Mickelson: Could see LIV move to 72-hole format


AUGUSTA, Ga. — Two-time Masters champion Phil Mickelson said Sunday he would not be surprised to see Saudi-backed LIV Golf change its format from 54 to 72 holes, like the PGA Tour.

Mickelson, who finished 8 over this week at the Masters following a surprising tie for second place in 2023, was asked Sunday how playing fewer rounds affects his game and preparation for the major championships.

“I don’t think it makes a difference either way,” he said after a final-round 2-over 74. “We’ve got mini-tours playing 54, Champions Tour playing 54. I wouldn’t be surprised if some or all of LIV events went to 72. I don’t know, but it doesn’t matter. I enjoy the competition.”

Jon Rahm, who won the Masters in 2023, has called for LIV to consider changing its format to 72 holes since he joined the tour in December. He doubled down on that ahead of the Masters last week.

“I don’t know if I’m alone in this, but I definitely wouldn’t mind going back to 72 holes,” he said.

Mickelson believes the format does change a player’s approach to a tournament because it’s “more of a sprint” when it’s 54 holes.

“You have to play well the first day or you’re so far behind that it’s hard to catch up,” Mickelson said. “Whereas in 72 you can kind of work your way into the tournament and fight if you don’t have it the first day, fight to keep it around par, then make up ground. It could go either way. It’s just the nuances of a different format.”

LIV Golf’s format has been the subject of much debate given the tour has yet to receive Official World Golf Ranking points because of its 54-hole events. LIV CEO Greg Norman withdrew the league’s application for points last month.

Golfers on both sides of the aisle have expressed their desire for the golf world to reunite. Yet no deal between Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund and the PGA Tour appears imminent despite the announcement on June 6, 2023, that the two sides had come to a framework agreement to work together.

When asked about the recent meeting between representatives of the PGA Tour, including Tiger Woods, and PIF chairman Yasir Al-Rumayyan in the Bahamas, Mickelson did not offer any details Sunday.

“Others are handling that; I’m not involved,” Mickelson said. “Others are taking care of that.”

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