Earlier this year, it was announced that the PGA Tour and LIV Golf were “merging.” Though the term was unofficially used by media outside of the sources, it was allowed to continue. Shrouded in secrecy, it did in effect end the public feud among players, executives and the two tours.
The Saudi-funded LIV Tour has used the confusion and momentum from the halt in the PGA Tour and its lawsuits against the league to strengthen its position. The talk of a merger only validated the LIV farther than anything had previously. The old guard of the PGA Tour appeared to unknowingly submit to the tour led by Greg Norman.
This week, Jon Rahm, the No. 3 player in the world defected to the LIV Tour. This has been the largest piece to fall in favor of LIV. The financial benefits of playing on the LIV Tour far outweigh those of playing on the PGA Tour.
The strength the PGA Tour has is its tradition. Several of the world golf events are tied to PGA rankings and exclude members of the LIV Tour. Several early defectors like Phil Mickelson and Sergio Garcia continue to fight for rights of LIV golfers on those events whose entire entry eligibility had been tied to the PGA Tour.
Woods reportedly turned down a fortune to join LIV Tour
Tiger Woods, who reportedly turned down a high nine-figure guarantee to join the Saudi Tour is about all the PGA Tour has to hold onto as it finds its footing again. Woods seemingly has dug in at the PGA Tour, the place where he grew up dreaming of making his mark. His success off the course has also allowed him the earnings to turn down even the over half billion-dollar offer from LIV Tour.
In defense of the PGA, it has been making adjustments to try to counter the player earnings potential that were heavily shaded toward the LIV Tour. Mega million tournaments were planned and consulting with players, which was a gripe of many of the players that defected to the LIV Tour, were finally had.
With Woods being in the sunset of his career, the PGA Tour must find a way to capitalize off it’s stronghold on golf history and tradition to fight the money-flinging Saudi public fund known as the PIF, who funds the LIV Tour.
One additional bonus the PGA has in its history is its records were based on tournaments that played 72 holes. LIV equals 54, which is how many holes they play. Any person that watches golf knows that the beauty of the PGA Tour has been the final 18 holes. Sundays are where legends were made. Tiger’s Sunday red shirts are the most iconic part about golf. Unfortunately, we are counting down the days we will see that red polo in competition in the last pairings on Sundays.
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