Jordan Spieth


Some other predominant, any other danger for one participant to make records with the aid of triumphing the us Open to finish a career grand slam.

The tries of Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth to enroll in golfing’s maximum distinct club, on the Masters and US PGA respectively, had been relatively overshadowed by the presence of Tiger Woods – but with a purpose to not be the case at Brookline.

Woods withdrew from the year’s third major in order to give his battered body more time to heal for the final one, the 150th Open Championship on the Old Course at St Andrews, site of two of his three Open triumphs.

It was the right decision considering the way he struggled through a third round of 79 in the US PGA at Southern Hills, his highest ever score in the event, but leaves the way clear for his former rival, a certain Philip Alfred Mickelson, to take centre stage for the second week running.

Tiger Woods

Mickelson ended his exile from the game by accepting a reported US 200 million (£159.5m) to compete in the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Invitational Series, starting with the opener at Centurion Club in Hertfordshire.

The six-time major winner had not been seen since February, missing the Masters and his title defence in the US PGA, following the fallout from his explosive comments about Saudi Arabia and the PGA Tour.

Mickelson described the Saudis as “scary m************” with a “horrible record on human rights”, including the murder of Washington Post reporter Jamal Khashoggi, in an interview with the author of an unauthorised biography.

Yet he added that working with the Saudis was a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” to reshape how the PGA Tour operates, an organisation he also accused of “obnoxious greed”.

The 51-year-old’s lengthy absence led to speculation that he had been suspended, something he refused to confirm or deny in a press conference at Centurion which came the day after the USGA said it would not prevent LIV Golf players from contesting the US Open.

That, of course, is the championship Mickelson needs to win to join Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, Ben Hogan and Gene Sarazen in having claimed all four major titles, a feat which looked beyond him until last year’s victory in the US PGA Championship.

Mickelson’s triumph at Kiawah Island, just days away from his 51st birthday, made him the oldest winner of any men’s major in history and also negated the need for the special exemption into the following month’s US Open which he had accepted weeks earlier.

A tie for 62nd at Torrey Pines continued his recent run of poor results however, the left-hander failing to record a single top-25 finish in the US Open since he was runner-up for a record sixth time at Merion in 2013.

The chances of finally winning his national Open therefore look slim, Mickelson heading to Brookline with just three competitive rounds under his belt since February, although he made it clear he had not been banned or asked to stay away from the US PGA at Southern Hills.

“It was made clear to me through extensive conversations that I was able to play if I wanted to,” he said. “I wasn’t ready to play and compete. I hadn’t practiced. I had played a couple of rounds but I wasn’t sharp.

“And just like the Masters, I certainly enjoyed watching it. I missed being there, but I didn’t have a desire to be there.”

Asked how he thought fans might react to him winning the US Open now, Mickelson joked: “I don’t know how others will receive it, but I would be quite favourable with it.”

The identities of the sector’s 100 highest-paid athletes inside the closing 12 months had been revealed, with Tiger Woods coming nicely beforehand of three other golfers on the listing.

The studies, achieved through Sportico, observed that Woods, Jordan Spieth, Phil Mickelson and Rory McIlroy are the first-rate-paid in golfing. But, the 15-time major winner is top thanks specifically to his eye-watering earnings from endorsements. The 46-yr-old took a incredible $65m in endorsements from June 2021 to may additionally 2022, with a similarly $8.5m in winnings, the majority of which got here from the PIP Award, which netted him $8m. In general, Woods earned $seventy three.5m, which far outweighs the earnings of each of the alternative 3.

The next highest-paid golfer is Rory McIlroy, whose $10.4m winnings and $28m in endorsements gave him $38.4m. Not far behind the Northern Irishman is Phil Mickelson, whose $37.1m earnings were made up of winnings of $7.1m and endorsements of $30m. Mickelson’s ability to earn big money in the later years of his career is notable – he is the oldest athlete in the 100, aged 51. Finally, Jordan Spieth earned $31.3m, helped by winnings of $9.3m and endorsements of $22m.

While these earnings are impressive by almost anyone’s standards, they are far lower than the world’s highest-paid athlete, LA Lakers basketball star LeBron James, who made an astonishing $127m. Three footballers come immediately behind James – Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar earning $122m, $115m and $103m, respectively. Boxer Canelo Alvarez, a keen golfer who played this year’s Pebble Beach Pro-Am, completes the top five, earning $89m.

The research adds weight to the theory, espoused by the likes of LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman, that golfers aren’t paid well enough. Following his revelations that he’d secured an extra $2bn in funding to grow the upcoming LIV Golf Invitational Series, Norman said: “Quite honestly, the players are the lowest paid on the totem pole compared to soccer and some sports in the US, one of the lowest-paid.” Norman’s view is further enhanced by the sometimes relatively meagre earnings of PGA Tour pros.

However, others have a different opinion, with McIlroy explaining in March why he thinks players are fairly paid. Overall, golf comes fifth on the list of 10 sports represented in the top 100, behind basketball, American football, football and baseball. Beneath it are boxing, tennis, F1, MMA and cricket.

Woods is 10th on the list, with McIlroy in 39th, Mickelson 44th and Spieth 85th.