Phil Mickelson: ‘Every player in top 100’…


“Pretty much every player” in the top 100 of the world rankings has been contacted about taking part in a proposed golf Super League, according to Phil Mickelson. 

The game’s biggest names are understood to have been approached with a view to taking part in a new Saudi-backed breakaway circuit to rival the PGA and DP World tours. 

Former world No.1 Lee Westwood revealed earlier on Wednesday that he had signed a non-disclosure agreement over the possibility, while Ian Poulter is understood to be facing a lifetime ban from the main tours and Ryder Cup if he accepts an offer of $30 million to sign up. 

Speaking ahead of this week’s Saudi International, Mickelson hinted he too had been approached – and suggested the organisers of the planned Super League have been in touch with almost all of the game’s stars.

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“I think every player has been contacted,”he said. 

I don’t think there’s a player who hasn’t been.  

“Pretty much every player that is in the top 100 in the world rankings has been contacted at some point. 

“I think everybody is looking at it and seeing parts of it that can really help and benefit their situation, their life, their career, and then there’s parts they are probably concerned with. 

The Saudi International has faced criticism for the huge appearance fees paid out to the top players ahead of the first edition since it moved from the DP World Tour to the Asian Tour. 

But Mickelson dismissed suggestions it has harmed the professional game, instead claiming it has brought more benefits for players. 

“I’m appreciative of the fact there’s competition and that leverage has allowed for a much better environment on the PGA Tour,” he said. 

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We would not have an incentive programme like PIP for the top players without this type of competition. We wouldn’t have an increase in FedEx Cup money, we wouldn’t have the increase in the Players to $20 million this year.

“To have a season-long payout for the top 10 guys on the FedEx Cup list came about last year for the first time. 

“I’m appreciative of the competition and what my hopes are is that the biggest thing, which is the media rights and the way the players have been used for so long, I hope that changes through the competitive opportunity as well.”

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