Phil Mickelson's controversial comments that emerged in February led to a collection of leading PGA Tour stars pulling out of the Super Golf League – now officially called the LIV Golf Invitational Series – according to CEO Greg Norman.

Mickelson is the biggest name to have signed up to the Saudi Arabian-backed breakaway league, which begins in London next month.

But Mickelson "hurt" LIV Golf, Norman says, when he gave an interview in November that was reported earlier this year just as the series planned to launch.

Mickelson said Saudi Arabia has "a horrible record on human rights" but added he was willing to commit to the league as it was "a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reshape how the PGA Tour operates".

The new league had already been widely criticised by several of Mickelson's fellow stars, and further big names – including some reportedly targeted by LIV Golf – denounced it in the days that followed.

Although the league is now ready to start in June, LIV Golf chief Norman has revealed the damage done by Mickelson's comments.

"There's no question it hurt," Norman, a two-time winner of The Open, told ESPN. "It hurt a lot of aspects.

"It hurt the PGA Tour. It hurt us. It hurt the game of golf. It hurt Phil. So, yeah, across all fronts. It wasn't just specifically to us. But it definitely created negative momentum against us.

"Quite honestly, we were ready to launch on the Tuesday or Wednesday of Genesis. We had enough players in our strength of field, or minimal viable product, ready to come on board.

"And when all of that happened, everybody got the jitters, and the PGA Tour threatened people with lifetime bans and stuff like that."

Norman added some players "gave back their money and got out", but Mickelson has requested a release from the PGA Tour to play in London, having last appeared at the Saudi International on the Asian Tour prior to the publication of his interview.

"[Mickelson] is always going to have an open door," Norman added. "It's going to be his decision, his decision only.

"He's got a few things he has to work out himself, obviously, with the PGA Tour and where he wants to go with them and how he wants to go with them.

"I can't read Phil's mind because I haven't spoken with him.

"From our perspective, I'm always going to be consistent in that I respect Phil. I respect what he's done for the game of golf, and he's always going to have an open door to any golf tournament he wants to go play as far as I'm concerned."

Jon Rahm said his Sunday round with Tiger Woods at the Masters hammered home the lessons he needed to win the Mexico Open.

World number two Rahm shot all four rounds in the 60s, holding on down the stretch at 17 under to win by one stroke ahead of the fast-finishing duo of Tony Finau and Brandon Wu, who both shot 63 on Sunday.

The win was the Spaniard's first since the 2021 U.S. Open, with second place in January's Sentry Tournament of Champions and a tie for third in the Farmers Insurance Open his best results this season.

Speaking to the media after his triumph, Rahm highlighted lessons he took from playing his final round at Augusta National last month with Woods, who made a remarkable turn to elite-level golf at the major.

"I think that Sunday with Tiger at Augusta gave me quite a bit of confidence," Rahm told a news conference. "I was a little bit technical in my approach – a little too technical. 

"I'm a feel player, and that Sunday I told myself 'just go out there and hit the golf ball'. Make shots, make the swings you want to make, see the ball flight and execute. 

"I shot a three under, not having my best stuff, on a tough day, so I applied the same thing this week."

Rahm also touched on his desire to have a win at Vidanta, after a number of close calls at Chapultepec for the WGC-Mexico Championship, and how the game has grown in the country.

"I was close to winning at Chapultapec a couple times – I had a chance – but I didn't quite get it done," he said. "I knew I could get it done. I came this week wanting to [get a win in Mexico]. 

"I've spoken at length about the importance of Seve [Ballesteros] and his impact on the game of golf and how I play because of him. 

"Nowadays we have a much bigger reach, the PGA Tour has become a bigger tour, and with social media, we're worldwide stars, bigger than they were in the past. 

"I feel like I can make some impact in Mexico as well, and Mexico deserves a good event. You can even see golf growing in Mexico as well.  It's a true honour to be able to come here in this first edition of the event to be the champion."

World number two Jon Rahm scored a two-under 69 on Sunday to hold on for a one-shot victory at the Mexico Open.

Rahm's last win came at the US Open in 2021 at Torrey Pines, and it showed as the 27-year-old pumped his fist after holing his par putt on the 18th at the Vidanta course.

There was a sense of relief for the Spaniard, with only one tournament win out of seven times on the PGA Tour where he came into the final day with at least a share of the lead.

With scores of 64, 66, 68 and 69 over the four days, Rahm kept it steady after setting the initial marker after 18 holes, but he still had to deliver when it counted.

After bogeying the par-four 10th for the third consecutive day, there was a four-way tie for the lead as Rahm came to the 14th hole.

He eventually birdied for the third consecutive day on the 14th, despite leaving himself with a tricky left-to-right putt for the up-and-down.

Not dropping a shot for the rest of round, Rahm finished a stroke clear on 17-under for the tournament, ahead of Kurt Kitayama, as well as the fast-finishing Tony Finau and Brandon Wu.

Finau and Wu both posted scores of 63 on the final day in Vidanta, both scoring eagles on respective par fives on the 14th and sixth holes.

Finau's last win came in a playoff against Cameron Smith at The Northern Trust in 2021, and after going five-under from the final six holes, it seemed like another playoff could be on the cards.

Rahm kept his nerve however, and held on for his seventh tournament win on the PGA Tour.

In doing so, he overtook Jose Maria Olazabal (six) for the third-most Tour wins by a Spaniard.

World number two Jon Rahm maintained his two-stroke lead at the Mexican Open coming into the final round, shooting a three-under 68 in Vallarta on Saturday.

After opening the back nine with a bogey on the par-four 10th hole for the second consecutive round, Rahm recovered with two birdies on the final two par fives, to finish on 15-under after 54 holes.

The 27-year-old has steadied after opening at the Vidanta course with a bogey-free round of seven-under, and has played some measured golf over the opening three rounds, despite not capitalising on opportunities.

He had two eagle chances on the par-five sixth and par-four seventh and settled for birdies and after driving into the water on the 10th, missed a short birdie chance on the par-five 12th.

A precise up-and-down on the 14th gave the Spaniard some momentum, before closing with another birdie on the 18th.

With his last win on the PGA Tour coming at the US Open at Torrey Pines in 2021, final rounds have provided some trouble for Rahm, converting only once out of the seven times he has at least held a share of the lead coming into the final day.

Kurt Kitayama will be hoping to take advantage after shooting a five-under 66 on Saturday, to put him two strokes back in second along with Cameron Champ.

Kitayama scorched the front nine with three birdies and an eagle on the seventh, but also bogeyed on the 10th hole after an errant tee shot.

He bounced right back with a birdie on the par-three 11th to eventually finish on 13-under after 54 holes.

There is a three-way tie for third a further stroke back, with Nate Lashley, Patrick Rodgers and Davis Riley locked on 12-under.

World number two Jon Rahm showed his class at the Mexico Open on Friday, claiming the outright lead after round two at 12 under.

Rahm was the joint-leader after a bogey-free first round, and kept that momentum going with another eight birdies the second time around, although they did come with three bogeys.

Two shots back at 10 under is Alex Smalley, who shot an incredible 30 on the front-nine thanks to birdies on two, six and seven, and an eagle on the par-four third hole. He finished with a second-round 66, one stroke off the round of the day.

A small group at nine under is in a tie for third, including Patrick Reed, Cameron Champ and Adam Long, who also all shot 66.

The next logjam at eight under includes Davis Riley, who was one of four players to shoot Friday's best score of 65 – along with Martin Trainer, Emiliano Grillo and Doug Ghim, with that trio all at five under after posting 72s in the opening round.

Also at eight under is Kurt Kitayama and Jonathan Byrd, who shared the first-round lead with Rahm, but could only manage 70s to now sit four strokes off the Spaniard.

A strong international contingent sits at six under in a tie for 18th, featuring England's Matt Wallace, India's Anirban Lahiri, Thailand's Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Japan's Satoshi Kodaira.

Kevin Na is one shot further back at five under, along with the leader of the Mexican contingent, Alvaro Ortiz, who birdied five of the first seven holes, but a double bogey on eight and two more bogeys on 10 and 13 wiped out a lot of his good work.

The higher-ranked players in the field, such as Cameron Tringale (four under), Tony Finau (three under) and Abraham Ancer (two under) will live to see the weekend as the cut-line landed on two under.

Camillo Villegas, Adam Schenk and Scott Gutschewski were disappointing, missing the cut after solid first rounds in the 60s, with all three of them posting second rounds of at least two over.

Tournament favourite Jon Rahm is joint-leader of the Mexico Open, posting a seven-under 64 in Thursday's first round.

Rahm, ranked number two in the world, went bogey-free in his round, with six birdies and an eagle on the par-four seventh hole.

He is in a five-way tie atop the leaderboard with Americans Jonathan Byrd, Trey Mullinax, Bryson Nimmer and Brendon Todd.

Speaking with the media after stepping off the 18th green, Rahm highlighted his success with the driver, finding the fairway with 12 of his 13 long-balls.

"When I feel at my best, I’m pretty much comfortable hitting driver anywhere," he said

"It was one of those rounds where it felt like everything clicked together. Short game was good, had a chip-in, putting was good and tee to green was fantastic… probably as solid a round as I played all year."

While he enjoyed his round, Rahm spoke about how the conditions changed towards the end of his day, and how it could play far tougher the rest of the weekend.

"Although I went into a little dry spell, I didn’t care about it so much because it is not the easiest golf course," he said.

"The one thing to keep in mind for people watching the scores – there’s a big difference between morning and afternoon (conditions). We had no wind for 13, 14 holes – it’s very, very scoreable. 

"Once the wind starts going 20, 30 miles an hour, this golf course starts showing some teeth."

England's Aaron Rai is one shot further back, along with Sahith Theegala, Aaron Wise and Scott Brown, trailed by a large group at five under, highlighted by Colombia's Sebastian Munoz.

Cameron Champ and Patrick Reed are one more shot back at four under, while Alvaro Ortiz is the highest placed of the Mexican contingent at three under, ahead of Armando Favela and Carlos Ortiz, who both shot 70.

In-form Davis Riley finished at two under, while Tony Finau and Cameron Tringale had disappointing days at even par, with the latter bogeying both the 17th and 18th to finish his round.

The field for the 2022 PGA Championship at Southern Hills Country Club has been released, and it features both Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson.

The full field will be set on May 9 and includes the top 70 players who have earned the most PGA Championship points through the 2022 Wells Fargo Championship (May 4-8) and the top-20 finishers from the 2022 PGA Professional Championship.

After Woods' successful return to professional golf at The Masters, where he made the cut, discussion has been rife about when he would next tee up in a tour event.

He will be competing against all of the biggest names in golf, including potentially the reigning PGA Championship winner Phil Mickelson after he registered for the event, as well as the U.S. Open.

Mickelson recently missed his first Masters since 1994 after taking a break from golf due to controversy surrounding his links to the Saudi Arabian-backed LIV Golf competition, a breakaway from the PGA Tour.

In the 2021 PGA Championship, Mickelson won with a score of six under.

Phil Mickelson has requested a release from the PGA Tour in order to feature in the inaugural LIV Golf opener.

The Saudi Arabia-backed golf league will hold its first event in London between June 9 and 11.

According to Sports Illustrated, 15 of the world's current top 100 players are planning to feature in the event.

Mickelson is taking a break from golf after causing controversy with comments surrounding the breakaway competition when he suggested that although Saudi Arabia has "a horrible record on human rights", the threat of the potential new tournaments could be used to "reshape how the PGA Tour operates". 

On Monday, Mickelson registered himself for two upcoming majors – the PGA Championship, which he won last year, and the U.S. Open, which takes place in June.

However, the 51-year-old has also asked to be released from the PGA Tour at the time of the LVI Golf Invitational, with Monday having been the deadline for those requests.

Mickelson's agent, Steve Loy, released a widely reported statement that read: "Our client Phil Mickelson is officially registered to play in the PGA Championship as well as the U.S. Open.

"We have also filed a request on his behalf for a release to play in the first LIV Golf Invitational in London, June 9-11. This request complies with the deadline of April 25 set forth by the PGA Tour to compete in a conflicting tour event."

However, Loy added that Mickelson is unsure as to whether he will definitely play in any of the events he has registered for.

"Phil currently has no concrete plans on when and where he will play. Any actions taken are in no way a reflection of a final decision made, but rather to keep all options open."

Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay won the Zurich Classic of New Orleans with a tournament-record score of 29 under.

It was an incredible week for the duo, setting the course-record 59 in Thursday's four-ball format, and nearly matching it on Saturday with a 60, while also performing strongly in the alternate shot style in rounds two and four.

They also became the first team to win the tournament in wire-to-wire fashion, leading after all four rounds, and setting the record for best score at each interval.

Sunday was the toughest of the four days for the winners, after back-to-back bogeys on nine and 10 cancelled out their eagle on seven, with a birdie on 11 and a bogey on 18 capping off an even-par finish.

Speaking to the media after stepping off the 18th green, Schauffele expressed his excitement at winning alongside such a close friend.

"It's awesome – I said it earlier this week, if there's any success that I could share with someone, it would be Pat, so I'm happy we could get it done," he said.

"I'm not sure [how we broke all the records], we just plodded along. Today was the worst of our four quarters, but Pat was very calm, which helped me stay calm. 

"It's been a while since I've been in some sort of contention here, so I think it was just overall calmness and patience."

Cantlay added: "We had a lot of fun both on and off the golf course, and we're really happy to get it done. We definitely bring out the best in each other, and we really enjoy being out here together."

Sam Burns and Billy Horschel finished outright second, two strokes behind the leaders, but three strokes clear of third place with a score of 27 under that equalled the previous tournament record.

The pairing of Doc Redman and Sam Ryder finished outright third at 24 under, and with a 67 on Sunday, they were one of two teams – along with Burns and Horschel – to shoot four rounds in the 60s.

Davis Riley and Will Zalatoris posted the round of the day with a bogey-free 66, finishing with birdies on 17 and 18 to jump up into a tie for fourth at 23 under.

Joining Riley and Zalatoris at 23 under were the groups of Keegan Bradley with Brendan Steele, Harold Varner III with Bubba Watson, Taylor Moore with Matthew NeSmith, Garrick Higgo with Brandan Grace, and Aaron Rai with David Lipsky.

Reigning Masters champion and the season's points leader Scottie Scheffler finished at 18 under with partner Ryan Palmer, while The Players champion Cameron Smith was 17 under with compatriot Marc Leishman.

Father-son pairing Jay Haas and Bill Haas shot an even-par 72 to finish even or better in all four rounds as Jay became the oldest player to ever make a PGA Tour cut at 68 years old.

Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele are on track to win the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, closing the third round of play with a five-stroke lead.

After a record opening-round score of 59 in the first day of four-ball play on Thursday, the Presidents and Ryder Cup teammates scorched the back nine at TPC Louisiana with eight birdies to finish with a 12-under 60 for the day.

The two lead the field at an extraordinary 29-under after three rounds, with the South African duo of Garrick Higgo and Branden Grace five strokes back in second, improving on a solid second day to put themselves in the frame from Presidents Cup selection this year.

The pair will be seeking to go one better than their countrymen Louis Ooosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel, who finished second at TPC Louisiana last year to Australian pair Cameron Smith and Marc Leishman.

Another Australian pair looking to work their way into calculations for Quail Hollow in September are Jason Day and Jason Scrivener, who improved on scores of 65 over the opening two rounds with a nine-under 63 on Saturday, birdieing the final four holes to sit on 23-under.

They're joined by the team of Aaron Rai and David Lipsky, along with Sam Burns and Billy Horschel, who bounced back from a bogey on the par-three ninth to close the back nine with five birdies.

Cantlay and Schauffele have been the stars of the weekend, however.

After blitzing the 54-hole record, only a catastrophic final round of alternate play would deny the reigning FedEx Cup and Olympic champions from smashing Kevin Kisner and Scott Brown's 72-hole record of 27-under.

Closing out on Sunday would make for maiden PGA Tour win this season for both Schaffele and Cantlay, with the latter coming into this weekend off a playoff loss to Jordan Spieth at the RBC Heritage.

Though Schauffele claimed the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics last year, his last tour win came in 2019.

Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele backed up a record 59 in round one of the Zurich Classic of New Orleans with a tidy four-under 68 to retain the lead after round two.

The duo birdied holes two and four to get off to a great start, and their only bogey through the first two rounds – on the 12th on Friday – was sandwiched between birdies on 10, 11 and 13.

Their figure of 17 under is a 36-hole record in the event.

Speaking with the media after the round, Cantlay said they were enjoying their form – and the vibes.

"I think we just wanted to hit a bunch of quality golf shots, and we did that today," he said.

"We really fought hard and made a bunch of those mid-range putts, especially in the middle of the round, and that kind of kept the momentum going.

"I felt like we just have had good vibes all week, and we’ve been playing really solid golf. Same game plan for the weekend."

Schauffele added: "Alternate shot is an opportunity to do some cool things if you're making a lot of birdies.

"But for the most part, you're trying to leave your partner in a good spot to make an easy par."

One stroke further back are the pairings of Aaron Rai with David Lipsky and Doc Redman with Sam Ryder. Those teams both shot five under after shooting 61 in the first round.

Jay Haas made history as the oldest player to ever make the final two days of a PGA Tour event, teaming up with son Bill to shoot 65 on Thursday and following it up with a 66 in the tougher Friday format to sit right on the cut line at eight under.

Cameron Tringale and Wyndham Clark are tied for fourth on 15 under, along with the South African pairing of Branden Grace and Garrick Higgo, while Australians Jason Day and Jason Scrivener are one of two teams at 14 under in a tie for sixth.

The Grace-Higgo and Day-Scrivener duos also shared round-of-the-day honours, as the former went bogey-free with seven birdies, and the latter has seven birdies, two bogeys and an eagle on the seventh.

Cameron Smith and Marc Leishman, along with Bubba Watson and Harold Varner III, highlight the logjam at 11 under.

Masters champion Scottie Scheffler and his team-mate Ryan Palmer were disappointing in the second round, but were one of four pairs to make the cut despite shooting even par for the day.

Jay Haas is on the verge of becoming the oldest player to ever make the cut of a PGA Tour event, at 68 years old.

Haas is competing in a duo with his son, Bill Haas, at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, with the pair shooting 65 in the first-round four-ball, and backing it up with 66 in the second round's alternate shot format to finish Friday on eight under par.

At the time of finishing their round, eight under was the projected cut line.

They were sitting pretty at 10 under after birdieing the 11th hole – their fourth birdie with one bogey up to that point – but further bogeys on 14 and 17 forced a clutch par putt on 18 to hold on.

Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele were in imperious form at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans on Thursday, shooting a 13-under 59 to lead after the opening day.

The reigning FedEx Cup and Olympic champions paired up to produce a tournament record, since the Zurich Classic shifted to a team format in 2017.

While the effort won't officially be added to the list of sub-60 rounds in the PGA Tour record books, the Presidents and Ryder Cup teammates were clearly comfortable in Thursday's best-ball format.

Thursday was the first of two four-ball sessions at TPC Louisiana this weekend, and the duo went seven under over the front nine, including an eagle from Cantlay on the par-five second hole.

Three birdies each from Cantlay and Schauffele on the back nine saw them close a scintillating opening round on 13-under for the day.

As is the case with best-ball format, though, the sub-60 score has not translated into a commanding lead after the opening day, against what is a packed field.

Matthew NeSmith and Taylor Moore are a solitary stroke back after 18 holes, while three teams are locked at 11 under – Aaron Rai and David Lipsky, Tommy Gainey and Robert Garrigus, and the pairing of Doc Redman and Sam Ryder.

Sam Burns and Billy Horschel are a further stroke back at 10 under, along with the team of Bubba Watson and Harold Varner III.

Recent Masters champion Scottie Scheffler and partner Ryan Palmer shot a seven-under 64, but with 10 of the world's top 20 golfers in the field, Cantlay and Schauffele will not be short on competition heading into Friday's alternate format.

Cantlay and Schauffele are comfortable in the alternate format also, though, holding a 4-0 record from the 2019 Presidents Cup and 2021 Ryder Cup.

Jordan Spieth clinched the RBC Heritage title after winning the first hole of a play-off against Patrick Cantlay.

Spieth started strong with two eagles from the first five holes, and trailing by two strokes heading to the 18th, he needed a birdie to keep things interesting. He delivered, finishing one stroke off Shane Lowry's outright lead at the time.

Lowry looked poised to control proceedings down the second nine, before a botched chip ended up rolling into the water on 14 for a double-bogey, going from one stroke in the lead to joining the chasing pack at 12 under.

Cantlay shot a tidy 68, which included a birdie on 17 to grab a share of Spieth's lead, and missed a birdie putt on 18 for the win.

In the play-off on 18, both players found the bunker in their approaches to the green, but while Spieth had a relatively friendly lie, Cantlay's ball was plugged deep into the sand.

Spieth's bunker shot was terrific, giving him a tap-in par, while Cantlay's sailed 30 feet past the hole and could not pull off the miracle required to force a second play-off hole.

The win is Spieth's first in over a year since the 2021 Valero Texas Open, and his first since becoming a father. He was greeted by his wife and son on the 18th green after the triumph.

"Last week [at the Masters] was really a killer for me, my favourite tournament in the world, not making the weekend, so I tried to work a little extra here," Spieth said. "It feels amazing.

"I won this tournament without a putter! This is one of the worst tournaments I've putted that I've stayed in contention. I just tried to stay positive on the back nine today, gritty.

"I have a lot of belief in my putting. The fact that I feel like I can get it done in an off-week is a really good feeling, so I know what I need to work on in the next few weeks to get ready for the rest of the season."

Sepp Straka threatened to join the playoff after he moved into a share of the lead at 13 under with an outrageous long birdie putt on 17, but had to take a bogey on 18 after a poor approach to the green had him flirting with out-of-bounds territory.

Harold Varner III also had a chance to join Spieth and Cantlay with a 40-foot putt on the 18th hole, but narrowly missed.

Joining the seven-player group tied for third was Cam Davis, who shot a bogey-free 63 for the best round of the day, as well as JT Poston.

Erik van Rooyen had the outright lead early in the day after birdieing four consecutive holes starting on the second, but four bogeys on the back nine took him out of the hunt – the South African tying for 10th with Tommy Fleetwood at 11 under.

Collin Morikawa shot his best score of the week with a 68, but it included a triple-bogey on the par-three 17th to finish at seven under in a tie for 26th with Kevin Na and Maverick McNealy.

Justin Thomas was one shot further back at six under after his 67 gave him his best round of the week.

Reigning champion Stewart Cink was disappointing after a 67 in round one, following it with rounds of 75, 71 and 74.

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