‘I’m thankful it didn’t happen a year ago’ – Mickelson happy about PGA Tour changes

Mickelson answers questions in front of a LIV Golf board

Phil Mickelson advocated change before joining LIV Golf, but has no regrets about the timing and is glad the PGA Tour is now finally following suit.

The 52-year-old is in no doubt that the recent changes to the PGA Tour are based on the LIV Golf format and are a good thing for the game, but is still glad he joined the Saudi-backed tour.

Mickelson advocated for more money for the top players and events where the PGA Tour’s top stars compete against each other more often – even adding that he brought a $1 billion deal to the tour but had it rejected.

This is something that is now happening with the designated events, which from next year will be smaller fields with no cut – similar to LIV Golf’s format, which Mickelson described as “a good model to follow” for the PGA Tour.

The six-time Major champion has no doubt that the rise of LIV Golf led to the changes on the PGA Tour and says he is happy that Jay Monahan is trying to emulate the Saudi-backed tour’s format.

“I think it’s really good. I’m glad to see it. I’m glad to see it for the Tour,” Mickelson said of the new PGA Tour changes.

“I think there will always be a need and a desire for traditional golf. And there is always an opportunity to innovate and allow LIV to be additive and create something new and different.

“Also, I think the changes bring out the best players more often. I think that’s what the fans want and what the sponsors want.

“They want to know what they’re buying and those are all things that LIV has provided for their sponsors and TV and so on. I think it’s a good model to follow and I’m glad they is.”

Monahan chats with the media at The Players Championship

Monahan chats with the media at The Players Championship

Many feel that if Monahan and the PGA Tour had made the changes Mickelson called for, he would never have gone and LIV Golf would not have been born – but Lefty is happy with the way things turned out.

“Then I’m thankful it didn’t happen a year ago,” he insisted. “I’m really happy with the way LIV has brought new changes to the game.

“Because this team aspect is something we really never saw as a possibility in golf until LIV came along. It brought a new energy for me and a new dynamic, and my teammates and I help each other be our best.

“It’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 grateful that it happened, so I’m glad those changes didn’t happen a year ago.”

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