Phil Mickelson reckons LIV Golf would “dominate” the PGA Tour in a Ryder Cup-style match.
The left-hander (52) has become one of the faces of LIV Golf after reportedly signing a $200million deal to jump to the Saudi-financed tour.
Rory McIlroy described the six-time Major winner’s comments as “naïve, selfish, egotistical, ignorant” when the American said he used the Saudis to leverage the PGA Tour.
But while Mickelson said this week he’s made peace with the fact he’ll never be Ryder Cup captain, he’s loving the disruption caused by the upstart tour and reckons it’s potentially far stronger than the PGA Tour.
When a Twitter user suggested a Ryder Cup style match between the rival tours with Mickelson and Tiger Woods as opposing captains would be “the most watched golf event in history”, he couldn’t resist chiming in.
“It sounds great,” Mickelson tweeted. “But we would dominate them so soundly and it would be over so quick that tv would have to fill an hour of dead time. That’s why it’s not happening at this time.”
Mickelson is convinced LIV Golf will win its legal cases in the US and Europe, making it possible to see more showdowns like Monday’s Dubai Desert Classic mano a mano between McIlroy and Patrick Reed.
“I think that when you have characters in the game, when you have controversy in the game, I think it creates a lot more excitement, a lot more awareness,” Mickelson said ahead of the PIF Saudi International where he opened with a level par 70 to share 38th with the likes of Graeme McDowell, seven strokes behind fellow LIV player Abraham Ancer
“What transpired early in the week with Patrick and Rory added to the excitement level.
“I thought the final round was incredible. Both players played some great golf. Patrick played an incredible final round, and 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’s been interest throughout the globe. That’s a really good thing.
“In a couple of weeks I expect that the players, the LIV players will win their case in the UK, and we’ll open the doors for all players to play on the European Tour.
“There’s a very good chance that you’ll have more showdowns, more head-to-head competitions like you saw last week in Dubai, and I think that would be a really good thing for the game.”
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