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Picture: 123RF/DIMITRI SHIRONOSOV
Picture: 123RF/DIMITRI SHIRONOSOV

Adelaide — All of the world’s top golfers have been contacted about joining a proposed Super Golf League (SGL) and the threat of the Saudi-backed new circuit has improved players’ earnings potential, Phil Mickelson said.

Speaking on the eve of the Asian Tour’s Saudi International near Jeddah, Mickelson said the prospect of a new rival has already prompted the US-based PGA Tour to distribute more money to its players.

He cited a new player impact programme that handed out $40m to the players who generated the most media coverage and the increase in prize money to $20m at last year’s Players Championship in Florida.

“I think every [top] player has been contacted,” the six-time Major winner told reporters when asked about the SGL.

“Everybody is looking at it and seeing parts of it that can really help and benefit their situation, their life, their career, and then there’s parts of it that they’re probably concerned with.

“I’m appreciative of the fact that there is competition, and that leverage has allowed for a much better environment on the PGA Tour,” Mickelson said.

“My hopes are that the biggest thing, which are media rights and the way the players have been used for so long, I hope that that changes through the competitive opportunity.”

Dustin Johnson said he is not allowed to disclose how much he has been offered. He said it was “not similar” to the reported $20-$30m guarantee given to Briton Ian Poulter.

“I think it’s a really good concept,” he said. “I think it makes it a little more interesting for the fans and for the players.”

Reuters

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