Mickelson praises Rory’s win and says LIV Golf isn’t going away

Ronan MacNamara

Phil Mickelson (Robert Beck/USGA)

Ronan MacNamara

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Phil Mickelson has heaped praise on Rory McIlroy after the Holywood native successfully defended the CJ Cup last week to return to world number one for the ninth time in his career.

Mickelson has also responded to claims McIlroy made last week that his comments that LIV was trending upwards while the PGA Tour was in decline were “propaganda” on his behalf.

“Well, first of all, what a great win he had last week,” Mickelson said in a press conference at Trump Doral. “He played some great golf. I think it was an impressive victory,” he acknowledged.

The six-time major champion admitted he probably shouldn’t have criticised the PGA Tour in the manner in which he did but feels the progression of LIV Golf over the past six months has been ‘remarkable’ and it is a tour that is only going to get stronger and become a bigger force in golf.

“But maybe I shouldn’t have said stuff like that (about the PGA Tour), I don’t know, but if I’m just looking at LIV Golf and where we are today to where we were six, seven months ago and people are saying this is dead in the water, and we’re past that, and here we are today, a force in the game that’s not going away, that has players of this caliber that are moving professional golf throughout the world and the excitement level in the countries around the world of having some of the best players in the game of golf coming to their country and competing. It’s pretty remarkable how far LIV Golf has come in the last six, seven months. I don’t think anybody can disagree with that.”

The draw was made for LIV Golf’s Team Championship with team captains from teams ranked fifth to eighth in the season-long standings picking their opponents for Friday’s opening round.

Lefty is probably unsurprisingly in one of the highlight matches of the day as he tackles Open champion Cameron Smith.

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