Phil Mickelson & LIV Golf Quietly Drop a Couple Bombshells

Phil Mickelson at LIV Adelaide, 2024

Getty Images Phil Mickelson at LIV Adelaide, 2024

On an otherwise quiet Saturday, Phil Mickelson hints at retiring and LIV Golf chief Greg Norman takes a swipe at golf traditionalists.

In an exclusive interview with Bloomberg, Mickelson, 53, stuttered before answering about when he might retire, then said his career was “towards its end.”

Meanwhile, LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman suggested the league’s naysayers and golf traditionalists are out of touch. Norman suggested an “18-year-old” that was constantly “tuning in” on their phone for a few seconds at a time is more representative of golf’s future than the viewer that more commonly watches a golf tournament for hours on television.

Phil Mickelson for the Love of the Game

Big money aside, golf has not come easy for Mickelson since he jettisoned to LIV.

As Heavy wrote in February, “the only truly great golf we’ve seen from him over the last two years was his final-round 65 at last year’s (2023) Masters, which vaulted him into a tie for second with fellow (LIV Golf) defector Brooks Koepka.” Maybe it’s no surprise, then, that the continued acrimony from the PGA versus LIV Golf battles, his poor showings, and age are all taking their toll.

From his interview, Mickelson sounds downright wistful.

“There are moments when you’re on a golf course alone, and you have this solace and you’re at peace. There are so many great things about this game of golf, and I would love others to experience those things.”

Does he have regrets? Perhaps, but he did not speak to those.

At 50 years and 11 months, he became the oldest winner of a major when he scored victory at the 2021 PGA Championship. And his 2023 Master’s showing may have been Phil’s final hurrah. Might fans get to see Mickelson on the PGA Tour Champions, the senior league? Would he want that? Would he be allowed?

Greg Norman for the Future of the Game

Whereas Mickelson is looking back at his past, Greg Norman appears focused solely on the future.

In a sit down interview with Bloomberg’s Business of Sports, Norman aggressively took aim at what he implies is the hypocrisy of those calling out LIV Golf’s impact on the game. In particular, those suggesting that because of LIV, tournaments no longer have all the best players competing against one another.

“That never happened anyway. Right? I was (the) number one player in the world. Very seldom did I go and play in the United States or Europe or Asia or anything. Did I play against the best in the world outside the four majors and maybe the TPC? They’re the five, right? So very, very seldom did that happen.”

Norman also made no apologies about the money LIV Golf–and the Saudi Wealth fund–are injecting into the sport: “What we have done brilliantly is injected more capital. Golf is finally looked upon as an asset class.”

Norman also suggested that, much like how NASCAR owns many of the tracks it races on, and a few MLB teams are turning stadium sites into economic centers, LIV Golf will attempt something similar.

“Think about LIV owning all their own golf courses, each team having a home venue (which) they host. And now you can build out around that. It’s not just a golf course. You bring in education, you bring in hospitality, you bring in real estate, you bring in merchandise,” Norman said.

These may prove to be wise investments by Norman, but for now, even LIV Golf stars continue to focus on PGA majors.

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