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19th Hole

‘My legacy is being built right now’ – Phil Mickelson on his role in the changing landscape of pro golf

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It’s been one of, if not the most, dramatic years in golf’s professional history, with the new LIV Golf Series sending shockwaves throughout the sport.

At the heart of the breakaway LIV Golf Series is Phil Mickelson, whose statement to Alan Shipnuck that he was using LIV as ‘leverage’ against the PGA Tour forced Lefty into exile amid a fierce backlash to the comments Mickelson later described as “reckless”.

The 52-year-old re-emerged when he signed for LIV Golf, for a fee of around $200 million, and his return to the course saw the 6-time major champ struggle mightily with his play while also having to deal with hecklers unhappy with his actions.

However, in reaction to the upstart LIV Golf, the PGA Tour recently announced several changes to its respective tour that will see several huge financial benefits offered to its top-tier and lower-tier members.

The changes were so monumental that they even prompted Alan Shipnuck to react by saying: “Phil was right.”

In a recent interview with Bob Harig of SI, Mickelson opened up on a number of topics surrounding the current state of affairs of professional golf and dismissed the idea that his legacy may have been negatively affected by his deeds in 2022.

I feel that my legacy is being built right now.” said Mickelson. “The changes that professional golf are going through I believe are in the best interest for the fans and the players. I feel that it’s being built right now. It hurts to see so much hostility and negativity, for sure. I really believe in the end it’s going to be worth it and I think in the long run everyone is going to come out ahead.”

“So my legacy is being built. But I also have 30 years of being a part of the Tour and appreciate what the Tour has given me and my family. And those relationships that have been formed and the connections with fans. So many memories and moments and friendships.”

According to Mickelson, the changes the PGA Tour has made that are going to earn players a lot more money in the future has prompted tour members to reach out to him and thank him for his role in the injection of cash.

Asked by Harig had any players either thanked him or acknowledged to him that he had some underlying points that were valid, Mickelson responded:

“Yes, numerous. And I’m very appreciative. They are from both sides. I think players on both sides of LIV and the PGA Tour are appreciative of what is happening. Every player is benefiting.’’

In addition, Mickelson revealed to Harig that he “wholeheartedly believes” that he’ll be at Augusta in 2023 for the Masters, and while he doesn’t feel “vindicated” by the recent PGA Tour changes, he admitted that “I’m generally happy that the top players who are really driving the Tour and creating the interest are being listened to.”

As for a truce between the PGA Tour and LIV Golf, Mickelson believes that things will eventually work themselves out.

“I think we’re in a bit of a grace period before it all works itself out. I believe it will in time. I believe these organizations will come together in time and find a solution. The upside is tremendously high, especially on a global scale. So I’ve moved forward to try and help promote that and LIV Golf.’’

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Gianni is the Managing Editor at GolfWRX. He can be contacted at [email protected]

14 Comments

14 Comments

  1. DukusMckain

    Sep 5, 2022 at 9:45 am

    Phil the Shill

  2. Vas

    Sep 4, 2022 at 11:18 am

    What’s hilarious to me is that people love Tiger after he treated fans like garbage for 20 years on tour, while they love to hate on Phil, who treated fans like Arnold did for 30 years. It’s wild.

  3. Chuck

    Sep 3, 2022 at 11:11 pm

    Those “hundreds of hours” of therapy aren’t free. The Saudi money will help Phil pay for the therapy, which will help him grow the game. At Donald Trump-owned private golf clubs. Pretty sure I am getting all of that right.

  4. Pedobrandon

    Sep 3, 2022 at 4:05 pm

    Phil who?

  5. Mike

    Sep 3, 2022 at 12:48 am

    The PGA is making their biggest changes in their history including oodles of money that suddenly appeared. Do folks think they made these changes just because, well, someone just came up with a good idea? No; pure and simple, it’s response to LIV. So, for better or worse, Phil and the others have affected major change.

  6. william

    Sep 2, 2022 at 11:12 pm

    Super privileged–busted for illegal trading in stock market even though he is worth hundreds of millions. Testified against a friend to avoid jail…
    No integrity, dishonest and wants more…
    What’s not too like?
    Now he realizes he’s destroying the tour–and he is enjoying it…he’s a sick man…

  7. Noticer

    Sep 2, 2022 at 3:11 pm

    With (((Shipnuck’s))) you lose.

    • RJ

      Sep 2, 2022 at 4:41 pm

      Right wing grifter golf fans: “Boy, other people sure are easily triggered.”
      Also right wing grifter golf fans: “Oh no someone mentioned Alan Shipnuck and he wasnt nice to Phil and Donald? Time for another tantrum!”

      • Noticer

        Sep 2, 2022 at 7:48 pm

        What a bumbling rant. You have no clue. Who’s the triggered one again.

      • Tom K.

        Sep 2, 2022 at 9:19 pm

        Show us on the doll where Phil touched you.

  8. Tyler Durden

    Sep 2, 2022 at 2:58 pm

    “Phil, are people thanking you?” Phil’ “many people are saying…”
    Genuine MAGAT speak there.
    Bonesaw Phil’s legacy was written earlier this year with the scary mf’ers, but I’ll take their money anyway.

  9. Bob

    Sep 2, 2022 at 11:44 am

    NPD is a real and serious mental disease, Phil.

    Better get that checked.

    • geohogan

      Sep 2, 2022 at 1:28 pm

      I think we know where Phil will be checking in, next.

      “He knows that there’s no better way in the world to aggravate somebody who’s trying to make it hard for you than by acting like you’re not bothered.”
      ..One flew over the Cuckoo’s nest.

  10. Jordan

    Sep 2, 2022 at 9:17 am

    The villain returns to become the HERO.

    PHIL got more balls than titliest.

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19th Hole

‘F*****g hell! That was a low point’ – Rory McIlroy on 2021 matchplay loss to LIV defector

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The 2022 season was an excellent campaign for Rory McIlroy as we saw him rise to once again become the world’s No. 1 player.

The four-time major champion came away with his third Tour Championship victory, a win at the RBC Canadian Open, and another victory at the CJ Cup in October. While he didn’t secure the major championship he’s been coveting since 2014, Rory finished third at The Open, second at the Masters, fifth at the U.S. Open, and eighth at the PGA Championship.

His year full of strong finishes is also backed up by the statistics. McIlroy was the best player for the 2022 season in terms of strokes gained: total.

Prior to his impressive 2022 calendar year, McIlroy struggled in 2021 golf season. Rory recently sat down with Paul Kimmage of the Irish Independent to discuss some of the low points he’s had prior to his reclaiming of the top spot on the OWGR. As we’ve grown accustomed to with McIlroy, he was candid and thoughtful in the interview.

After a U.S. Open victory by Bryson DeChambeau in 2020, McIlroy decided it was time to chase more distance. This led to swing changes and difficulties to what eventually led him to his “rock bottom” which he identifies as the 2021 Ryder Cup. He was also beaten 6&5 by Ian Poulter at the 2021 Dell WGC Match Play.

“Yeah, I was beaten by Poulter. F*****g hell! That was a low point.”

Then there was the 2021 PGA Championship at Kiawah Island, where Rory had won by eight shots back in 2012.

“Kiawah was the perfect example of where my game was; I’d won the PGA there in 2012 by eight shots, but we got there, and I said to Harry: “I don’t remember this course being so difficult.”

The swing changes turned out to be completely unnecessary but having witnessed other players go through them throughout their career, McIlroy was simply doing what he thought was best at the time.

“I’d seen other people do it and thought, at that stage of my career, it was what I needed. It was a difficult summer, but I was having what most people would call a decent year and was starting to think of it that way instead of, ‘It’s decent for most but it’s not good enough for me.’ And I almost needed to hit rock bottom at the Ryder Cup to snap out of it.”

McIlroy enters 2023 as arguably the best player in the world once again and seems primed to make a run at another major championship that he desperately needs. At 33 years old, there’s still plenty of time for the former prodigy to live up to the lofty expectations the golf world once had of him in regard to major championship victories, but it’s time to get going.

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19th Hole

Justin Thomas makes surprising Thanksgiving U-Turn

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Justin Thomas, set to tee it up as part of the select 20 at the Hero World Challenge, has admitted he might have been wrong about Thanksgiving dinner.

The former world No. 1 and winner of the 2022 PGA Championship will look to finish higher than his best-of-event fifth place and secure some momentum towards the 2023 season. With that, the 29-year-old can reach some of the ambitious targets he sets himself each year — falling short of just a few in 2022.

Perhaps more suited to the relaxed, light-hearted nature of Tigers’s invitational, plus the upcoming Match VII and PNC Championship, JT called himself out on a three-year-old tweet about the traditional meal.

Replies were massively in favor of rejecting the turkey, with one response being:

“JT, we do steaks in our house with all the traditional Thanksgiving sides and pies…you can do it…you just gotta make the choice to go for it…don’t lay-up from 200 yds on the par 5,” whilst renown golf story-teller, Ryan French, also agreed with the two-time major winner:

I’m not sure what the poor turkey has done. If done well, it rivals chicken, but JT isn’t having it, politely calling it:

If anything, at least we know what will never be on his Masters champions dinner menu.

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19th Hole

2 Phil Mickelson putters go up for auction…and Phil authenticates them on video

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Last week, we reported on the start of an auction on for one of Tiger Woods’ famous Sunday red shirts.

By Sunday evening, November 27th, there had been 19 bids on the shirt worn during the final round of The Masters 2010, with the current leading offer being $44,771.00. With 13 days left, auction house, Golden Age, will expect bids to reach well in advance of $50k, by some way the biggest price for any of the current ‘Tiger’ memorabilia on the site.

It might have been a good few years since the famed years of the Woods/Phil Mickelson rivalry, but Lefty can’t keep out of the news that his great rival makes, and he too has authenticated some iconic golfing gear – a pair of Scotty Cameron putters.

The first is a handmade Cameron putter that Golden Age can authenticate with photographic evidence.

“We have located loads of photos of Phil Mickelson using this exact putter during that 2002 GHO victory, as well as in the Open Championship, PGA Championship, and Ryder Cup,” the auction house confirms.

“This custom putter is a left handed red dot Circle T Scotty Cameron,” they state, before describing the flat-stick in full. “It has a teryllium face that Scotty Cameron himself personally inserted into this putter. The toe is hand-stamped PHIL.”

Photo-matching is great, but in an era when many are cynical about the provenance of auction items, it is hard to beat video evidence from the player himself.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Golden Age (@goldenageauctions)

In the video, Lefty states that, “They were both handmade by Scotty and I used them in the early 2000s. I definitely won with one for sure,” before confirming, “They were handmade by Scotty and myself around 2001.”

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