Mickelson Says Joining LIV was “Right Decision,” Still Hopes to Play on PGA Tour
Phil Mickelson did not look comfortable on Monday afternoon while answering dozens and dozens of questions regarding his decision to join the LIV Tour.
Despite that, Mickelson held firm in his belief that joining Greg Norman’s Saudi-backed Tour was the right decision.
“I have the utmost respect for the players on the PGA Tour. I think that I respect if they disagree, but at this time, this is the right decision,” Mickelson told a jam packed press conference room at The Country club at Brookline.
Mickelson and other players who joined LIV were recently suspended by the PGA Tour.
Right now, Mickelson said he will be playing all the LIV events and the majors, but would prefer to keep his status on the PGA Tour.
“My preference is to be able to choose which path I would like, one or the other or both. I feel that, as I was saying to Ann, I gave as much back to the PGA TOUR and the game of golf that I could throughout my 30 years here, and through my accomplishments on the course I’ve earned a lifetime membership. I intend to keep that and then choose going forward which events to play and not,” said Mickelson.
Mickelson was then asked about the possibility of never being able to play the PGA Tour again, and if he was at peace with it.
“I am, again, very appreciative of the many memories, opportunities, experiences, friendships, relationships PGA TOUR has provided, and those are going to last — those will last a lifetime, but I’m hopeful that I’ll have a chance to create more,” the six-time major winner told the media.
Mickelson, usually always popular with the fans, is unsure of what kind of reaction he will get from the Boston crowd throughout tournament week.
Mickelson added, “I think the Boston crowds are some of the best in sports, and I think that they have given me a lot of support, and I’m very appreciative of that over the years. I think that their excitement and energy is what creates such a great atmosphere, so whether it’s positive or negative towards me directly, I think it’s going to provide an incredible atmospher to hold this championship. I think it’s going to be a great events and the people here have a lot to do with that.”
Phil at U.S. Open
Famously, Mickelson has finished runner-up in the U.S. Open six times throughout his career.
This is the one major that he needs to complete the career grand slam.
However, this past weekend’s LIV Golf event was his first competitive golf rounds in more than four months, so this week will be a challenge.
“So that’s going to be a challenge, right. It’s the most difficult test in golf. I think it was important for me to have a little bit of competitive golf last week and identify some of the areas of weakness. It was one of the worst putting tournaments I’ve had in years. I spent time yesterday addressing that, which is why I basically putted the whole day on the course. In the offseason I actually made some strides ball-striking-wise, and I’m fairly optimistic there, but it will be a real challenge. These are the best players in the world, and it’s the hardest test of the year,” Mickelson said.
Mickelson tees off at 1:47 p.m. on Thursday afternoon with Shane Lowry and Louis Oosthuizen.