Who Said LIV Golf-PGA Tour Can’t Coexist?

Golf as we know it is different today than it was yesterday.

It’s different because of the noise the new LIV Golf made and the flow effect that started to happen as a result.

It’s a good thing. After all, there is no rule that says the status quo is always the best thing to do.

There are many layers to peel off here.

The LIV Golf Series, led by CEO Greg Norman, is not a perfect product. But it does highlight some of the potential improvements in golf – for both golf enthusiasts and players.

The PGA Tour has achieved a lot of great things for players and the game alike. It’s a great and compelling product. But that doesn’t mean things can’t get any better for everyone involved – top players who are attracting sponsors to the ring are paying more and fans to see an improved and more developed product that includes a team concept and shorter, faster events.

It may be a polyana, but why can’t they all get along?

Why can’t LIV Golf run its own series of events for the big money you pay and live with the PGA Tour and DP World (European) Tours?

Dustin Johnson speaks to the media before the LIV Golf Invitational in London.
Getty Images

Each sports governing body explains how they want to “grow the game”.

However, if the PGA Tour starts banning players from playing in the LIV Series and/or Masters bans Augusta players, the PGA of America bans players from playing the PGA Championship and Ryder Cup teams and R&A bans players from playing in the Open How is that good for the game?

How does this “develop the game?”

it’s not.

Kevin Na is among the players who quit their PGA Tour membership to play in the LIV Golf Series.
Kevin Na has resigned from the PGA Tour membership and joined the LIV Golf Series.
Motion pictures via Reuters

The main thing here, of course, the main thing, which is money.

The PGA Tour protects its stronghold. He is not threatening to ban players who play in LIV events due to moral outrage over the source of Saudi money and the country’s appalling human rights records. The PGA Tour threatens to impose sanctions on its products.

And if any of the other regulators followed suit, they would do so for the same reasons: money.

Money, of course, is exactly why players play in LIV events. However, in many circles, while players are eager to chase money, the PGA Tour doesn’t take such a beating.

Those who throw stones at players for money should ask themselves what they would do if they were offered guaranteed money that tripled their income for half the work.

At the roots of Phil Mickelson’s battle with the PGA Tour, he was always the best player who didn’t pay their respects on the Tour. Tiger Woods was one of the first to push this back years ago, noting that the PGA Tour used his shape in all of its product promotion and didn’t see a cent of it.

It’s a complicated and somewhat uncomfortable argument to make for players like Mickelson, Woods and Dustin Johnson, who joined LIV Golf last week, and PGA Tour stars who make the most money. We could never have imagined it.

But think about this: Woods earned just under $121 million in prize money during his career, and Kyrie Irving earned $100 million in three seasons where the Nets played just 83 games. And Irving doesn’t sell the NBA the way Woods sells the PGA Tour.

Regardless of the prestige of the PGA Tour, golfers are independent contractors, and as long as they meet the requirements of the tour they are playing (in the case of the PGA Tour, at least 15 events must be played), they should be able to play wherever they want.

If you are not comfortable that these guys are taking what are believed to be dirty money from the Saudis, that is completely understandable. But how is that money different from the money that the PGA Tour, LPGA, and DP World Tours and their players have been out of China for years, because they’ve all done business with this country, which also has a terrible human rights record?

“It was incredibly polarizing,” Graeme McDowell, the 2010 US Open winner competing in the first LIV golf event this week, told reporters on Tuesday. “I think we all agree here, take [Jamal] Khashoggi case [the Washington Post journalist who was assassinated reportedly by the Saudi government]. We all agree that this is blameworthy. No one will dispute this fact.

“But we are golfers. We are not politicians. I think we are golfers, if we try to fix the geopolitical situations in every country in the world where we play golf, we will not play much. That is a really difficult question to answer.”

There are so many questions to answer in golf, having a great time.

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