Sign up for our daily newsletter

Latest news, reviews, analysis and opinion, plus unmissable deals for bunkered subscriptions, events, and our commercial partners.

Phil Mickelson receives more online abuse than any other professional golfer, a new study has revealed.

Mickelson was heckled on site during the US Open at the Los Angeles Country Club last week, with a man wearing a sombrero hitting out at the six-time major champion for his affiliation with LIV Golf.

The heckler was eventually removed after a sustained rant as he mouthed off at the 53-year-old from the grandstands during his final hole of his first round.

Mickelson became a golfing pariah last year following his infamous inflammatory comments amid his defection from the PGA Tour to sign a lucrative deal with the fledgling LIV series backed by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund.

He has received huge backlash over his standing in the game over the past 18 months and much of the discontent with his decisions has extended into abuse on social media platforms.

The divisive Mickelson, who has been prominent on Twitter defending LIV’s cause in their pursuit of ranking points and other matters, generates the most negative sentiment on the platform.

That’s according to Ace Odds, an online betting calculator which analysed tweets from January 2022 to June 2023, perhaps the most fractious period in golf’s long history.

Results show 60% of the tweets aimed at Mickelson are negative, with fellow LIV rebels Patrick Reed and Bryson DeChambeau both generating 55% of negative sentiment.

• US shock jock blasts Rickie Fowler

• Ryder Cup stars will ‘get over it’ if LIV golfers return

Rickie Fowler is the first non-LIV player on the study and is said to receive 55% of negative comments online.

The top six players who receive the most negative players are all American, with major champions Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka both receiving 45% unwelcome comments.

Other players in the top 10 on the list include Jason Day, Tyrrell Hatton and Jordan Spieth.

It was also found that LIV’s top six performers at the US Open received 46% negative sentiment on average, whilst 25% of the 19 highest-ranked PGA Tour stars took the same flak.

Mickelson, meanwhile, is yet to give his full verdict on the PGA Tour’s ambiguous so-called merger with the Saudi Public Investment Fund that has bankrolled the LIV enterprise.

He tweeted “awesome day today” on June 6 when the bombshell announcement dropped, but remained tight-lipped on the matter during the build up to last week’s US Open.

Mickelson missed the cut in Los Angeles, carding a four-over par 74 on Friday after an encouraging one-under 69 in his first round.

author headshot

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.

More Reads

Image Turnberry green

The bunkered Golf Course Guide - Scotland

Now, with bunkered, you can discover the golf courses Scotland has to offer. Trust us, you will not be disappointed.

Find Courses