'Phil Mickelson had the potential to do a lot of good. The fans loved him.'

Golf analyst Brandel Chamblee decided to reflect on Mickelson's move

by Sead Dedovic
'Phil Mickelson had the potential to do a lot of good. The fans loved him.'
© Francois Nel/Getty Images Sport

Phil Mickelson was the first to leave the PGA Tour, joining LIV Golf. This experienced golfer shocked the golf world by leaving the Tour where he had spent so many years, chasing after money. 

Golf analyst Brandel Chamblee decided to reflect on Mickelson's move, nearly two years after he departed from the PGA Tour. Chamblee believes that Mickelson, with his qualities and prestige, could have had a much more positive impact on the golf world. Chamblee expected Mickelson to take a different path, ready to help golf evolve. Brandel has always respected Mickelson and enjoyed watching him, primarily because of his qualities.

"Hardly any of these other players had the popularity to make a difference to tilt the game one direction or another. Phil had the potential to do a lot of good in the game. The fans loved him.

You know, within the small world of golf, there were a lot of people that didn’t particularly care for him, but I certainly enjoyed watching him play. He had a very high level of skill and a very high level of knowledge of what he was capable of, and it was fun to watch him."- Chamblee said, as quoted by MIRROR!

Chamblee expresses disappointment in Phil Mickelson's decision to join LIV Golf, believing that Mickelson missed an opportunity to leave the game in a better state. Chamblee suggests that players who have transitioned to LIV Golf are prioritizing their gains at the expense of the sport's overall well-being. 

He metaphorically compares this behavior to "pulling the ladders up," indicating that these players benefited from the groundwork laid by previous generations but are now hesitant to extend similar support to future generations. Chamblee believes Mickelson had the potential to positively influence the game's trajectory but feels that his decision has ultimately damaged the sport.

As recently as two years ago, when Mickelson went the LIV Golf route, Chamblee was one of the first to criticize him and his colleagues, aware that their moves had jeopardized the situation on the golf scene and potentially caused chaos. Even then, Chamblee did not hesitate to speak frankly about LIV Golfers.

Brandel Chamblee
Brandel Chamblee© Phil Inglis / Getty Images Sport

Golf Channel analyst didn't hold back in his criticism of players aligning with the LIV series, expressing strong disapproval that left him feeling disgusted. He addressed the obvious contradiction between golfers' substantial earnings and the sport's comparatively lower global popularity, attributing it to the image and integrity traditionally associated with golf. Chamblee dismissed the idea that these players were "growing the game," claiming instead that they were doing more harm than good, damaging both the sport and their reputations.

Chamblee's remarks didn't mince words, as he concluded by describing the situation as "one of the saddest days in the history of golf." He accused the players of prioritizing personal gain over the basic values and integrity of the sport.

It's interesting to note that Phil Mickelson, before signing with LIV Golf, emphasized that the Saudi Government was 'scary * to get involved with.' However, it appears that this amazing golfer changed his opinion shortly after. Yet, many haven't forgotten his statements, especially when discussing them in the context of Mickelson's signing with LIV Golf. 

Chamblee had previously highlighted Mickelson's words two years ago. The golf analyst isn't pleased with the hypocrisy of individuals like Mickelson and Greg Norman.

“Have you ever heard such flatulant verbiage? It wasn’t that long ago he was talking about the atrocities of his now employer and saying they were ‘scary *‘. Now he’s saying, ‘I love the side that I’m on.’ He and Greg Norman, they both remind me so much of each other. At their best, they were capable of great athletic poety but they’ve both become writers of fiction.  "- he said.

The PGA executives may be in fear: Several options for them

After Mickelson, Norman, and several other golfers joined LIV Golf, many PGA Tour players followed their path. The financial power of LIV Golf is such that few could resist the huge sums of money. Those who remained, however, demonstrated loyalty and respect towards the Tour that had provided them with everything.

There is a significant fear that other golfers and stars from the PGA Tour could potentially follow the same path, especially now that there is weaker competition on the PGA Tour due to the departure of some stars.

The departure of Jon Rahm has caused the greatest concern. The Spaniard was a dominant figure on the PGA Tour, and his decision was shocking to everyone.

PGA Tour executives are aware of the threat posed by LIV Golf, but they currently have several options available, although a merger is a priority.

Brandel Chamblee