Mickelson voiced that opinion on Twitter/X in response to an article explaining what to make of the “Player Benefit Program” (PBP) that PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan noted in his memo to players last week. Though it is unclear exactly how it will work, the PBP will serve as a mechanism to reward players who remained loyal to the PGA Tour instead of jumping ship to Saudi-backed LIV Golf.
In addition to installing the PBP, the PGA Tour is also evaluating the possibility of sanctioning players who left for LIV if the two rival circuits merge as they are trying to do. “A task force is evaluating developing potential pathways back to the PGA Tour for LIV players who wish to reapply in the future,” per Monahan’s memo.
Breaking down the memo for golf publication The Fried Egg, Andy Johnson theorized that the potential penalties handed down by Monahan and his task force will not be uniform and will target some LIV defectors over others.
Phil Mickelson Is Mad About “Collusion” in Official World Golf RankingThe OWGR hasn’t been awarding points for LIV events
“If I had to guess, the level of discipline will vary depending on said player’s standing in the game as well as how they left the Tour,” he wrote. “Some pro golfers might be playing under the same rules as us mere mortals: if you leave your previous employer in a contentious manner, it can have some down-the-road ramifications. Players who publicly and loudly went after the PGA Tour and participated in the lawsuit against it will likely be given no favors. Think Pat Perez, Talor Gooch and Phil Mickelson.”
Made aware of Johnson’s opinion, Mickelson sounded off. “What a colossal waste of time,” he tweeted. “Not a single player on LIV wants to play PGA Tour. It would require a public apology and restitution to LIV players for paying millions to Clout media to disparage all of us. A better topic is future sanctions for the many players who now come to LIV.” (A public relations firm that worked as an advocacy group for 9/11 victims to push back against LIV and its backers, Clout Public Affairs was hired by the PGA but has ended that arrangement following the merger plans.)
The PGA Tour is expected to announce its 2024 schedule soon. Don’t expect the announcement to include an apology to Mickelson or anyone else.