Mickelson glad PGA Tour changes didn’t happen a year ago

Ronan MacNamara

Phil Mickelson (Photo by Luke Walker/WME IMG/WME IMG via Getty Images)

Phil Mickelson was in a humorous mood when asked about the proposed PGA Tour changes for 2024, expressing his delight that they did not come into effect a year ago because he feels so happy at LIV Golf.

Mickelson was speaking ahead of the organisation’s second event of the season in Tucson and he believes the PGA Tour have been forced to act by LIV who have revolutionised the game since establishing in 2022.

“I’m thankful it didn’t happen a year ago. I’m really happy with the way LIV has brought about new change to the game,” said Mickelson. “Because this team aspect is something that we really never saw as a possibility in golf until LIV came along. It brought about a new energy for me and a new dynamic, and my teammates and myself are helping each other be our best. That’s been a lot of fun, playing practice rounds with them and going to dinner, hanging out.

“It’s brought a lot more joy to the professional golf experience, and I’m really appreciative that it’s come about, so I’m glad that those changes didn’t happen a year ago.”

Mickelson also said that the new changes will be good for the PGA Tour but with a tinge of a subtle brag, saying that it’s a good thing that they are following the LIV model.

“I think that it’s really a good thing. I’m happy to see it. I’m happy to see it for the Tour. I think there will always be a need and a want for traditional golf. And there’s always an opportunity to innovate and to allow LIV to be additive and create something new and different for the going.

“I also think the changes bring the best players about more often. I think that’s what fans want and what the sponsors want. They want to know what they are buying, and those are all things that LIV have provided for their sponsors and television and so forth. I think it’s a good model to follow, and I’m glad that they are.”

As for the proposed rolling back of the golf ball, after fellow LIV player Bryson DeChambeau launched a scathing criticism of the R&A and USGA’s idea, but Mickelson wasn’t getting drawn into any verbals.

“I was actually surprised to hear this. So I have not read up on it. I haven’t looked into it. I haven’t really like looked at the data, so I don’t really have an opinion on it right now. I just don’t have enough knowledge to really — on the subject to formulate an opinion yet.”

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