Rory McIlroy Rips LIV Golf's Phil Mickelson And Patrick Reed In Full Swing

The 33-year-old didn't hold back when discussions turned to the LIV Golf players in the Netflix docuseries

Rory McIlroy at the 2022 Tour Championship at East Lake
Rory McIlroy makes his feelings about LIV Golf players Phil Mickelson and Patrick Reed clear in Full Swing
(Image credit: Netflix)

Rory McIlroy is well known as one of the most outspoken defenders of the PGA Tour following the emergence of its bitter rival LIV Golf - and now there is evidence of the 33-year-old’s opinion of two of those who joined the circuit thanks to his starring role in new Netflix series Full Swing.

Two of LIV Golf’s most high-profile players are six-time Major winner Phil Mickelson and 2018 Masters champion Patrick Reed and both players signed for the Greg Norman-fronted circuit during the period the series following life on the PGA Tour was being filmed, making them topics of conversation behind the scenes.

The final episode, Everything Has Led To This, focuses on McIlroy’s attempts to win a fifth Major at the 150th Open, and his FedEx Cup victory in the season-closing Tour Championship at East Lake last August. It was at the latter venue where one of the best quotes of the series was aired - and it was reserved for Mickelson.

Footage shows McIlroy receiving a massage and discussing the Super Bowl when the conversation turns to Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen and his love for the PGA Tour. After a few seconds, McIlroy interjects: “Yeah, but he’s a Phil Mickelson fan.” The conversation moves on for a few seconds before McIlroy grins and shouts, "F*** you Phil!" He then jokes that he hopes that line makes it the cut.

Far more subtle is McIlroy’s dig at Reed, this time on the range at East Lake. One way for LIV players to acquire Official World Golf Ranking points is playing on the Asian Tour, because LIV Golf currently can’t offer them. The conversation turns to Reed’s appearance on that tour, which prompts McIlroy to say: “And dropped spots on the world rankings. Beautiful!”

The month after the Tour Championship, Reed dropped out of the world’s top 50 for the first time since 2014, and currently stands at World No.60. Given McIlroy’s reaction (or rather lack of) to Reed in the build-up to last month’s Dubai Desert Classic, where he blanked him, it’s safe to say the intervening months have done little to increase McIlroy’s sympathy for the American.

While McIlroy is always forthright when speaking to the media, the behind-the-scenes footage certainly offers a less inhibited angle on his opinions. However, considering his reaction to the mentions of Mickelson and Reed, it seems his thoughts on LIV Golf are consistent with the image he portrays when under the glare of the media spotlight.

Mike Hall
News Writer

Mike has over 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on a range of sports throughout that time, such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance staff writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the game's most newsworthy stories. 

He has written hundreds of articles on the game, from features offering insights into how members of the public can play some of the world's most revered courses, to breaking news stories affecting everything from the PGA Tour and LIV Golf to developmental Tours and the amateur game. 

Mike grew up in East Yorkshire and began his career in journalism in 1997. He then moved to London in 2003 as his career flourished, and nowadays resides in New Brunswick, Canada, where he and his wife raise their young family less than a mile from his local course. 

Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.