Phil Mickelson claims pro golf was ‘broken’ in staunch defence of LIV Golf

Phil Mickelson has been at the centre of the saga between the PGA Tour and LIV Golf, but believes problems within the game began prior to the breakaway league’s inception

Phil Mickelson believes LIV Golf is helping to ‘fix’ professional golf, after highlighting a whole host of flaws formulated by the PGA Tour.

Mickelson became the Saudi-backed league’s trailblazer two years ago, having emerged as the first big name from PGA Tour to pledge his support to the breakaway circuit. Since then, the two rival tours have found themselves at war at the top of the golfing pyramid, and the six-time major champion has often been at the centre of the fallout.

He reentered the discussion on Saturday, taking to X (formerly Twitter ) to hit back at claims that the sport had been left broken by the recent split. ” Golf was broken and is in the process of being fixed,” the HyFlyers captain tweeted.

“1) average age of pga tour viewer recently went from 60 to 65. 2) totally US centric and no plan to globalize opportunities. 3) monopolistic control of media rights wouldn’t allow for players to use YouTube and other social platforms to promote the game to the next generation and working from within the Tour wasn’t an option.

“Ie Bryson [DeChambeau]. What he’s doing now wasn’t allowed before LIV. Fixing the problem takes time but it’s better than waiting for it to collapse entirely.” One argument Mickelson has often used against the PGA Tour is players being unable to control their own media rights, a point he raised when first committing his loyalties to the Saudi setup.

His take on X came after fellow LIV star Anthony Kim had been embroiled in a social media fallout with staunch breakaway league critic Brandel Chamblee. Kim highlighted Chamblee’s u-turn on the Saudi involvement in professional golf, after claiming the Tour should reach an agreement with the Middle Eastern fund despite having previously been critical.

“Ramble Chamblee @chambleebrandel ur such a p—- 4 beating on ur chest & basically saying never retreat & hypocritically retreat,” Kim tweeted. “It is well known this talentless fool is disliked by most people in the golf world. U still gonna cover golf if @livgolf_league is involved?”

Former PGA Tour star and golf analyst Chamblee was quick to hit back, defending his reasoning behind back-tracking on previous criticism of the Saudi’s involvement in pro golf – all whilst including a low blow at Mickelson. “This is about as inaccurate as a lot of Mickelson’s drives,” Chamblee said in response to Kim.

“And sadly ironical coming two tweets after you asked for advice on raising your daughter that you would refer to someone as a female body part in a juvenile attempt to denigrate them. It’s clear that you were not offered disability for your pithy takes. As for your criticism of me saying a deal with the Saudis is the best deal for golf right now.”

He went on: “It’s something I’ve said recently, because I don’t think the Saudis are going to turn away from the game and they will continue to be a poaching threat and dilute the product of the PGA Tour. It’s the sad reality of you and your brethren on the LIV tour willingly dealing with a murderous dictator for profit so that he can hide his atrocities, that golf has had to try to figure out how to mitigate the influence of MBS, PIF and LIV in the otherwise philanthropical and merit based world of professional golf.

“Now why don’t you get back to doing what you formerly did best, which is to wow the world with your talent. I don’t like LIV for a lot of reasons, but I certainly enjoyed your golf and would love to see you playing anything like the semblance of the golfer you used to be.”

Kim made a shock return to pro golf earlier this year, signing for LIV as a wildcard 12 years after his last PGA Tour start.

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