Phil Mickelson slams the PGA Tour for ‘magically’ finding money for changes

Phil Mickelson slams the PGA Tour for ‘magically’ finding money for changes


Phil Mickelson sniped the PGA Tour on Saturday to “magically” find money to fund her new changes in the wake of LIV Golf.

Getty Images

Phil Mickelson may no longer compete on the PGA Tour, but he’s sure he’s not done competing with PGA Tour.

Shortly after completing the second round of play in Boston at the LIV Golf Invitational Series’ latest event, the 52-year-old stepped in front of the reporters and dealt the final blow against his former employer, likening himself and the LIV as martyrs in professional golf in the wake of the changes that occurred on the PGA Tour.

“I think the fans benefit a lot from this, all golfers, all professional golfers benefit a lot. The guys on the tour play for so much more money. It’s great that they magically found hundreds of millions; that’s great,” he said. “I think everyone is in a better position now than they were a year ago.”

Mickelson’s comments came a week after changes to the PGA Tour’s structure were driven by LIV growth. Months after losing to their new challengers, the Tour announced a new series of “high” events with the goal of bringing together the best players in the sport more regularly and making up for it at a higher level, among broader expansions aimed at pushing the best players out.

The changes will, of course, be funded primarily by increased PGA Tour revenue thanks to the league’s new media rights deals, and secondarily through “round reserves”. According to the tour, the reserves, which take a small portion of the annual revenue for the tour and are ultimately returned in full to players, only pay a small portion of the bill. Typically the reserves act like a savings account to maintain the round’s debt repayment capacity in the event of a crisis (such as, say, the Covid-19 pandemic), although the commissioner retains the power to release funds at his or her own discretion.

Jay Monahan World Golf Hall of Fame

The PGA Tour portfolio keeps increasing, but where does the money come from?

by:

James Colgan



However, these changes represent, in many ways, the tour’s best effort at tackling the problems that Mickelson first highlighted in his infamous speech at the Saudi International in January. At the time, Mickelson supported the formation of the rumored LIV by criticizing the tour’s structure and hierarchy for what he saw as unfairly taking money and resources from players, an offense he called “greed beyond hateful”.

With the developments of the past several weeks, the Tour’s top players will now find themselves overcompensated at an all-time high, and will face fewer challenges in terms of travel, missed cuts, and schedule building. These changes were only possible due to the influence created by LIV and the departure of dozens of top tour professionals, Mickelson said.

“Currently [players are] Phil said. “Things have improved for everyone in professional golf and I believe in the fans as well, because they see golf in a different environment with LIV. They see in the Tour, the Tour often brings their best players together. LIV transports professional golf around the world” .

He is right in some respects. LIV has helped create influence for the PGA Tour’s top players, and has played a large role in shaping the most sweeping changes seen in professional golf in at least five decades. The changes would likely never have happened had it not been for LIV, certainly if not for the scores of Tour players who have since jumped in, Mickelson among them.

“I didn’t say I felt justified, I said I feel good about men, that they have a voice and are valued and heard, and changes are made to show that appreciation,” Mickelson said. “Because it wasn’t like that, and it wasn’t because there was no other choice and no leverage.”

But there is also a certain irony in Michelson’s words. Regardless of his efforts to the contrary, his role in shaping the future of professional golf will be remembered as a divisive one. Barring an insane change of heart, Phil’s headline as a golfer would surround his role as the first player to throw his support behind the new rival league, not the impacted changes to the old league.

Whatever Mickelson’s role in shaping the Tour changes may have been, it probably won’t come to fruition (it’s suspended until at least 2024, if not longer), and history won’t remember him as the player responsible for triggering them. In a twist of fate, that honor will belong to Phil’s old partner, Tiger Woods, who mustered the support of the Tour’s best players behind the new Hulk at a rare player-only meeting last month.

Phil, for his part, drew his own line in the sand. With a $200 million signing bonus in his bank account and more earnings on the course, Lefty’s time worrying about money – whether it’s from Saudi financiers on the LIV or the PGA Tour – is over. This is good news, because it looks like his next fight has just begun.

James Colgan

Golf.com Editor

James Colgan is an associate editor at GOLF, contributing stories to the site and magazine. Hot Mic writes GOLF’s weekly media column, and uses his expertise in broadcasting across social media and the brand’s video platforms. James, who graduated in 2019 from Syracuse University — and obviously his golf course — still thawed four years ago in the snow. Prior to joining GOLF, James was a scholarship holder (and a smart looper) in Long Island, where he belongs. He can be reached at james.colgan@golf.com.



Source link

Leave a Comment