Phil Mickelson experiences career first after 2023 LIV Golf League opener

LIV Golf League player Phil Mickelson has sunk to outside the top 300 players in the OWGR for the first time in his illustrious career.

Ben Smith's picture
Tue, 28 Feb 2023
Phil Mickelson experiences career first after 2023 LIV Golf League opener

Phil Mickelson sunk to a career-low in the world rankings after competing in the first LIV Golf League event of 2023. 

Towards the end of last year, Mickelson spoke of feeling rejuvenated about his game after a truly chaotic year in his life. 

It's reasonable to suggest that Lefty is no doubt taking the game as seriously as ever, given how much weight he shifted in the off-season. 

In case you didn't know, Hy Flyers skipper Mickelson is now back down to his college weight. 

Related: LIV Golf execs attempting to rein in Greg Norman

In the inaugural LIV Golf Invitational Series, Mickelson's best finish came courtesy of his T-8 placing in Chicago at Rich Harvest Farms. 

In the first four events, he cumulated a score of 28-over par. He did improve towards the latter half of the campaign. 

Mickelson finished 27th at LIV Golf Mayakoba. He pocketed $158,000 as Charles Howell III claimed his first win in more than five years. 

Admittedly, all of the 'big names' struggled. 

You can see how much every play won by clicking here

Yet for Mickelson the weekly update of the ranking system saw him plummet even further down the list. 

He's now outside the top 300 players in the world. The six-time major champion is now ranked a lowly 318th in the OWGR. 

Bizarrely, another LIV player, Harold Varner III, rose to inside the top 50 players despite playing in a league that doesn't award ranking points yet

The topic of world ranking points has been debated extensively since LIV's first event last June. 

Mickelson has been quick to criticise the current system, claiming the governing bodies of the four major championships have colluded not to award LIV accreditation. 

It has to be said that Lefty does raise more than a somewhat fair point in this regard.

DP World Tour chief executive Keith Pelley and PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan, who sit on the board of the OWGR, have recused themselves from LIV's bid because of the clear conflict of interest

Mickelson previously told SI:

"There will probably be another ranking system that is a more credible system as it includes all golfers in the world. This one has lost any credibility. I wouldn’t be surprised if tournaments stopped using it as a criteria for qualifying."

Mickelson's demise in the world rankings comes as it has now been confirmed that LIV players will not be prohibited from playing in The Open, U.S. Open, PGA Championship and The Masters

Perhaps we'll have some news on the ranking issue soon, as LIV have confirmed plans for a qualifying school.

This was one of the boxes the breakaway tour needed to tick in order to have their application considered. 

Next page: LIV Golf 'done' with 2023 signings