Home Sports Golf News 2022 Golf LIV Commentary Rory McIlroy Phil Mickelson Ryder Cup

Golf News 2022 Golf LIV Commentary Rory McIlroy Phil Mickelson Ryder Cup


Six-time major winner Phil Mickelson says the Saudi-backed breakaway LIV Golf Series is a “force in the game that won’t go away” after world number one Rory McIlroy expressed fears of an “irreparable” split.

Season LIV concludes at Trump National Club in Doral, near Miami, this weekend with the $50 million Tag Team Championship.

The animosity caused by LIV’s breakaway had McIlroy worried about the game, but during the event’s media presentation, Mickelson said LIV Golf had already lived up to expectations and was here to stay.

“When I just look at LIV Golf and where we are today, where we were six, seven months ago and people say it’s dead in the water and we’ve come through it and here we are today, the power in a game that is not going anywhere,” he said.

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Sitting on the podium with British Open winner Cameron Smith, former Masters winner Bubba Watson and Ryder Cup favorite Ian Pouter, Mickelson said the quality of talent at the LIV Series is “moving professional golf around the world and (creating) a level of excitement in countries of the world”.

“It’s amazing how far LIV Golf has come in the last six or seven months. I think no one can disagree with that,” said the American.

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Phil Mickelson has been a key player in the growth of LIV Golf.Source: AFP

Mickelson declined to respond directly to McIlroy’s comments, saying there would be time to discuss broader issues after the final LIV event of their debut season.

The American was quick to praise McIlroy for his recent success in winning the PGA Tour’s CJ Cup and returning to the top of the world rankings, but said he did not want to distract from the LIV final.

McIlroy told Britain’s The Guardian newspaper on Wednesday that the polarization of the sport into two competing camps had caused damage.

“This ‘us versus them’ thing has gotten out of hand,” said the Northern Irishman.

The conflict has gone beyond the players’ statements and is now in the legal realm with several lawsuits already underway.

“If the two entities continue to double down in both directions, it will only become irreparable. We will have a split sport for a long time. It’s not good for anybody,” McIlroy said.

But while the 33-year-old spoke about the dangers of polarization in the sport, he also took aim again at former teammates from the European Ryder Cup side who signed up for LIV.

“A strange thing. I think, in some sense, I felt betrayal for the first time in my life,” he said. “This is an unfamiliar feeling for me. You make connections with these people through Ryder Cups and other things. Do they know that what they’re about to do will put them in jeopardy of ever being a part of it again?”

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One of those teammates, Poulter, objected to the terminology used by McIlroy. “Treason? As far as I know, we can still qualify for the team. Unless we’re told we can’t qualify, I’m still ready to play as much as I can and try to get into that team,” he said.

While the US PGA Tour quickly suspended its defectors, effectively banning them from biennial team events, the situation is less clear for the European team, given that the DP World Tour has yet to impose sanctions.

Poulter said there was no doubt about his desire to fight for Europe. “My commitment to the Ryder Cup, I think, goes before me,” he said. “I don’t think that should ever be in question. I’ve always wanted to play in the Ryder Cup and played with as much passion as anyone I’ve ever seen in a Ryder Cup.

“You know, I don’t know where that comment came from, to be honest.”


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