'LIV Golf is here to stay' - Mickelson confident PGA Tour's domination is over

By Sports Desk September 17, 2022

Phil Mickelson is convinced the LIV Golf Invitational Series is "here to stay" and the PGA Tour's dominance has come to an end.

The 52-year-old is one of several high-profile players to move from the PGA Tour to the new controversial Saudi-backed LIV Golf, including Bryson DeChambeau and Open champion Cameron Smith.

The PGA Tour has been rocked by LIV Golf's emergence and since introduced numerous changes to retain players, such as increasing purses and encouraging its biggest names to play together more often. It has also suspended defectors from its tournaments.

But Mickelson believes the PGA Tour will have to come to terms with losing players to LIV Golf, telling reporters: "The PGA Tour, for the last 20 or 30 years have had all the best players in the world.

"That will never be the case again. LIV Golf is here to stay."

The bitter dispute led to some defectors suing their former tour, but Mickelson believes cooperation between the two rival tours would be beneficial for the sport.

"The best solution is for us to come together," added Mickelson after a two-under-par opening round of the ongoing LIV Golf tournament in Chicago.

"I think that the world of professional golf has a need for the old historical 'history of the game' product that the PGA Tour provides. I think that LIV provides a really cool, updated feel that is attracting a lot younger crowds.

"Both are good for the game of golf and the inclusion of LIV Golf in the ecosystem of the golf world is necessary. As soon as that happens, we all start working together. It's going to be a really positive thing for everyone."

Related items

  • Stats that defined November on PGA Tour: Year of Finau rolls on, Svensson nabs first win Stats that defined November on PGA Tour: Year of Finau rolls on, Svensson nabs first win

    It's officially Tony Finau's world. The rest of us are just living in it.

    The 33-year-old continued his winning ways last month at the Cadence Bank Houston Open, steam rolling the competition en-route to a four-shot victory. It was his third PGA Tour victory over his last 30 starts after the Utah native won just once in his first 185 tournaments.

    "This is definitely the most all parts of my game have been clicking, but I would say I've played a lot of good golf for a while," Finau said afterward. "I didn't have a lot of wins to show for it, but I've pieced together a game and that's what you have to do out here.

    "I feel like I've been a very solid player for a long time, but it's exciting for me that I'm getting better and that's all I can ask of myself is try and get better in the areas that I really need to.

    "And then remember why you are where you are. I think I don't go too far away from the DNA of my game and how I see the game and I think I'm kind of bearing the fruits of how I see the game now and I'm able to hit the shots that I can see, which is pretty cool."

    The DNA of Finau's game has been easy to identify – putting and driving. Simple enough, right?

    At the Houston Open, Finau finished with a 75 percent driving accuracy for the week, the fourth time in his five TOUR wins he's accomplished that feat.

    Amazingly, it was the worst percentage among all his recent victories – he finished with a 76.8 percent accuracy at this year's 3M Open, a 78.6 percent accuracy at the 2021 FedEx St. Jude Championship, and a career-best 82.1 percent accuracy at the Rocket Mortgage Classic earlier this summer.

    "Probably the best driving week I've had in my career, at least that's how I felt,” Finau said. "For the first time in my career I hit all 13 fairways, 100 percent of fairways in regulation. I've never done that in my career, so definitely drove the ball.

  • Woods hails 'true leader' McIlroy after dramatic PGA Tour season and LIV Golf battle Woods hails 'true leader' McIlroy after dramatic PGA Tour season and LIV Golf battle

    Tiger Woods has hailed Rory McIlroy's leadership on the PGA Tour, after a busy year that saw the Northern Irishman impress on and off the course.

    McIlroy has led the fight against the LIV Golf breakaway across 2022, while he has also returned to number one in the world rankings.

    Woods echoed McIlroy's calls for LIV chief Greg Norman to step down earlier this week, in order to help heal golf's bitter civil war.

    Now though, the 15-time major winner has expressed his wholehearted admiration for his fellow tour favourite, highlighting the respect he commands among his fellow players.

    "What Rory has said and done are what leaders do," Woods said.

    "Rory is a true leader out here on tour.

    "The fact he's able to get things in the public eye, be so clear-minded and eloquent with it, [and then] go out there and win tournaments on top of that, people have no idea how hard that is, to be able to separate those two things.

    "He's been fantastic. He's a great leader in our calls we make, and he's a great leader with all the players out here.

    "Everyone respects him, and they respect him because not just his ball-striking, his driving, but the person he is."

    Woods also assuaged McIlroy's earlier fears that he had given him COVID-19 on the eve of the Open Championship earlier this year, after the latter made the disclosure in an interview.

    "I got tested," he added. "I was always negative. I was feeling under the weather, yes, but I never got a positive test."

    Woods and McIlroy are set to partner each other in The Match later this month, with the former hoping to be fit after his withdrawal from the Hero World Challenge this week with a foot problem.

  • Woods calls for Norman exit from LIV Golf to help PGA Tour reconciliation Woods calls for Norman exit from LIV Golf to help PGA Tour reconciliation

    Tiger Woods has become the latest major figure on the PGA Tour to say LIV Golf's Greg Norman must leave to allow peace to break out as the sport's civil war persists.

    The 15-time major winner has backed up world number one Rory McIlroy's comments for the Australian to stand down in order to help heal the divide.

    Norman, the CEO and face of the Saudi-funded breakaway tour, has been a prominent figure amid a bitter split in golf, with several of the world's leading players defecting to the rival series and with lawsuits between both parties.

    McIlroy already said the chance of a compromise between both tours was unlikely as long as Norman remained in place, and now Woods has echoed his words.

    "I see that there's an opportunity out there if both organisations put a stay on their litigation, but that's the problem, they've got to put a stay on it," Woods stated ahead of the Hero World Challenge.

    "Whether or not they do that or not, there's no willingness to negotiate if you have a litigation against you.

    "So if they both have a stay and then have a break, and then they can meet and figure something out, then maybe there is something to be had.

    "But I think Greg has to go, first of all, and then obviously litigation against us and then our counter-suit against them, those would then have to be at a stay as well. Then we can talk, we can all talk freely."

    Woods was set to play in the Hero World Challenge this week, but he withdrew after developing a foot problem.

    He is still set to partner McIlroy at The Match later this month and then play with son Charlie at the PNC Championship.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.