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Rory McIlroy: World number two rejects Phil Mickelson ‘winning side’ comments on LIV

Rory McIlroy has rejected Phil Mickelson’s suggestion that he picked the “winning side” in the dispute between the LIV series and PGA Tour.

American Mickelson believes the LIV series is trending higher, and the PGA is on a downward trajectory.

McIlroy said: “I don’t agree with what Phil said – I certainly don’t see the PGA Tour trending downward at all.

“I don’t think anyone that takes a logical view of the game of golf can agree with what he said.”

Next year’s Phoenix Open, Heritage tournament, Wells Fargo Championship and Travelers Championship will have purses boosted to $20m (£17.8m) and guaranteed appearances by top golfers, the US PGA Tour announced on Wednesday.

The moves complete a PGA revamp to combat the Saudi-backed LIV Golf series that was announced by tour commissioner Jay Monahan in August at the Tour Championship.

Star PGA players such as Northern Ireland’s four-time major winner McIlroy, Jon Rahm and top-ranked Scottie Scheffler, the reigning Masters champion, have committed to playing 17 events with elevated purses next year as a way to combat more players departing for the LIV Series.

The rival circuit’s record $25m purses and guaranteed contracts for 54-hole events have lured away top talent from the PGA, including British Open winner and world number three Cameron Smith of Australia, two-time major winner Dustin Johnson and Masters winners Mickelson, Bubba Watson, Sergio Garcia and Patrick Reed.

“The guys that went over to LIV, they’re the ones that have made the disruption, they’re the ones that have sort of put the golf world in flux right now,” added world number two McIlroy.

“I guess for them to be talking the way they are, it’s bold and I think there’s a tonne of propaganda being used and all sorts of stuff.”

In addition to the four new events, others with increased purses and player commitments include the four major championships, the Players Championship, the three FedEx Cup play-off events, the Tournament of Champions, WGC Match Play, Memorial tournament, Arnold Palmer Invitational and the Genesis Invitational hosted by Tiger Woods.

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