On the eve of LIV Golf’s fourth event of the season this weekend just outside of Boston, Phil Mickelson took some time to dish on the recent moves on the PGA Tour.
Mickelson, the first domino to fall in the now months-long feud between the two leagues, told longtime golf writer Bob Harig that while he was “happy” to see the recent changes, he declined to go as far to say that he feels “vindicated.”
“I don’t think vindication is what I would say,” Mickelson explained. “I would say I’m generally happy that the top players who are really driving the Tour and creating the interest are being listened to. And what they are doing for the Tour is being valued now. I’m happy to see that happen.’”
In a wide-ranging interview, Lefty touched on the recent developments on the PGA Tour – a direct result of mounting pressure from Greg Norman’s rival league.
Mickelson: Not vindicated by recent PGA Tour changes
Some of the changes will include bigger payouts, “elevated events” with at least a $20 million purse, doubling the PGA’s Player Impact Program’s budget and guaranteeing a ‘league minimum of $500,000 per player.
Mickelson said several players have reached out to him in the days since he left for LIV. He believes they wanted to show their “appreciation” for what he called a “major disruption” in the world of golf.
“I think players on both sides of LIV and the PGA Tour are appreciative of what is happening. Every player is benefiting,” Mickelson said. “We’ve made some major disruption to the sport of golf and have created some really unique opportunities for players and fans. And we’re just getting started.”
Mickelson added that he doesn’t think any of the four Majors will bar LIV golfers. He called the leaders of those respective events “brilliant” people who wouldn’t want to hurt the game of golf.
Lefty also confirmed that he absolutely plans to be at The Masters in April after missing this year’s event.
“I believe wholeheartedly I’ll be at Augusta,” he said. “I thought my conversations with (Masters chairman) Fred Ridley (last spring) – which I will keep between us – were extremely classy. I have the utmost respect for him and the leaders of the majors.”
“There’s been, to date, no threat at all. I’m not saying that couldn’t change. I just don’t see how that could benefit anybody. I believe they are wise enough and great leaders who can see that.’’