Phil Mickelson only offers 16 words on PGA Tour's LIV Golf deal before US Open

Phil Mickelson was reluctant to offer his full thoughts on the PGA Tour's deal with LIV Golf's Saudi backers at the 2023 US Open.

Ben Smith's picture
Thu, 15 Jun 2023
Phil Mickelson only offers 16 words on PGA Tour's LIV Golf deal before US Open

You'd expect Phil Mickelson to be a bit chipper at this US Open

The six-time major champion arrived at Los Angeles Country Club off the back of apparently achieving what he has been secretly trying to attain for the better part of two years. 

He played a high-profile role in the fracture of the men's professional game but there is no denying: LIV Golf have changed the future of the PGA Tour and how it operates. 

Whether you agree with Mickelson or to what degree you think he has been successful is subjective. 

Lefty has been curiously silent on-site in California this week. He wasn't allotted a news conference by the USGA. 

But a pool of reporters did track him down once he arrived and asked him for his immediate thoughts about the shocking, stunning, mind-boggling, unbelievable peace agreement that was struck between the PGA Tour and LIV Golf's Saudi backers, the PIF. 

The 53-year-old only said a few words to SI's Bob Harig: "I'll be happy to talk later." 

But he also offered: 

"I just don't want to waste any energy on it at the beginning of the week."

Apparently Mickelson also said he hoped some information 'comes out in discovery', although it's not clear what he was referring to. 

That 'landmark' agreement reportedly included both LIV and the PGA Tour ending their expensive litigation

The US Department of Justice is still - to our knowledge - investigating the PGA Tour over alleged antitrust violations. 

US lawmakers have also urged the DoJ to look into the agreement between the PGA Tour and PIF.

The agreement will combine the assets of the PGA Tour, DP World Tour and LIV Golf, with PIF as the minority investor. 

Yasir al-Rumayyan, the Saudi businessman with close ties to Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman, would act as the chairman of this new, for-profit company with PGA Tour boss Jay Monahan acting as chief executive. 

Monahan has blasted the US government, saying Congress left the PGA Tour 'on our own' against the Saudis. 

Part of his letter stated:

"While we are grateful for the written declarations of support we received from certain members, we were largely left on our own to fend off the attacks, ostensibly due to the United States’ complex geopolitical alliance with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia."

Monahan has now stepped away from his day-to-day duties owing to a 'medical issue'. 

Mickelson played his practice round before the US Open with LIV Golf's David Puig, Jon Rahm and youngster Alejandro Del Rey. 

He was mistakenly scheduled to play with Rory McIlroy

Lefty is playing his first two rounds of the US Open alongside Padraig Harrington and Keegan Bradley. 

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