After a tumultuous year that included playing a key part in the launch of LIV Golf, Phil Mickelson is excited about 2023 and beyond—even if that future doesn’t ever include another PGA Tour appearance or participating again in the Ryder Cup.
In a recent interview with Sports Illustrated’s Bob Harig, the six-time major champ discussed a wide array of topics, including the potential of LIV golfers remaining banned from the PGA Tour.
“If I were never to play another PGA Tour event, I’m totally at peace with it,” Mickelson told Harig.
You can read the entire interview here. Although Mickelson believes LIV golfers will win their pending litigation against the PGA Tour—he was an original litigant in the suit but has since withdrawn his name—he’s not sure any additional tour events would fit into his schedule. The 52-year-old plans to stay pretty busy in 2023 by playing 19 events, including all four majors.
“The tournaments where you are going to leave a mark are the majors,” said Mickelson, who competes for the first time in 2023 at this week’s Saudi International ahead of next month’s LIV Golf season opener in Mexico. “That creates a life memory. If I win another tour event, who cares? It’s not like it’s going to do anything for how I look at my career. Another major would be a unique, special moment. That’s really where I want to thrive.”
Mickelson expressed similar thoughts about the Ryder Cup.
“I’ve loved being part of the Ryder Cup as a player 12 times and as a vice captain once. I’ve had more great experiences than probably anybody. If I’m not a part of it, I’m at peace with that as well,” said Mickelson, who was believed to be in line to captain the U.S. team at Bethpage Black in 2025. “And I’m proud of the role I’ve played in that. And the role in creating change and integrating player input and involvement. Having more continuity from year to year. I like seeing us play our best golf in the Ryder Cup, even if I’m not ever part of it again.”
Once place Mickelson does plan to return to is the Masters in April. The three-time green jacket winner missed the 2022 edition after stepping away from the game briefly last spring in the wake controversial comments he made regarding LIV Golf and the PGA Tour. Mickelson also missed the 2022 PGA Championship, where he would have been defending champ after becoming the oldest major champ in golf history at Kiawah in 2021.
Mickelson said he’s had “a number of guys thank me profusely” for his decision to go to LIV and the subsequent changes that have come to the PGA Tour. However, he acknowledged there’s plenty of tension between players on the two tours. He didn’t want to talk about last week’s Patrick Reed-Rory McIlroy incident in Dubai, but said bad blood could be on display at this year’s Champions Dinner at Augusta National.
“There very well could be, but not on my part,” Mickelson said. “I’m very comfortable with where I’m at.”
While struggling on the course during his seven starts with LIV—he had just one top-15 finish in seven starts—Mickelson said he excited about his game, particularly after getting down to his “college weight” in the off-season.
“I’m just putting last year out of my mind and disengaging. A lot of stuff happened, and I’m refocused on today and starting the year,” Mickelson said. “I’m in every major for the next three years and I think I have a chance to win one or two more and create these accomplishments that haven’t been done at this stage. I feel like I can duplicate Kiawah.”