Much going on behind scenes in LIV’s rankings battle, says Mickelson
We’re just trying to improve the game, says champion
Phil Mickelson used LIV Golf’s biggest stage to continue his campaign against the official world golf ranking (OWGR).
After taking to social media last week to deride the board’s decision to deny the Saudi-backed league’s request for players to compete for world rankings points, Mickelson said before this week’s Team Championship that there was more to it than LIV’s format and limited turnover rate.
“I do want to bring to light as to why exactly they are doing what they are doing,” Mickelson said at Trump National Doral on Thursday.
“It’s not what they are putting out there on the front page. There’s a lot more going on behind the scenes as to the importance of us getting points to [match] the PGA Tour.”
Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) president Peter Dawson wrote in a letter to LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman that the board’s vote to deny the request was unanimous, but told the Global Golf Post that the decision was “entirely technical” and that the league could resubmit its bid in future.
Asked if LIV should work to address the hurdles presented by the OWGR board, Mickelson said: “We have enough on our plate to make our product more exciting and appealing that we shouldn't worry ourselves with what they are doing.
“I’m just bringing facts to life as to why that’s happening.
“But really, we as a group, as a league that’s trying to grow the game and bring it globally and promote the game throughout the world, as well as bring something different from the old, stodgy format that we’ve had for decades.
“We just need to focus on what we are doing and make our product as good as possible, as interesting as possible.
“We need to make tweaks to our programme. The OWGR need to make tweaks, but we need to tweak our format to continue to evolve and be more interesting and easier to understand.”
Mickelson echoed the sentiments of Bryson DeChambeau, who said last week that the Majors should find a way to include the best LIV Golf players.
“I think the Majors need to protect their product, and there’s probably other ways they can do that by creating slots,” Mickelson said.
“If they want to make sure they have the best fields in golf, they could create vehicles for players on LIV to play in Majors where they don’t have to use the OWGR, which would undermine the TV contract and revenue of the PGA Tour if they gave points to LIV.”
Without making changes specifically to please the OWGR, Mickelson did acknowledge that LIV needed to continue to evolve.
As LIV concludes its second season this week, he hinted that the player roster is “going to improve next year”.
Mickelson added that changes to the league’s structure and event format could also be in the works, though he declined to reveal details of any potential alterations.
“We have a lot of ideas internally and I think we should keep that there because we might have ideas but we have to see if they are good ideas, if they are going to work,” he said.
“It’s important we continue to evolve our product, our presentation.”
Field Level Media
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