Six-time major winner Phil Mickelson says the PGA Tour will have to accept losing control over the world’s best players after LIV Golf’s emergence.
The Saudi Arabian-backed circuit has signed up a host of top players but the PGA Tour has suspended them from taking part in its own events.
“The PGA Tour, for the last 20 or 30 years have had all the best players in the world,” said Mickelson.
“That will never be the case again. LIV Golf is here to stay.”
Mickelson believes a compromise that allows the two circuits to co-exist is the natural outcome of the current stand-off.
“The best solution is for us to come together,” the 52-year-old American added on Friday after carding a two-under-par 70 in the opening round of the current LIV event, which is taking place in Chicago.
“I think that the world of professional golf has a need for the old historical ‘history of the game’ product that the PGA Tour provides. I think that LIV provides a really cool, updated feel that is attracting a lot younger crowds.
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“Both are good for the game of golf and the inclusion of LIV Golf in the ecosystem of the golf world is necessary. As soon as that happens, we all start working together. It’s going to be a really positive thing for everyone.”
However chief executive Greg Norman said earlier this week that LIV Golf had “no interest” in negotiating after trying and failing to engage the PGA Tour in discussions over the past year.
This year’s Open champion and world number three Cameron Smith, two-time major winner Dustin Johnson, and American duo Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau are also among LIV Golf’s big-money recruits.
Johnson leads the 54-hole tournament in Chicago on nine under par after round one, three clear of Smith. It is the fifth of the eight invitational events in LIV Golf’s inaugural season.