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The courtoom battle between LIV Golf and the PGA Tour might still be a year away but Phil Mickelson’s personal beef with the US-based circuit continues.

The six-time major champion’s frustrations with the PGA Tour are widely known.

Speaking to Golf Digest before his defection to LIV, the 51-year-old accused of the circuit of “obnoxious” greed and claimed it was sitting on “hundreds of millions of digital moments”.

Since jumping ship, Mickelson has largely kept his powder dry and cut somewhat of a sad, apologetic figure during a media grilling at the inaugural event near London.

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However, with the Saudi-funded series now four events deep, it appears he has rediscovered his voice.

Speaking during the most recent tournament, staged in Boston over the weekend, Mickelson was asked if he felt ‘vindicated’ for sharing his frustrations following the PGA Tour’s decision to dramatically increase prize money and bonuses for its players from next season.

“I feel happy for the guys, that they have a voice and they’re being valued and they’re being heard,” said Mickelson. 

“Changes are being implemented to show that appreciation, because that hasn’t been the case, and it hasn’t had to be the case because there was no other option and no leverage.

“Now they’re being heard and things are changing. So things have gotten better for everybody in professional golf and I believe for the fans, too, because they’re seeing golf in a different environment with LIV. 

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“The tour is bringing their best players together more often. LIV is moving professional golf throughout the world. LIV is adding a team aspect, which is different. They’re adding a different viewership to watch golf without commercials and shot after shot.”

So far, so nice. But there was a barb coming…

“I think the fans are getting a lot of benefit out of this, and all golfers, all professional golfers are getting a lot of benefit,” he added. “The guys on the tour are playing for a lot more money.

“It’s great that they magically found a couple hundred million; that’s awesome.”


author headshot

Michael McEwan is the Deputy Editor of bunkered and has been part of the team since 2004. In that time, he has interviewed almost every major figure within the sport, from Jack Nicklaus, to Rory McIlroy, to Donald Trump. The host of the multi award-winning bunkered Podcast and a member of Balfron Golfing Society, Michael is the author of three books and is the 2023 PPA Scotland 'Writer of the Year' and 'Columnist of the Year'. Dislikes white belts, yellow balls and iron headcovers. Likes being drawn out of the media ballot to play Augusta National.

Deputy Editor

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