Phil Mickelson Jumps Ship, Joins the Saudi-Backed LIV Tour

Phil Mickelson
The Associated Press

Greg Norman has landed his biggest name yet for the Saudi-backed pro golf league he is promoting by signing up golf great Phil Mickelson.

Norman has been fronting the new LIV Golf series backed by the Saudi-Arabian government. But Norman has been finding significant resistance from the PGA, and many pro golfers are not interested in bucking the long-time league.

The Norman-led tour is run by LIV Golf Investments, with backing by Public Investment Fund (PIF), which is backed by the Saudi government.

Greg Norman

Golf legend Greg Norman (Oisin Kiniry/Getty Images)

This week, Norman caught a big fish. Last week, Norman released the names of 42 of 48 players. As the New York Post reported, the biggest name on the list was World no. 13, Dustin Johnson. But this week, Norman has announced that Mickelson is now on board.

While Johnson’s addition to the series was a surprise, Mickelson’s was a bit less so.

Dustin Johnson

Golfer Dustin Johnson (The Associated Press)

Mickelson has been swirling around the league for some time and has even put his career at risk by comments he’s made about the PGA.

“Phil Mickelson is unequivocally one of the greatest golfers of this generation,’’ Norman said in a statement. “His contributions to the sport and connection to fans around the globe cannot be overstated and we are grateful to have him. He strengthens an exciting field for London where we’re proud to launch a new era for golf.”

Mickelson also missed the Masters for the first time in nearly 30 years, though the tournament insisted that he was not disinvited because of his comments.

It seems unlikely that Mickelson will be playing in the PGA-backed U.S. Open next week.

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