Eagle-eyed golf fans have noticed that Phil Mickelson has a top engraved with the logo of the Augusta National Golf Club at the inaugural LIV Golf Tournament.
Mickelson, a three-time winner of the Masters Tournament, who can only be described as a curious move, confirmed that the logo was visible when he hit his first shot on Greg Norman’s Saudi-backed rebel tour.
It’s not clear what message Mickelson intended to convey by playing the logo, but the 51-year-old is known for what he wears, so you can be sure it wasn’t an accident.
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This could be a big ‘up yours’ for the PGA Tour, which sent a memo to players shortly after the LIV tournament started, explaining that 16 other LIV players, including Mickelson and Dustin Johnson, are no longer eligible for PGA Tour events, including the President’s Cup. .
The biggest question in golf right now is what the LIV tour means for big tournaments. The PGA Tour does not run any of the four biggest tournaments – The Masters, PGA Championship, US Open and Open Championship.
The USGA has already indicated that Mickelson and his allies will be free to play in next week’s US Open in Massachusetts, if they qualify.
R&A, which hosts the Open Championship, has yet to reveal its position, while the organizers of the Masters (Augusta National Golf Club) and the PGA Championship (US PGA) can wait and see how things end. They have already held their 2022 tournament.
The biggest hurdle for LIV players at the moment is that their tournaments do not attract any world ranking points. This means that over time, they will drop in the rankings and will no longer be eligible for direct entry into the big tournaments unless they get a discount in another fashion, such as being a previous winner, such as at the Mickelson Masters.
LIV has called the PGA Tour’s decision to ban rebel players “revenge”.
In his letter to the players, PGA Tour boss J Monahan said those who chose to play elsewhere must have expected some sort of approval.
“These players have chosen them for their own financial-based reasons. But they cannot claim the same PGA Tour membership benefits, considerations, opportunities and platforms as you,” Monahan wrote. “This expectation disrespects you, our fans and our partners.”
“You made a different choice, following the rules of the tournament that you agreed to when fulfilling your dream of getting a PGA Tour card and – more importantly – to compete as part of the world’s leading professional golf organization.”
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