The candid assessment of the dissident league by a former LIV Golf luminar and Mickelson’s commentary reveals much.

February 26, 2024

Former U.S. Amateur champion, James Piot is a supporter of the breakaway league LIV Golf’s ascent to professional golf supremacy despite it being a topic that divides players’ opinions.

After establishing himself as an eminent amateur worldwide, Piot chose to pursue a different path into pro-golf when offered the profitable chance to join LIV Golf. Hailing from Michigan, he was enlisted among the founding members of this breakaway league and participated in its pioneering competition held at Centurion during June 2022.

Despite the uproar from the Saudi-funded series, Piot remained on the team for the duration of 2022 and was eventually called back a year later to participate in the league’s inaugural complete season.

Although he had a consistent performance in season one, the longer schedule presented some challenges for Piot. Due to struggling with his form and not being able to perform at his best, he was demoted from the league along with Chase Koepka, Sihwan Kim and Jediah Morgan. Although it didn’t end as ideally as he hoped, Piot has nothing but admiration for the Saudi-funded circuit.

According to Mirror Sport, he mentioned that playing with LIV in the last two seasons was the most amazing experience of his life. He expressed a strong desire to return and play at world-class locations alongside top-tier golfers. In his opinion, being part of LIV Golf for two years made it one of the coolest things ever.

Piot’s fortunes took a turn for the better when he was offered an opportunity to participate in the Asian Tour following his demotion from LIV. Despite this setback, Piot redirected his focus towards participating in the International Series of tournaments on tour as its ultimate prize is gaining entry into LIV roster for next season.

In 2023, the Series saw its initial beneficiary in Andy Ogletree, a former U.S. Amateur champion who impressively dominated to gain re-entry into the breakaway league after being initially dropped following event one at Centurion. As expectedly as possible, Piot intends to emulate Ogletree’s success and track record.

“Attaining a spot on LIV is the ultimate goal,” he expressed. “The competition is stiff, as everyone strives for that coveted position on the team. Personally, I am determined to reclaim my place and will do whatever it takes.” Piot’s venture into Asian Tour has certainly offered him a fresh outlook towards golf, with his travels to places like Oman and Macau providing him with enriching experiences vastly different from those in Michigan State.

He is currently relishing the new expedition on the opposite corner of the earth. “It has been extraordinary, that’s how I describe it,” he remarked. “Numerous locations which would have never crossed my mind as an American to visit are now etched in my memories for their splendid moments. The competitions were vigorous and invigorating; exploring various parts of this planet while pursuing what I’m passionate about was incredible, and henceforth, it turned out to be a joyful ride.”

Perhaps Piot had a less bumpy journey into the LIV setup compared to others, thanks to his opportunity of partnering with golf icon and poster boy for the league, Phil Mickelson. The six-time major champion chose to enlist Piot on his HyFlyers team in 2023 so that the young golfer could benefit from learning under one of the most exceptional players out there.

The former Amateur champion praised Mickelson’s influence, declaring that “Phil is an exceptional captain. He exceeded my expectations by going above and beyond his duties as a leader. Initially unsure of what to expect from one of the greatest players in history, I was blown away by the phenomenal impact he had on our team.”

Piot had a strong beginning to his International Series venture by finishing in a tie for 27th place, with three-under-par at the Oman tournament last week. Undoubtedly looking forward to reuniting with Mickelson come 2025, Piot proved himself as an excellent leader and captain who also acted as a great mentor.