Rory McIlroy 'Disappointed' In Phil Mickelson Over LIV Golf

The four-time Major winner hasn't lost respect for Lefty but says he's disappointed

Rory McIlroy and Phil Mickelson
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Rory McIlroy says he still respects Phil Mickelson as a golfer but is "disappointed" with how the six-time Major winning American has handled his departure from the PGA Tour to LIV Golf.

LIV Golf is still the talk of the town this week at The Country Club for the US Open, with McIlroy facing question after question about Greg Norman's new Saudi-backed start-up series, and one of the big topics is Phil Mickelson. Lefty made his return to the US media on home soil on Monday, where he faced a tough question on the letter he received from the 9/11 Families United group. McIlroy was asked whether he had lost respect for Mickelson in his press conference, and said he still respects him "tremendously."

"As a golfer? No [I haven't lost respect for him]," he said. He won a Major championship 13 months ago, probably one of the crowning achievements of his career and one of the most impressive achievements in the history of the game of golf. As a golfer, I have the utmost respect for Phil.

"I've been disappointed with how he has went about what he has done, but I think he has come back and shown some remorse about how he has handled some things so I think he has learned from that. Who am I to sit up here and give Phil a lesson on how to do things? He has had a wonderful career. He is his own man. He is a great addition to the field this week. Am I disappointed he has taken the route that he has taken? I am, but I still respect him tremendously."

McIlroy also admitted that a number of LIV Golf players' "best days are behind them" and stressed that those his age or younger are "taking the easy way out." Past US Open Bryson DeChambeau, aged 28, recently signed up with LIV and said it was a "business decision."


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, features, courses and travel sections as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. He covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as four 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 at West Byfleet Golf Club in Surrey, where his handicap index floats anywhere between 2-5. 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 HL

Irons: Mizuno MP-H4 3-iron, Mizuno MP5 4-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5