Mickelson claims majors could find new routes to include LIV Golf rebels and bypass rankings

By Sports Desk April 27, 2023

Phil Mickelson expects the four majors to find a way to include the cream of LIV Golf talent even if ranking system chiefs refuse to award points to the breakaway series.

LIV bosses are pushing for the official world golf rankings (OWGR) to award points for its events, but that has yet to come about.

There is no guarantee the situation will change, but Mickelson cannot see how it is in anyone's interest for the majors, golf's pinnacle events, to exclude some of the sport's biggest stars.

His LIV Golf colleague Bryson DeChambeau labelled the rankings "almost obsolete" when he spoke this week in Singapore. He has slipped from inside the top 30 to 178th since committing to LIV, where lucrative sign-up fees and prize money have drawn a host of golf's elite players.

Mickelson and Brooks Koepka, who both defected from the PGA Tour to LIV, finished tied for second at the recent Masters.

Sharp dips in ranking status could mean LIV stars are frozen out from the majors, but there seems likely to be an arrangement reached.

Reflecting on the sport's showpiece occasions and future prospects for LIV players, Mickelson said: "It's going to all iron itself out because if you're one of the majors, if you're the Masters, you're not looking at we should keep these guys out.

"You're saying to yourself, we want to have the best field, we want to have the best players, and these guys added a lot to the tournament this year at the Masters. How do we get them included?

"We have to come up with a qualifying mechanism that is inclusive, and if the world golf ranking isn't going to be inclusive, then they have to find another way.

"Maybe they take the top five or top 10 or winners of LIV, but they're going to have to find a way to get the best LIV players in their field if they want to have the best field in golf and be really what major championship is about. So they're already looking at that.

"If the world golf rankings doesn't find a way to be inclusive, then the majors will just find another way to include LIV because it's no longer a credible way.

"So it will all iron itself out for the simple reason that it's in the best interest of everybody, especially the tournaments, the majors, to have the best players."

The US PGA Championship is coming up in May, followed by the U.S. Open in June and the Open Championship in July.

Meanwhile, the Singapore leg of the controversial, Saudi-backed LIV series begins on Friday.

DeChambeau, a former winner of the U.S. Open, has little time for the ranking system as it stands.

"You should realise that the OWGR is not accurate, one," he said. "Two, I think that they need to come to a resolution, or it will become obsolete. It's pretty much almost obsolete as of right now.

"But again, if the majors and everything continue to have that as their ranking system, then they are biting it quite heavily."

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