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The LIV Golf League is exactly what Rory McIlroy needs, reckons Phil Mickelson.

However, the six-time major champion says that, even in the highly unlikely event that the Irishman ever did want to join, there is no team in the Saudi-funded enterprise that would want him.

Mickelson made the extraordinary claims on social media in response to a follower’s suggestion that McIlroy might wish to consider joining Brooks Koepka’s Smash GC.

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Koepka is understood to be a man light on his roster following reports that Matthew Wolff was cut following last weekend’s event in Washington DC.

Chris McKee (@mrmckee) wrote: “The more Rory McIlroy speaks lately, the more he validates everything Phil Mickelson said about playing less golf & having an offseason etc and how it will improve the play of the world’s best. Can someone let Rory’s agent know there is an open spot on @SmashGC?”

That drew this withering reply from Mickelson.

“As worn out as McIroy [sic] was after the Maasters and his need for an off season, LIV would be perfect for him. Problem is I don’t think there’s a team that wants him on it because they’d have to deal with all his bs.”

McIlroy and Mickelson are diametrically opposed in their views about the future of men’s professional golf.

The former has been one of the most regular and outspoken critics of the Norman-fronted circuit, whilst Mickelson is arguably its most high-profile figure.

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McIlroy was filmed shouting “F**k you, Phil!” during an episode of Netflix golf docuseries ‘Full Swing’. Last August, the former world No.1 acknowledged that grievances aired by Mickelson in the lead-up to his defection to LIV were justified but added that he “just didn’t approach it the right way.”

McIlroy is currently playing in the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village with Mickelson’s next appearance expected to be the US Open in just under a fortnight’s time.


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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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