‘LIV Is Just Stupid’: Phil Mickelson and 15 Other Pros ‘Major’ Efforts Get Shunned By League’s Biggest Critic

via Reuters

Golf – The Masters – Augusta National Golf Club, Augusta, Georgia, U.S. – April 10, 2024 Phil Mickelson of the U.S. on the 10th hole during a practice round REUTERS/Brian Snyder

Only sixteen players from the LIV Golf will be playing at Valhalla this week. Enjoining the defending champion, Brooks Koepka will be 7-time major winner Phil Mickelson, the 24-time PGA Tour winner Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau, and Joaquin Niemann with 11 others. Before the 16 players tee up at the PGA Championship, their biggest critic has hit back on their eligibility to be in the majors.

The former golfer has taken a jibe at the rebel league for its innovative format and questioned the statistics of the players, which unlike the PGA Tour does not have a proper system to update and calculate the stats of the 54 golfers.

Branden Chamblee has always opposed the idea of LIV Golf’s existence. From its innovative 54-hole format to its sole investors coming from Saudi Arabia, Chamblee had vocalized his concerns about the league from time to time. Recently, the Golf Channel analyst gave an exclusive interview to Golf WRX to call out the LIV’s format once again.

Showing his distaste for the 54-hole shotgun events, Chamblee disparagingly said, “The format for LIV is just stupid. There’s no other word for it. 54 holes, 54 players start. Willy nilly here and there.” Furthermore, when the former pro was asked if the LIV golfers should be in the majors, he again took a dig at the LIV Golf defector’s skills and how the league calculated the stats for these pros.

Chamblee expressed his disagreement with LIV and expressed, “It’s just a laughable concept. There’s no way to judge the talents of these players out there.” The pro analyst had an issue with how LIV analyses the players’ performance and puts out the stats. Chamblee pointed out how everyone was surprisingly hitting the greens and said, “Their data is laughable. It’s very hard to hit 75% of your greens and it looks like everybody on their tour is hitting 75% of greens. Who’s keeping their stats? Who’s doing their data? They haven’t gotten their act together.”

So, the 16 golfers including Phil Mickelson were underestimated by Chamblee and if they deserved the major championship berth. The LIV Golf pros and Chamblee will be face to face at the 2024 PGA Championship as he will be casting the event. The 16 golfers would attempt to prove Chamblee wrong

Although Chamblee has a concern with LIV Golf’s format and its investors, the PIF, the 61-year-old recently shared that he wants the PGA Tour to finalize the deal with Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund.

Branden Chamblee wanted the PIF-PGA Tour merger to happen

A year ago, Branden Chamblee was strictly against the existence of LIV Golf and the merger between the PGA Tour and PIF. The 61-year-old explained that the deal with Saudis would not deem any benefit for the game of golf. However, a year down the lane, the former pro has taken a massive U-turn.

Chamblee now believes that the PIF and the PGA Tour should fasten the merger talks and finalize it. Why? Per the golf analyst’s latest statements, the PIF can outspend the PGA Tour, making LIV Golf never go away. Thus, to stay in the business with the best talents, Chamblee agreed with Rory McIlroy’s stance of wanting to have the $3 billion merger on board.

The former pro didn’t want more division in the golf world, so he explained, “The time is now, to Rory’s point about making a deal, I wouldn’t have said that a year ago… but it is the better end of the bargain.” Despite his changed demeanor regarding the PIF-PGA Tour merger, it seems that Branden Chamblee still has a long way before accepting LIV Golf’s 54-hole format.

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