Phil Mickelson Expecting LIV Golf Players To Win DP World Tour Case

Lefty thinks the LIV golf players will win their case to continue playing on the DP World Tour

Phil Mickelson during the 2022 LIV Golf Team Championship in Florida
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Phil Mickelson makes his first start of 2023 in Saudi Arabia this week ahead of the LIV Golf League getting underway next month.

Lefty is one of many LIV players teeing it up at the Saudi International, the Asian Tour's flagship event, and he was asked about the dramatic Dubai Desert Classic that concluded on Monday where Rory McIlroy edged out LIV Golf's Patick Reed by a single stroke following a week of controversy between the pair that was dubbed 'teegate'.

"I think that when you have characters in the game, when you have controversy in the game, I think it creates a lot more excitement, a lot more awareness," Phil Mickelson said. "What transpired early in the week with Patrick and Rory added to the excitement level.

"I thought the final round was incredible. Both players played some great golf. Patrick played an incredible final round, and Rory didn't really have his best stuff throughout the day, but he fought hard for the last two to win, and I think that shows a lot about the kind of champion and player he is.

"I thought it was great for the game to have that type of interest, and it's seen interest throughout the globe. That's a really good thing."

A number of other LIV Golf players were in the Dubai field as well as Reed, including Ian Poulter, Henrik Stenson and Lee Westwood, and their futures on the European-based circuit are set to be decided next month at an arbitration panel hearing at Sports Resolutions in London.

Phil Mickelson predicts that the LIV golfers will be successful, which would mean they can continue to play on the DP World Tour and, crucially, earn both world ranking and Ryder Cup points.

"In a couple of weeks I expect that the players, the LIV players, will win their case in the UK, and we'll open the doors for all players to play on the European Tour," Mickelson said.

"There's a very good chance that you'll have more showdowns, more head-to-head competitions like you saw last week in Dubai, and I think that would be a really good thing for the game."

The Saudi International gets underway on Thursday. Harold Varner III defends his title, with two-time winner Dustin Johnson, Open champion Cameron Smith, 2020 US Open winner Bryson DeChambeau and four-time Major winner Brooks Koepka among the many big names.

Elliott Heath
News Editor

Elliott Heath is our News Editor and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016 after graduating with a degree in Sports Journalism. He manages the Golf Monthly news team as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. He covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as five Open Championships on-site including the 150th at St Andrews. His first Open was in 2017 at Royal Birkdale, when he walked inside the ropes with Jordan Spieth during the Texan's memorable Claret Jug triumph. He has played 35 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Western Gailes, Old Head and Turnberry. He has been obsessed with the sport since the age of 8 and currently plays off of a six handicap. His golfing highlights are making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, shooting an under-par round, playing in the Aramco Team Series on the Ladies European Tour and making his one and only hole-in-one at the age of 15 - a long time ago now!

Elliott is currently playing:

Driver: Titleist TSR4

3 wood: Titleist TSi2

Hybrids: Titleist 816 H1

Irons: Mizuno MP5 5-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5

Ball: Srixon Z Star XV