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 is our Senior Staff Writer and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016. He graduated in Sports Journalism in 2016 and currently manages the Golf Monthly news, courses and travel sections as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. Elliott has interviewed some huge names in the golf world including Sergio Garcia, Thomas Bjorn, Bernd Wiesberger and Scotty Cameron as well as a number of professionals on the DP World and PGA Tours. He has also covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as three Open Championships including at Carnoustie in 2018 when he was inside the ropes with Tiger Woods. He has played 31 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Old Head and Alwoodley. He currently plays at West Byfleet Golf Club in Surrey, where his handicap index floats anywhere between 4-6. His golfing highlight is making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, and he has made one hole-in-one.

Elliott is currently playing:

Driver: Honma TR20

3 wood: TaylorMade SIM2 Max

2 iron: Mizuno MP-18 MMC Fli-Hi

Irons: Mizuno MP5 4-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x