The PGA Tour has been going through some major changes ever since the introduction of LIV Golf. The American circuit recently announced a series of radical changes to the upcoming 2024 schedule. These changes included the pushing of several designated events.
According to the PGA Tour, the designated events will have no cuts and a limited field of 70-78 players. The changes, while radical, wouldn’t be applied to majors, The Players or FedEx Cup Playoff events. Following this, LIV Golf’s Phil Mickelson has come out to slam the move. The ace golfer has now claimed that PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan initially shut down his idea of elevated events without ‘votes or discussion.’
In a recent tweet, Mickelson claimed that he initially approached Monahan with a similar idea. However, the same was denied by the PGA Tour head. Replying to a tweet on Rory McIlroy’s recent comments on the American tour players benefitting from LIV, Lefty said:
“Before I left, I brought a $1 billion commitment from a current PGA Tour partner to have 8 elevated events and give equity and ownership in these events to the players. JM’s quote was ‘I don’t believe the league is going to happen so we won’t be doing that.’ No vote, no discussion.”
It is pertinent to note that this isn’t the first time Phil Mickelson has made this claim. He had earlier hinted at speaking to the PGA about the possibility of a LIV Golf-like event structure. However, it remains unclear if the claims are true.
Rory McIlroy admits LIV Golf helped the PGA Tour
Phil Mickelson’s comments come only hours after Rory McIlroy made a shocking admission regarding LIV Golf. The Irishman stated that the PGA Tour and its players have benefited from the introduction of the rebel series. Being a strong rival of the Saudi-backed series, the Irish golfer’s admission to LIV’s relevance has surprised a few in the sport.
Speaking during his pre-tournament press conference this week at The Players Championship, Rory McIlroy acknowledged LIV and said:
“I’m not going to sit here and lie; I think the emergence of LIV or the emergence of a competitor to the PGA Tour has benefited everyone that plays elite professional golf. I think when you’ve been the biggest golf league in the biggest market in the world for the last 60 years, there’s not a lot of incentive to innovate.”
“This has caused a ton of innovation at the PGA Tour, and what was quite, I would say, an antiquated system is being revamped to try to mirror where we’re at in the world in the 21st century with the media landscape… So, yeah, you know, LIV coming along, it’s definitely had a massive impact on the game, but I think everyone who’s a professional golfer is going to benefit from it going forward.”
Rory McIlroy’s comments and Phil Mickelson’s reply suggest that the golfers are purely focused on their gains from the sport and are taking individual stands in the PGA-LIV debate.