How Much Did LIV Golf Pay Phil Mickelson?

Phil Mickelson was the biggest early signing for LIV Golf and his defection was controversial to say the least. How much did he get?

Phil Mickelson
Mickelson was paid a handsome sum by LIV Golf
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Phil Mickelson was a key, controversial figure in the emergence and establishment of LIV Golf in the early part of 2022. The six-time Major champion was vocal about his criticism of the PGA Tour’s “obnoxious greed” when speaking to Golf Digest in Saudi Arabia last February. Around the same time, it also came out he had made some strangely critical comments of the Saudis in an interview with the writer Alan Shipnuck.

Seemingly burning bridges in every direction, Mickelson took a break from the game for a few months. But he came back as probably, the biggest early signing of LIV Golf. The Saudis (backers of the breakaway circuit) had clearly forgiven him.

Reports and estimates speculate that Mickelson received a signing fee of an astonishing $200 million from LIV Golf. A report by Forbes suggests he likely received half of that up front.

Forbes says that, with earnings of $138 million, Mickelson was the highest paid sportsperson of 2022 – Ahead of Lionel Messi with $130 million earnings. Lefty has now (likely) career earnings of over $1 billion.

It appears that Phil Mickelson received the highest LIV sign on fee with the likes of Dustin Johnson receiving a sign-on fee north of $100 million, while Brooks Koepka, Cam Smith and Joaquin Niemann received an estimated $100 million.

In an interview with Fox News, LIV Golf Chief Executive Greg Norman suggested Tiger Woods was offered about $700 to $800 million to join the breakaway circuit. An offer he turned down.

According to a report by Forbes, the investment by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment fund boosted the earnings of the 10 highest-paid LIV golfers by an estimated $370 million.

How Much Did Phil Mickelson Win on The 2022 LIV Circuit?

Phil Mickelson

He didn't have a great LIV season in 2022

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Mickelson didn’t enjoy a hugely successful 2022 LIV season. He managed just one top-10 finish in the individual events and ended ranked 34th in the individual championship. In total he won $1,825,350 with $1,512,850 coming through individual results and $312,500 through his team – Hy Flyers GC

By way of context, Mickelson has just under $100 million in career earnings on the PGA Tour.

The total prize fund in terms of purses and bonuses on the 2022 LIV Golf season was $255 million in 2022 and that is rising to $405 million in 2023 with the schedule expanded to 14 events.

Phil Mickelson had been a professional since 1992. He’s won 57 tournaments around the globe including six Major titles. In May 2021, Mickelson became the oldest ever Major champion when he won the PGA Championship at the age of 50. He’s a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame and played in 12 Ryder Cups.

The 2023 LIV season will see 14 regular LIV Golf events taking place. Each tournament will feature 48 players in 12 teams of four who will tee it up to play 54-holes in both individual and team competition.

The prize fund for each regular season event will be $25 million with $20 million to be shared between the individuals - $4 million for 1st place down to $120K for the 48th placed finisher (there’s no cut). $5 million will go to the team competition with prizes of $3million, $1.5 million and $500K going to the first three teams.

Fergus Bisset
Contributing Editor

Fergus is Golf Monthly's resident expert on the history of the game and has written extensively on that subject. He is a golf obsessive and 1-handicapper. Growing up in the North East of Scotland, golf runs through his veins and his passion for the sport was bolstered during his time at St Andrews university studying history. He went on to earn a post graduate diploma from the London School of Journalism. Fergus has worked for Golf Monthly since 2004 and has written two books on the game; "Great Golf Debates" together with Jezz Ellwood of Golf Monthly and the history section of "The Ultimate Golf Book" together with Neil Tappin , also of Golf Monthly. 

Fergus once shanked a ball from just over Granny Clark's Wynd on the 18th of the Old Course that struck the St Andrews Golf Club and rebounded into the Valley of Sin, from where he saved par. Who says there's no golfing god?