Phil Mickelson says more ‘great players’ will join LIV Golf and add to problem

Phil Mickelson believes LIV Golf will continue applying pressure to golf’s major championships to open up qualifying pathways for players on the breakaway league by signing more elite talents



Phil Mickelson believes the major championships will have no choice but to cave under pressure from LIV Golf as the breakaway tour continues to add top players to its roster.


LIV players have no means of qualifying for the majors through their performances on the Saudi Arabia-backed tour, with the competition not sanctioned by the Official World Golf Ranking. LIV players have tumbled down the rankings as a result, meaning the likes of Mickelson, Dustin Johnson and Bryson DeChambeau have had to rely on previous successes at the majors to book a place in the biggest tournaments.



While the aforementioned trio are assured of their place at the PGA Championship at Valhalla later this month thanks to major wins in the past five years, the likes of Sergio Garcia, Talor Gooch, Louis Oosthuizen and Abraham Ancer will not be in the field in Kentucky despite their undeniable talent and pedigree.


Mickelson has been among LIV’s most outspoken players since he joined the league as a founding member in 2022, and he believes it is inevitable that qualifying routes will be opened up for LIV players in the near future as the league continues to aggressively target top talent.



“Maybe some of the LIV players won’t be missed, but what if none of the LIV players played?” Mickelson said in a since-deleted post on X addressing the absence of some of the tour’s star players at Valhalla.


“Would they be missed? What about next year when more great players join? Or the following year. At some point, they will care and will have to answer to sponsors and television.”


Mickelson’s assumption that LIV will continue to sign top players is well-founded. The league was successful in ambitious attempts to sign European Ryder Cup stars Jon Rahm and Tyrrell Hatton ahead of the start of its third season, and commissioner Greg Norman is confident he can snap up more of the PGA Tour’s biggest names in the future.



Gideon Canice

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