Saturday September 30, 2023

Phil Mickelson’s Best Option Could Be Mix of LIV, Majors

  • The six-time major winner is registered to defend his PGA Championship next month and play in June’s U.S. Open.
  • The 51-year-old also filed for a release from the Tour to play in June’s inaugural Saudi-based LIV tournament in London.
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Phil Mickelson’s career may be in limbo in the wake of his controversial comments regarding the breakaway Saudi-based LIV Golf Invitational Series, but he’s keeping his options open.

On Monday, the six-time major winner released a statement via his agent announcing his registration to defend his PGA Championship next month and play in June’s U.S. Open — but he also filed for a release from the Tour to play in June’s inaugural LIV tournament in London. 

His Tour season is already a wash: He hasn’t played an event since January, has made only $140,608 this season, and is outside the top 200 in the FedEx Cup standings. 

Now, the 51-year-old’s best bet to add to his legacy and career earnings could be to focus on majors while enjoying the LIV’s weaker competition and bigger purses

  • The LIV tournaments will feature only 48 players — excluding many of the Tour’s best — on 12 four-man teams across eight events.
  • The first seven events each have a $20M individual purse and distribute $5M among the top three teams. 
  • Event winners take home $4M, the top three on the season share a $30M bonus, and the team championship has a $50M purse.
  • The PGA Tour’s largest payday is The Players ($3.6M), and the FedEx Cup winner receives an $18M bonus.

He hasn’t indicated when he’ll return to the course, and his reputation and earning power have already taken a hit, losing several sponsors in the aftermath of his Saudi comments, including Amstel Light, KPMG, and Workday.

Mickelson has made $95 million over his career.

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