PGA Tour make fresh dig at Mickelson as they attempt to keep stars of tomorrow

The PGA Tour announced fresh changes to stop LIV Golf from luring the stars of tomorrow but there was also a subtle dig at Phil Mickelson.

Ben Smith's picture
Tue, 15 Nov 2022
PGA Tour make fresh dig at Mickelson as they attempt to keep stars of tomorrow

You might have missed this, but there was a not-so-subtle dig by the PGA Tour towards LIV Golf's Phil Mickelson on Monday. 

In case you haven't heard, the PGA Tour have taken further steps to try and keep the stars of the future from joining the LIV Golf League by announcing that college golfers can earn cards before turning pro. 

This news was confirmed after a meeting of the PGA Tour's Policy Board before the RSM Classic. 

Related: Is the next LIV Golf signing Si Woo Kim?

There are now two new methods college golfers can earn their Tour cards through merit-based performance. 

The first is that the top player in the PGA Tour University Velocity Global gets a full PGA Tour membership at the end of the college season in June. 

This will go into effect next year. 

According to a memo released by the PGA Tour, officials believe this No. 1 player will be eligible to compete in 14 events in their debut season. 

They will also have access to the Earnings Assurance Program, guaranteeing $500,000 to help with expenses. 

The DP World Tour have recently announced their members will have access to guaranteed money. 

The second method is that the Tour has created the PGA Tour University Accelerated. 

This is a program for all college golfers that allows them to receive Tour membership after earning a minimum number of points based off various benchmarks. 

These include individual titles, national team competitions and through various PGA Tour events. 

One of the benchmarks includes being awarded the Outstanding Freshman Award. 

If you didn't know, Mickelson used to present this award to the Division One player on behalf of the Phil and Amy Mickelson Foundation.

But his name was absent in the memo explaining the changes. 

Is that just a bit petty? You can make your own mind up about that one. 

See here: 

PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said of the changes:

"Success at the highest levels of college and amateur golf has proven to be a strong indicator of a player's potential as a professional golfer, and it's important to have defined, efficient paths to the PGA Tour for the best collegiate player."

He added:

"The first two classes of PGA Tour University alumni have shown us that these players are ready to compete and win immediately, and these two additions to the program further strengthen our commitment to college golf and will provide future stars with a direct path to tour membership."

Related: How much every LIV Golf player won in 2022

Clearly these changes have been announced in an attempt to stop LIV Golf luring the top talent. 

Just this year LIV managed to capture the signature of the highly-rated Eugenio Lopez-Chacarra, who claimed his maiden professional win at their $25m Invitational in Bangkok

In 2022, the No. 1 player in the PGA Tour University ranking was Pierceson Coody. 

Coody is the grandson of 1971 Masters champion Charles Coody. He reportedly turned down an offer from LIV this year. 

Next page: Nine players who changed their mind about LIV Golf