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Phil Mickelson Flopped at Becoming the Tiger Woods of LIV Golf; His $200M Blunder Exposed After Masters Disaster

Published 04/15/2024, 11:15 AM EDT

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The recently concluded Masters saw the World #1 golfer, Scottie Scheffler take home his second green jacket after only playing 20 rounds in total at Augusta. He has now joined the likes of Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson as multiple Green Jacket winners. Notably, both the older legends didn’t fare too well last week, with a 60th and T43rd place finish, respectively. Moreover, during the entire week, Lefty perhaps found himself feeling somewhat out of place.

Not only was Tuesday evening’s Champions Dinner a 2023 repeat for the LIV golfer, but his experiences throughout the week and his involvement in the Saudi-backed league paint a bleak picture that perhaps his $200 million defection is not turning out to be as fruitful as he would have wanted it to be.

Phil Mickelson is perhaps not as involved in LIV Golf as he would’ve liked

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The incident extends beyond just the Masters; rather, it harks back to 2022, when Lefty opted to join Greg Norman’s LIV Golf. While the community was initially taken aback, subsequent revelations about Mickelson’s contract continued to fuel the surprising turn of events. Mickelson stood out as the most accomplished golfer in the Saudi-backed league, and it was clear that he aspired to become its prominent figurehead, just like Tiger Woods is on the PGA Tour. Notably, Woods has now also ascended to Vice Chairman of PGA Tour Enterprises.

via Reuters

Lefty was the adamant LIV Golf loyalist who spoke highly of the league whenever he could and often engaged in controversial quarrels. He called out the PGA Tour, for their “obnoxious greed” and said he would use LIV Golf’s enormous financial resources as leverage against the PGA Tour. These comments even led to him sitting out Masters in 2022.

Whether it was backing the coming together of both tours or supporting his fellow LIV golfers, he was always at the center of things. Most recently, the 54-year-old even shared his sentiments over the LIV Golf and the PGA Tour merger, siding with his rival Rory McIlroy, who claimed a divide in golf was “not sustainable.”

However, despite his vocal presence online and in the press, Mickelson is far from taking up a ‘decision-making role’ like Woods has on the tour. The golfer has found himself excluded from many crucial matters, including the merger. Just recently at the Masters, when Lefty was asked about the PGA Tour’s meeting with Yasir al-Rumayyan last month, he quickly responded, “Others are handling that. I’m not involved. Others are taking care of that.”

On the other hand, when Woods was asked about the same, the 15x major champion had a far more clear answer. I don’t know if we’re closer, but certainly we’re headed in the right direction, he said.

This contrast somewhat goes to show that Lefty, despite being a celebrated golfer with so much legacy in the sport, is not being given the status of an ‘involved’ experienced veteran in the Saudi-backed league, unlike Woods on the PGA Tour. While this indicated the current state of being sidelined from the situation, a comparable incident also took place at the Champions Dinner and during the pressers at Augusta National, where Lefty again was not as involved.

Nick Faldo had lots to say about Phil after the Champions Dinner

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Before the Masters, amidst a room brimming with professional golfers, the three-time Masters Champion remained silent while seated beside Nick Faldo. Later, Faldo revealed to Sky Sports that the LIV star had been “very quiet” during the meal on Tuesday. “He didn’t say a word. He was dead quiet, standing next to me,” said the golf legend, in almost a dilemma. “I wonder why?”

Furthermore, Lefty wasn’t even part of the three-day schedule for the Masters press conference, which included 14 players. During the same press conference, Tiger Woods was granted a 90-minute slot. Controversially, of course, this prompted reactions from Mickelson fans, who labeled it an “absolute disgrace.” Regardless, one thing was clear: Mickelson and Woods were treated quite differently, despite both being legends in the sport and at the Masters.

via Reuters

While it still isn’t clear whether Phil Mickelson himself wants the burden of decision-making and a bigger role at LIV Golf, the one thing that stands out is that currently, he has no known offer for it either And with Woods having ascended to becoming a major part of the $3 billion merger decision, it certainly seems like Lefty’s $200 million shift came with no status.

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Do you think there will be opportunities for the Lefty in the future, or could this signify the end of Mickelson’s era? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below!

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Written by:

Dakshinesh Kumar Naman

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One take at a time

Naman Kumar is a Golf Writer at EssentiallySports. An expert in analytical pieces, he never fails to awe his readers with his niche coverage of big names—like his idol, Phil Mickelson—in the sport. Naman is also adept at predictability pieces, where he explores the immediate future of players, be it through where they’ll play next or whether injuries will cause them to withdraw from an event.
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Edited by:

Riya Singhal

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