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Money Matters

LIV Golf’s riches propel Phil Mickelson to this notable financial title


Jonathan Ferrey/LIV Golf

In his three starts on the breakaway LIV Golf series, Phil Mickelson has struggled mightily to conjure up the game that earned him his spot in the World Golf Hall of Fame. He’s a collective 26 over par prior to playing Sunday’s final round of the event at Trump National Bedminster in New Jersey.

Yet the 52-year-old is still a big winner according to a report from Forbes. On Friday, the magazine published a list of the highest-paid golfers for 2022. Perhaps not surprisingly seven of the top 10 were players who jumped to the LIV Golf series, signing eight- and nine-figure guaranteed contracts, with that money counting toward the players totals.

Forbes estimated that in total LIV Golf has increased the earnings of the 10 highest-paid golfers by an estimated $370 million since May, bringing their combined haul to a record $650 million.

Here’s the list, with only Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth not among the LIV defectors.

1: Phil Mickelson, $138 million ($102 million on course/$36 million off course)
2: Dustin Johnson, $97 million ($68 million/$29 million)
3: Bryson DeChambeau, $86 million ($66 million/$20 million)
4: Brooks Koepka, $69 million ($53 million/$16 million)
5: Tiger Woods, $68 million ($43,500/$68 million)
6: Rory McIlroy, $43 million ($9 million/$34 million)
7: Sergio Garcia, $42 million ($35 million/$7 million)
8: Jordan Spieth, $39 million ($8 million/$31 million)
9: Patrick Reed, $37 million ($34 million/$3 million)
10: Charl Schwartzel, $34 million ($30 million/$4 million)

That Mickelson ranks No. 1 is hardly a surprise. He has been viewed as the leader of the LIV golf movement, with reports of a guaranteed contract estimated at more than $200 million. Forbes calculates that half of that Mickelson “likely got upfront,” thus it has put his 2022 on-course earnings at $102 million. Add $36 million in off-course revenue—this despite being dropped by several sponsors—and Lefty’s total comes to $138 million, which Forbes says puts him past soccer sensation Lionel Messi as the world’s highest paid athlete in 2022.

Mind you, Mickelson isn’t the only golfer to ever achieve this distinction. Woods held the title for 10 straight years.