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LIV Golf has been the biggest talking point within golf throughout 2022, with players jumping ship from the DP World and PGA Tours to the Saudi-backed series. One of those name, who is arguably the biggest, is six-time Major winner, Phil Mickelson, with it recently being revealed that Lefty was suspended by the PGA Tour back in March of this year.
The reason? Well, it was for "recruiting" players to leave the PGA Tour and join LIV Golf. The announcement was fully made on the 9th June, when the Tour publicly stated that it had suspended all of its members who had teed off in the inaugural LIV Golf Invitational Series event in London.
It's been a rather turbulent 12-18 months for Mickelson, who claimed his sixth Major at Kiawah Island in May 2021, becoming the oldest male Major winner in the process. Fast forward to February 2022, and the American was forced to take a break from the game amid controversy over comments made about the PGA Tour and Saudi Arabia.
During his hiatus, he lost sponsorship from the likes of KPMG, Workday and Callaway, with former Major winner and Ryder Cup star, Davis Love III, stating on the Fire Drill podcast that Mickelson is a "troubled soul" and hasn't been answering his calls.
“He’s had a lot of friends, like me, trying very hard to try to help him,” Love III explained, before adding: “Not about LIV and not about golf, but about Phil Mickelson. Right now, it’s tragic that none of us can get him to take a phone call. You’ve heard Fred [Couples’] quotes. He’s gone dark.”
It's no secret that Mickelson is one of the game's characters, with six Majors and 45 PGA Tour titles to his name making him one of the most successful. However, Love III believes that Mickelson "has always challenged the rules and regulations of the PGA Tour, but the PGA Tour is what made Phil Mickelson famous. The system worked for him and made him famous and put him in the Hall of Fame.”
Currently, golf is embroiled in a law suit, with Mickelson amongst 11 LIV players who have reportedly filed an antitrust lawsuit against the PGA Tour. Per the Wall Street Journal (opens in new tab), the players are challenging their suspensions from the PGA Tour in light of their appearances in the LIV Golf series.
The motion states: "The Tour's conduct serves no purpose other than to cause harm to players and foreclose the entry of the first meaningful competitive threat the Tour has faced in decades."
As the legal battle goes on, Love III and others from the Tour have reportedly tried to contact Lefty, but Mickelson has refused to speak to them. “One of his really good friends said, ‘Look, we’ve tried as hard as we can,'” said Love III. “Eventually, we have to move on.”
Very strong words from Davis Love III pic.twitter.com/vWTHaPgp8QAugust 3, 2022
Matt studied Sports Journalism at Southampton Solent University, graduating in 2019. Now a freelance writer for Golf Monthly and the PGA, he covers all aspects of the game, from Tour news to equipment testing and buyers’ guides. Taking up the game at the age of six, Matt currently holds a handicap of 3 and despite not having a hole in one…yet, he has had two albatrosses. His favourite player is Rory McIlroy, despite nearly being struck by his second shot at the 17th during the 2015 BMW PGA Championship.
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