LIV Golf’s free-spending signing spree proves PIF bosses listened to Phil Mickelson demand

LIV Golf lured in a number of stars ahead of the 2024 campaign, and the breakaway league bosses may well have their star man in HyFlyers captain Phil Mickelson to thank

After LIV Golf, a Saudi-backed series, signed a number of stars for the upcoming season, it seemed that Phil Mickelson’s phone calls during the off-season had the desired effect.

Mexico hosted several debuts on Friday as the 2024 LIV campaign got underway. The venue was Mayakoba. The largest is Jon Rahm, the winner of the Masters, who broke all records when he signed a £450 million contract with LIV in December of last year.

Following the signing of the Spanish star, world No. 16 and Ryder Cup partner Tyrrell Hatton also passed through the door, joining the two as members of the newly established Legion XIII.

Somewhere else Along with Lucas Herbert, the winner of the PGA Tour, and Caleb Surratt, one of the most successful amateurs in the world, Adrian Meronk, one of Europe’s hottest stars, also chose to move to Saudi Arabia. After bringing in Rahm and company, the Breakaway League’s off-season proved to be a success overall, despite a slow start.

Furthermore, it undoubtedly validates Mickelson’s remarks from October of last year, when he disclosed that he had drawn a lot of interest from players on the PGA Tour and DP World Tour. “The truth is, like everyone else, I’ve been taking calls from players who are agents to PGA Tour players to DP World Tour players who want to visit,” he asserted.

“So, the query is, what is the number of available spots? There are far more players interested in attending than there are available spots. Without a doubt, the most significant addition was the inclusion of Rahm, a close friend of Mickelson who is currently ranked third in the world and the winner of the Masters.

It should come as no surprise that the Spanish player has had a strong start to his LIV career as he leads leader Joaquin Niemann by just two shots going into Sunday’s final round. Rahm was four shots behind at the beginning of the round, but a two-shot penalty for Niemann’s mishandled drop—the player had shot a historic 59 in the first round—has closed the gap.

In the team standings, Rahm’s Legion XIII team is also only one point behind, and going into the championship round, the Spaniard is focused on taking the top spot. “I had a great time playing golf. I was pleased with my slightly improved finish,” he remarked on Saturday.

“Those 18 and 1 tee shots were excellent. I’m sorry I didn’t get more, but considering how difficult the game was, I’ll settle for the passably simple pars. I’m quite pleased with my group. When I saw a few more birdies happen toward the end and the guys finishing strong to find ourselves in second place, it kind of took me by surprise.

“I’m incredibly proud of us, and hopefully we can continue tomorrow, make some progress, enjoy a nice Sunday, and give ourselves a chance to win.”

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