Phil Mickelson expresses further unhappiness with PGA Tour
Six-time major winner Phil Mickelson has provided more details of his beef with the PGA Tour, expressing unease that players do not own media rights to their own images in tournaments.
A day after saying the threat of a new Saudi-based global golf circuit had already prompted the PGA Tour to distribute more money to its players, Mickelson gave more details of his issues with the US-based circuit.
“We’re so far behind because we don’t have player representation like the Players Association and the collective bargaining and all those things,” he told reporters after the opening round at the Saudi International, where he shot three-under-par 67 to trail leader Matteo Manassero by five shots.
Mickelson told Golf Digest that players had little motivation to innovate because only the PGA Tour stood to benefit under the current arrangement.
“For me personally, it’s not enough that they are sitting on hundreds of millions of digital moments. They also have access to my shots, access I do not have,” he said. “They also charge companies to use shots I have hit. And when I did ‘The Match’ — there have been five of them (exhibitions) — the tour forced me to pay them $1 million each time. For my own media rights. That type of greed is, to me, beyond obnoxious.”
Players give their media rights to the PGA Tour upon accepting membership.
“If I had access to my own channel and access to my own media, I would have a camera and microphone on my hat,” Mickelson said.
“And I would bring viewers in. They would see and hear what is going on. But none of that happens because why would any player do that? To make more millions for the tour? They already make enough.
“The tour only understands leverage. And now the players are getting some of that.”