PGA Tour officials insist Phil Mickelson’s “obnoxious greed” claim levelled at the circuit last week is “just not true”.
One executive toldGOLF.com the six-time major winner was “making stuff up” following his claims the tour is withholding money, media rights and digital content from players.
The 51-year-old accused Tour bosses of sitting on “roughly $20 billion”, prompting fierce debate among fellow pros, pundits and fans over the merits or otherwise of his rant.
Unsurprisingly, his accusations were heard at Tour headquarters in Ponte Vedra – and chiefs have now spoken out.
The Tour has sought to highlight its business model which is built around its media rights deals, and made the point that until now, players have largely been happy with how it operates.
“I’ve never seen anybody be really interested in how we generate the money,” one Tour executive, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said.
“There’s some conversation about it now because, you know, Phil’s making stuff up that’s just not true. But in general, they’re happy that there’s a lot of money that comes from it.”
More than $800 million goes to the players, according to a Tour memo – around 55% of its income, a figure which is comparable with other major sports leagues around the world.
Mickelson’s outburst came amid rumours he is one of a number of big names being courted by a Saudi-backed breakaway Super League.
Huge sums are reportedly on offer to those who sign up, with Bryson DeChambeau thought to have been promised $135 million to be the face of the new venture.
Others, such as Ian Poulter, have also been offered vast amounts – but face lifetime bans from the PGA Tour, DP World Tour and Ryder Cup if they accept.
Last week Lee Westwood revealed he had signed a non-disclosure agreement preventing him from discussing his own involvement.