Phil Mickelson Explains Why He's Considering Backing Out Of LIV Lawsuit

The six-time Major winner stated that he is considering dropping out of the antitrust lawsuit

Mickelson walks on the putting green, in front of an LIV Golf banner
(Image credit: Getty Images)

LIV Golf's fifth event gets underway in Chicago this week and, in the run-up to the tournament, one of its biggest and recognized names has revealed some news in the form of the series' antitrust lawsuit against the PGA Tour.

Phil Mickelson, who only two weeks ago told Sports Illustrated (opens in new tab) that he has "moved on" from the PGA Tour, has now announced that he is considering dropping out of the antitrust lawsuit "now that LIV is involved."

Greg Norman during the Boston LIV Golf Invitational Series tournament

LIV Golf CEO, Greg Norman, at LIV Golf Boston back in late August

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Speaking at LIV Golf Invitational Series Chicago, the 52-year-old told (opens in new tab): “Now that LIV is involved, it’s not necessary for me to be involved. I currently still am. I don’t know what I’m going to do, really.

“The only reason for me to stay in is (monetary) damages, which I don’t really want or need anything. I do think it’s important that the players have the right to play when and where they want, when and where they qualify for. And now that LIV is a part of it, that will be accomplished if and when they win.’’

Back in early August, 11 PGA Tour defectors filed the lawsuit - including Mickelson and Bryson DeChambeau. That number has since dropped after Carlos Ortiz, Pat Perez, Abraham Ancer and Jason Kokrak withdrew from proceedings, with LIV Golf themselves joining the lawsuit over a fortnight ago.

Pat Perez and Jason Kokrak walk down the fairway in purple shirts

Perez and Kokrak are amongst the names who have withdrawn from the antitrust lawsuit

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The former members are challenging their suspension from the PGA Tour in light of their playing in the Saudi-backed 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."

So far, there have been a number of cases that have gone to court. Before the Scottish Open, LIV players were set to be banned, but Branden Grace, Ian Poulter, Justin Harding and Adrian Otaegui had their bans "temporarily stayed," resulting in them featuring at The Renaissance Club. 

However, the same result did not occur for PGA Tour players Talor Gooch, Matt Jones and Hudson Swafford surrounding the FedEx Cup. The three LIV Golf players had filed a temporary restraining order (TRO) to allow them to play in the FedEx Cup Playoffs.

Judge Beth Labson Freeman though, ruled that the trio felt "no irreparable harm" and were consequently denied a temporary restraining order. As a result, they were not permitted to play in the lucrative Playoffs that was eventually won by Rory McIlroy.

Matt Cradock
Freelance Staff Writer

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.