – now he’s in a major!

As it stands, however, there is not an easy route for LIV players into major championships – a sticking point for potential new signings.

Without access to world ranking points on Norman’s start-up, more LIV players are in danger of missing out on the career-defining tournaments.

Talor Gooch, for example, was LIV’s individual champion in 2023 but has now slipped below 600th in the rankings and is currently ineligible for all the majors in 2024.

Plenty of LIV stars are calling for the majors to find a way of including LIV players, and Mickelson believes the influx of more signings will soon force the hand of the authorities.

“Maybe some LIV players won’t be missed,” Mickelson wrote in a now-deleted post on X.

• Greg Norman: ‘LIV Golf will be around long after his death’

• LIV Golf star claims tour switch has ignited major dream

“But what if NONE of the LIV players played? Would they be missed? What about next year when more great players join? Or the following year? At some point they will care and will have to answer to sponsors and television. FAAFO.”

Mickelson, meanwhile, is eligible for the majors until 2026 after securing a five-year exemption with his famous victory at the 2021 PGA Championship.

However, before his T22 finish at this week’s LIV event in Singapore, the six-time major champion gave the clearest indication yet that he is edging towards retirement.

“I’m 53 now and my career, you know, if I’m being truthful it’s toward its end,” he told Bloomberg TV. “Now, I would like to help others find the same enjoyment and fulfilment that the game of golf has provided me.

“There are moments when you are on a golf course alone and you have that solitude, or you could also be with family and friends having a good time or competing in a club championship or junior event or at the highest level and feeling that competition.

“All of that creates such fulfilment, whether you’re practising on your own or with friends. There’s so many great things about the game of golf and I would love others to experience those things.”

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Ben Parsons joined bunkered as a Content Producer in 2023 and is the man to come to for all of the latest news, across both the professional and amateur games. Formerly of The Mirror and Press Association, he is a member at Halifax Golf Club and is a long-suffering fan of both Manchester United and the Wales rugby team.

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