Could Phil Mickelson Become the “Tony Romo of Golf” in His Post-PGA Tour Career?
Mickelson’s representatives have reportedly started exploratory talks with several interested networks
A non-factor in the majors during an abbreviated 2019-20 PGA Tour season, Phil Mickelson said last month that he would “start to re-evaluate things” if he didn’t play well early on this season.
That evaluation may be coming sooner rather than later for the 50-year-old as he continued a recent stretch of poor play at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am last week and missed the cut after shooting rounds of 74 and 80 to finish at 10 over.
If it does, one of the things Mickelson will be evaluating is moving from the putting green to the broadcast booth in his post-PGA Tour career, Front Office Sports reports.
“Absolutely, we’re always in discussions about Phil’s future,” Steve Loy, Mickelson’s agent and longtime business partner, told FOS. “It wouldn’t surprise me if in the next 12 to 24 months you might see more of Phil on the air.”
The five-time major winner demonstrated he has some crossover star appeal for casual golf fans during his three appearances on TNT’s made-for-TV The Match charity golf events. He also received praise for a stretch alongside Jim Nantz and Nick Faldo in the broadcast booth during CBS Sports’ coverage of the PGA Championship last year.
“He’d be the Tony Romo of golf. This is a no-brainer,” a TV personality told FOS.
To get him, networks would likely have to pay Mickelson like Romo, as Lefty has amassed $92 million in career earnings on the Tour (second only to Tiger Woods’s $120 million) and has a number of successful endorsement deals. While Mickelson likely couldn’t command Romo’s $17 million annual salary to start, he clearly wouldn’t take a TV gig for chump change and could instead decide to earn money by making appearances and continuing to play tournaments on the PGA Tour Champions.
“The networks want Phil — but the price points right now are night and day,” another source told FOS. “The question is: Can anybody pay him enough? And does he want to call 10 to 20 tournaments a year?”
Mickelson has earned 44 PGA Tour wins over his nearly 30 years on the Tour, but fell out of the Top 50 in the World Golf Ranking last year and is now on the verge of dropping outside of the Top 100 at 89th.
There’s no way to know if Mickelson wants to call 10 to 20 tournaments a year as a broadcaster, but he certainly won’t want to continue to take part in 10 to 20 tournaments per year if he keeps playing the way he has recently. Perhaps TV is next.
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