Mickelson tells golf world to prepare for more civil-war duels with LIV rebels | Golf
Phil Mickelson has told the golf world to prepare for more tournaments involving LIV Rebels on the DP World Tour on the basis that they will win their upcoming arbitration case against that organization.
Spice has been added to Monday’s Dubai Desert Classic duel between Rory McIlroy and Patrick Reed because of their opposing sides in golf’s ongoing civil war. Reed, a LIV player, is among those allowed to play on the DP World Tour due to a stay on suspensions imposed until a case comes before Sport Resolutions UK on February 6.
LIV players argue they should have the right to combine appearances on the DP world tournament with those on the Saudi Arabia-backed circuit. McIlroy, a staunch supporter of golf’s existing ecosystem, saw off Reed by a stroke.
Now, Mickelson, speaking ahead of the Saudi invitation, has anticipated the arbitration outcome. “I thought the last round was amazing,” Mickelson said of the Desert Classic. “Both players played great golf. Patrick played an incredible final round. Rory didn’t really have his best stuff throughout the day but he fought hard for the last two to win and I think that shows a lot about the kind of champion and player he is. I thought it was great for the game to have that type of interest, and it was interest around the world. This is a very good thing.
“In a few weeks I expect the players, the LIV players to win their case in the UK, and we will open the doors for all players to play on the European Tour. There is a very good chance that you will have more clashes, more head-to-head competitions like you saw in Dubai last week and I think that will be a very good thing for the game.”
Mickelson’s comments will raise eyebrows at the European Tour group’s Wentworth headquarters. The arbitration case is scheduled to last for five days, but an outcome likely won’t be known for several weeks.
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Mickelson’s 2022 has been overshadowed by his controversial switch to LIV and comments related to it. His performance on the court was generally poor. “I’m ashamed of how I played last year,” says the 52-year-old. “I’m going to put this behind me and have a really good year.”