FANS WANT U.S.G.A. TO PAIR TIGER & PHIL IN FIRST TWO ROUNDS IN A MAJOR
BOSTON, Mass – Phil Mickelson has finally broken his silence and announced his intention to resume his Hall of Fame career this week at the inaugural LIV Golf Invitational in London June 9-11 and then next week at the U.S. Open in Brookline June 16-19.
Mickelson, 51, made the official announcement June 6, confirming in a lengthy statement posted to his Twitter account that beginning with this week’s $25 million kickoff event in London he will compete in the LIV Golf Series. He plans to compete in all major championships again despite declining the chance to defend his crown in the PGA Championship last month.
“I realize I still have a long way to go but I’m embracing the work ahead,” Mickelson wrote. “I’m ready to come back to play the game I love but after 32 years, this new path is a fresh start, one that is exciting for me at this stage of my career and is clearly transformative, not just for myself, but ideally for the game and my peers. I also love the progressive format and I think it will be exciting for fans. Just as importantly, it will provide balance, allowing me to focus on a healthier approach to life and on and off the course. I am incredibly grateful for what this game and the PGA Tour has given me. I would like to think that I have given back as well but now I’m excited about this new opportunity. I’m thrilled to begin with LIV Golf and I appreciate everyone involved.”
LIV Golf’s inaugural 54-hole, no-cut team event is scheduled for June 9-11 at London’s Centurion Club. But seven more events are set to follow, all of which figure to directly conflict with PGA Tour programming.
“Phil Mickelson is unequivocally one of the greatest golfers of this generation,” LIV Golf’s CEO Greg Norman said in a statement. “His contributions to the sport and connection to fans around the globe cannot be overstated and we are grateful to have him. He strengthens an exciting field for London where we’re proud to launch a new era for golf.”
The Twitter account for the popular golf podcast ‘No Laying Up‘ reported that Mickelson’s major championship plans included the U.S. Open at The Country Club in Brookline, Mass., next week, per a source.
Additionally, we learned that Mickelson could be joined on the circuit by one of his former Ryder Cup partners. It was all but assured that one of the last spots in the field for the LIV Golf Series’ London opener was reserved for Lefty. But a report from the Golf Channel’s Rich Lerner turned up a surprising PGA Tour name — Rickie Fowler.
Lerner tweeted the news Monday. “Rickie and Phil to LIV imminent,” he wrote. “How will the PGA Tour respond? The USGA? Chatter consuming the sport.”
It doesn’t appear Fowler, 33, will be ready to tee it up in London, as Mickelson and five additional players who qualified for the event are set to occupy the remaining six spots in the 48-man field. Fowler seemed to be wrestling with the decision to defect in recent weeks, and on a recent episode of the Full Send Podcast, he confirmed he was conflicted.
“I haven’t ruled it out,” Fowler said. “I don’t know what it would take to commit. I still believe the PGA Tour is the best place to play. And I would love to see it continue, but I do think there’s stuff that could change or evolve.”
While his performance has regressed in recent seasons, dropping him well outside the top 100 in the Official World Golf Ranking, Fowler remains young and marketable. He is well-liked by his peers, a few of whom have been critical of Mickelson.
If Fowler joins LIV Golf, Mickelson and Fowler are marquee names in a group headlined by Dustin Johnson, who reportedly is receiving $125 million to participate. An unconfirmed report states Mickelson will receive in the region of $150 million for taking part in the LIV Golf series. https://www.golfmagic.com/liv-golf/phil-mickelson-will-compete-saudi-backed-liv-golf-event-london
Other top players include Louis Oosthuizen, Sergio Garcia, Martin Kaymer, Ian Poulter and Kevin Na, who announced his resignation from the PGA Tour last week.
Coverage of this week’s inaugural event from London in the LIV Golf Invitational Series will be streamed on the organization’s website https://www.livgolf.com/v as well as on YouTube and Facebook.