Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr

LIV Golf continues to command headlines and that is likely to continue next week with talk of players set to make the move following the final event of the PGA Tour season, the Tour Championship at East Lake. Phil Mickelson was one of the first high-profile players to jump ship and Butch Harmon, who was his coach earlier in his career, says he should be forgiven.

Butch Harmon has leapt to the defence of Phil Mickelson, but said players who defected to LIV Golf should be honest and say they moved for the money.
Mickelson was the first high-profile player to join the Saudi-funded series, with the six-time major winner reportedly lured across by a contract in the region of $200 million.
The left hander has been widely criticised for his move, after labelling the Saudis “scary motherf*****s” and saying he was well aware of their “horrible record on human rights” only to move anyway.

Mickelson has been joined by the likes of Bryson DeChambeau, Brooks Koepka, Lee Westwood, Dustin Johnson, Patrick Reed and Sergio Garcia.

phil mickelson

Few have acknowledged the decision was down to money, with some saying they were attracted by the 54-hole format, reduced schedule or the chance to grow the game.
Players who have come out with those reasons have been widely condemned, and legendary coach Harmon is in that bracket.

“I think the players that went to the LIV – you’re probably not going to agree with me on this – they created the problem because they went for the money, there’s no doubt about it,” Harmon said on his son Claude’s Son of a Butch podcast. “That’s BS about I’m going to play less and I’m going to spend more time at home. No, you went for the money. So just say that.
“So to me that’s the first problem – I think the PR of the LIV has not been good. The guys should have got together and be honest. This ‘I’m going to grow the game better’ – no, that has nothing to do with it; you’re not growing any game. They’re growing their bank accounts. Which every sportsman has the right to do – to get the best deal you can get.
“So I have a problem with people complaining about that. But I think they brought that on themselves by coming up with this other stuff.”

Mickelson has taken the brunt of the criticism, but Harmon feels he is paying the price for his honesty and should be forgiven.
“Well, Phil’s very honest,” Harmon said. “I mean, he’s got no filter. It’s one of the things I admire about him, one of the reasons we were friends, because I got a lot of that in myself, too. What we think is what we say. And I think, in all honesty, I’m going to give Phil some credit.
“People didn’t like it, but a lot of the things he said about the Tour I think were true. And I think the Tour is now seeing that and they’re trying to change a lot of that stuff.
“So you got to hand it to Phil for that. He has taken a tremendous amount of criticism for it. You know there’s things that have come out about him and his personal life that he hasn’t done, and look, hey, we all make mistakes; nobody’s perfect, all right.
“We all make mistakes; there’s things in our past that I think bygones should be bygones.”

Write A Comment