“On the Verge of Greatness”: Viktor Hovland Falls Under Phil Mickelson Radar Weeks After Fake LIV Golf Rumors

Two years back, Phil Mickelson rewrote the history at the PGA Championship and became the oldest major winner in the history of golf. Although he could not follow the same path or come even closer to it at the 106th PGA Championship, Lefty still enjoyed the weekend at Valhalla.

But through three other golfers who made it exciting, among them was the rumored LIV Golf defector, Viktor Hovland. In the past few months, the Norwegian pro had been reported to join the rebel league several times. However, he had busted those rumors and showed his fealty to the PGA Tour. Despite it, the LIV Golf purist, Mickelson didn’t leave him out when appreciating the enthralling PGA Championship finals.

Phil Mickelson foresees Viktor Hovland’s burning potential

Three names were on the top of the leader and exchanged the lead from time to time in Valhalla. Eventually, Xander Schauffele came out on top and scored the lowest PGA Championship score to par to win the 106th Wanamaker Trophy. However, Bryson DeChambeau and Viktor Hovland were the beasts in their own lane too.

While Schuaffele lost the lead once, Hovland took it and was on the verge of winning his first major. DeChambeau on the other hand, was always trailing behind Schauffele, and with just one stroke off, the 30-year-old could not force for a playoff. Phil Mickelson who exited the Valhalla greens after 36 holes, witnessed the dramatic showdown.

As a way to appreciate the efforts three golfers put in, he tweeted an encouraging post for the three pros. Lefty wished Schauffele his first major victory and celebrated DeChambeau’s efforts while also applauding Hovland for making a comeback after past poor events. The 45-time PGA Tour winner appreciatively said, “What an exciting PGA Championship at Valhalla. Congrats to Xander who was solid all day and delivered when he needed it most. Bryson continues to be fascinating and exciting to watch while Hovland shows he too is on the verge of greatness. A great weekend for golf.”

It was indeed a great showing for the fans as well as they agreed with Lefty. The next great weekend that will see the best players coming together, the third time this year, would be at Pinehurst for the 124th U.S. Open. While Schauffele, Hovland, and DeChambeau will be there, will Lefty be able to play the event?

Is Phil Mickelson eligible to play the 124th U.S. Open?

Unlike Tiger Woods, who received a special invitation to play in the 2024 U.S. Open, as he could not qualify through any other criteria, Phil Mickelson did not get one. Or to say, he did not need to have it. Mickelson’s last major championship win was at the 2021 PGA Championship at Ocean Course.


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The oldest major winner can join the young stars of LIV Golf and PGA Tour at the Pinehurst Resort & Country Club’s Course No. 2 because the USGA has qualified the PGA Championship winners from 2019 to 2024 and Lefty being one gets an automatic entry to the 124th U.S. Open.

In the last two majors, the Masters and the PGA Championship, Mickelson was T45 in Augusta National, and as revealed, missed the 1 under cutline at Valhalla. His 2024 major run has not been fulfilling yet, but things might change at the 2024 U.S. Open.

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