Playing LIV Golf Format Won’t Hinder Masters Preparations - Mickelson

Three-time Masters champion Phil Mickelson says playing the LIV Golf format is not a disadvantage for players aiming to win the Green Jacket

Mickelson wears the Green Jacket with a microphone in his hand
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Phil Mickelson does not think the LIV Golf format will hinder himself and his fellow players from competing at their best at the Masters next month.

The LIV Golf League will take in Tucson, Arizona this week and they’ll be out in Orlando the week before the Masters – where the likes of Mickelson, Cameron Smith, Dustin Johnson and Patrick Reed will all be able to compete.

It’ll be the first time this season that LIV Golf stars and PGA Tour players will clash in a Major, but some say that both the team aspect and the shortened 54-hole, shotgun start format won’t help in preparing for a Major.

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And given the animosity between some players on both sides of the golfing divide, Mickelson insists he has no expectations from heading back to Augusta – but is looking forward to seeing some familiar faces.

“No expectations,” Mickelson said about the Masters. “We are grateful to just be able to play and compete and be a part of it. A lot of the people there that are playing and competing in the Masters are friends for decades, and I'm looking forward to seeing them again."

The three-time Masters winner needs little help familiarising himself with Augusta National, and also does not feel that the team aspect of LIV Golf hinders his chances of winning a fourth Green Jacket.

“To bring the most value to your team, you have to play your best, and so you still have to put in the work and shoot low scores," Mickelson explained.

“That's how you bring the value to your team as a player. And so that's not going to change. That will be the same whether it's in team golf or individual golf, but the support system to help be your best is certainly a nice benefit.

“We're all grateful that we're able to participate in the Masters and all the majors because there was a lot of talk that that might not happen. But here we are, able to do that, and we are all grateful for that as well.”

Paul Higham

Paul Higham is a sports journalist with over 20 years of experience in covering most major sporting events for both Sky Sports and BBC Sport. He is currently freelance and covers the golf majors on the BBC Sport website.  Highlights over the years include covering that epic Monday finish in the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor and watching Rory McIlroy produce one of the most dominant Major wins at the 2011 US Open at Congressional. He also writes betting previews and still feels strangely proud of backing Danny Willett when he won the Masters in 2016 - Willett also praised his putting stroke during a media event before the Open at Hoylake. Favourite interviews he's conducted have been with McIlroy, Paul McGinley, Thomas Bjorn, Rickie Fowler and the enigma that is Victor Dubuisson. A big fan of watching any golf from any tour, sadly he spends more time writing about golf than playing these days with two young children, and as a big fair weather golfer claims playing in shorts is worth at least five shots. Being from Liverpool he loves the likes of Hoylake, Birkdale and the stretch of tracks along England's Golf Coast, but would say his favourite courses played are Kingsbarns and Portrush.