Phil Mickelson’s career earnings just crossed $1 billion thanks to LIV League payday

The world of golf is in chaos now. Dozens of golfers have abandoned the PGA Tour for LIV Golf, a rival league. While a little healthy competition never hurt anyone, this particular league is backed by the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia (PIF). The Public Investment Fund has committed many human rights violations and is a controversial organization. By participating in LIV events, players are signaling – whether they intend to or not – that they are okay with ignoring what the PIF has done.

Of course, LIV has shown that it is not afraid to make huge payments to attract players to its league. The catch was Phil Mickelson, who accepted a $200 million offer to play in the eight 2022 LIV Golf events. Mickelson found himself in hot water earlier this year after making comments acknowledging what PIF had done, but He said he saw joining the league as an opportunity to change the way the PGA Tour operated.

Prior to joining the LIV team, Mickelson made $800 million throughout his career. This means that he has now reached $1 billion in career earnings. It’s a hugely impressive number that few other athletes have come close to.

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The PGA Tour has announced that it will ban players who have participated in LIV events. The first event happened earlier this month, with Mickelson joining the likes of Dustin Johnson (who would make $125 million from LIV), Sergio Garcia, Lee Westwood, and many other golfers. But there is one major problem that the PGA Tour cannot directly address – or rather, four major problems.

The PGA Tour does not control any of the four majors; These tournaments are governed by different bodies. This means that the US Open, the Open Championship, the Masters, and the PGA Championship are all outside the scope of the PGA Tour. And in the case of the US Open, which came less than a week after the first LIV event, it would not penalize players who appeared in that LIV event.

As Jay Busbee of Yahoo Sports points out, while the PGA Tour may not be able to offer virtually unlimited amounts of money, it has a long history full of prestige. If one major followed his lead and started banning golfers who play at LIV events, it could make players think twice before jumping ship.

Currently, LIV participants can earn a lot of money from the new league while still competing in the most popular events on the PGA Tour. This is a very profitable deal.