Phil Mickelson advocated for change before joining LIV Golf, but has no regrets about the timing and is happy the PGA Tour is now finally following their example.
The 52-year-old has no doubts the recent PGA Tour changes are based on the LIV Golf format, and are a good thing for the game, but is still happy he joined the Saudi-backed tour.
Mickelson was advocating for more money for the top players and events where the top stars of the PGA Tour competed against each other more often – even adding that he brought a $1 billion deal to the tour but had it rejected.
That’s something which 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 labeled as “a good model to follow” for the PGA Tour.
The six-time Major champion has no doubt that LIV Golf’s emergence prompted the PGA Tour changes, and says he’s happy Jay Monahan is trying to emulate the Saudi-backed tour’s format.
“I think that it’s really a good thing. I’m happy to see it. I’m happy to see it for the Tour,” Mickelson said of the new PGA Tour changes.
“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.
“I also think the changes bring the best players around more often. I think that’s what the 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.”
Many feel that if Monahan and the PGA Tour had made changes Mickelson was calling for he’d never have left and LIV Golf would not have been born – but Lefty is happy with the way things played out.
“Then I’m thankful it didn’t happen a year ago,” he insisted. “I’m really happy with the way LIV has brought about new changes to the game.
“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.”