Phil Mickelson, it seems, is now looking for a merge of sorts between the PGA Tour and the LIV Golf Invitational Series.
Mickelson — who has both been the face of and received the most criticism for joining the Saudi Arabian-backed venture — insisted that the golf startup is “here to stay” on Friday after his round at a LIV tournament outside of Chicago on Friday afternoon.
While he and others who joined the league have been suspended from PGA Tour events, as well as Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup teams, Mickelson thinks it’s time for the two leagues to come together.
“The PGA Tour, for the last 20 or 30 years have had all the best players in the world. That will never be the case again,” Mickelson said, despite the fact that no Official World Golf Rankings points can be earned at LIV Golf events.
“LIV Golf is here to stay. The best solution is for us to come together. I think that the world of professional golf has a need for the old historical 'history of the game' product that the PGA Tour provides. I think that LIV provides a really cool, updated feel that is attracting a lot of younger crowds.”
Mickelson isn’t alone in wanting to play in certain PGA Tour events. Bryson DeChambeau said he wished he could play there, as well as for Team USA, on Thursday.
One of the biggest reasons players cited when jumping ship for LIV Golf, however, was the relaxed schedule. With only eight tournaments on this year’s schedule, there is far less travel and time involved for them. Yet, if they were to start playing in both leagues, that argument goes out the window — which is something Billy Horschel called them out for ahead of the BMW PGA Championship.
There’s also a lawsuit that Mickelson and other LIV Golf players filed against the PGA Tour. Until that’s resolved one way or another, it’s hard to imagine the Tour welcoming Mickelson and his LIV Golf counterparts back with open arms. Mickelson did say that he is considering removing himself from the lawsuit on Thursday.
Despite his court filings, Mickelson hopes they can eventually co-exist.
"I think both are needed for the game of golf. Both are good for the game of golf,” he said. “The inclusion of LIV Golf in the ecosystem of the golf world is necessary.
“As soon as that happens and we all start working together, that’s going to be a really positive thing for everyone."