In a jaw-dropping twist, LIV Golf, DP World Tour, and PGA Tour have agreed to merge, making headlines across the golfing world. This unexpected union comes after PGA Tour Commissioner, Jay Monahan, urged players to stay loyal, avoid the allure of money, and preserve the sport’s rich history and traditions. Ironically, while PGA players criticized LIV Golf, the PGA Tour was secretly considering a deal, meticulously ironing out the final details. This turn of events has left many questioning Monahan’s credibility, as he seemingly contradicted his own principles. The PGA Tour’s failure to inform players about the deal before it reached the media has shocked the golfing community. Most players discovered the merger through tweets or messages from friends, leaving them feeling betrayed.
Notably, Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy faced pivotal decisions. Woods earned a staggering $800 million, while McIlroy turned down numerous lucrative offers. This merger undoubtedly benefits players like Cam Smith, who is set to receive a substantial payout. McIlroy, who served as the spokesperson for the DP Tour, found himself abandoned when the DP and PGA Tour backed down. It’s clear that Monahan envisioned McIlroy as the new face of the PGA Tour after Woods’ departure. However, the pressure of filling Woods’ shoes seems to have overwhelmed McIlroy, and his recovery from this setback will undoubtedly take time.
Compensation for those players who rejected the millions offered to them remains a puzzling aspect yet to be unraveled. Similar circumstances unfolded in hockey years ago when the WHA tempted NHL players with big money, ultimately leaving those who stayed in the NHL missing out on substantial paydays. Could this be a historical parallel in the world of golf?
For decades, the PGA Tour has maintained a monopoly over its players. Greg Norman consistently advocated for fairer deals that benefit all players, not just the elite few like Tiger Woods. Perhaps if this inclusive mindset had been embraced earlier, this merger could have been avoided. The implementation of the FEDEX Cup signaled that the PGA Tour’s focus was shifting towards financial gains rather than pure prestige. With the PGA Tour struggling financially and aiming to avoid a fate similar to Budlight and Target, this merger serves as their lifeline.
Antitrust allegations and an impending lawsuit from the Department of Justice pushed the PGA Tour toward this merger. Recognizing their vulnerability in court, the PGA had to find a way to survive and rectify the mistakes made when penalizing individuals associated with LIV. The DP World Tour, in recent times, demonstrated a pressing need for significant investment, as their prize money steadily declined throughout the years.
This merger promises to allow players from all tours to compete together, fostering a more exciting and inclusive golfing experience. It’s time to put an end to the mudslinging that has tarnished the game’s reputation. After the PGA Championship’s lackluster showing, compounded by a LIV golfer claiming victory, the PGA Tour felt compelled to take drastic action to safeguard their brand. As part of the merger, the PGA will offer partial ownership of the Tour, access to top players, and enhanced media connections. The players who left and are now returning are essentially rejoining the same tour, only with increased financial backing from Saudi Arabia.
While some perceive this merger as hypocritical on the PGA Tour’s part, given their previous stance against players leaving, it highlights the necessity of change. In the past two years, the PGA Tour chastised those who pursued financial gain elsewhere, and now they find themselves in a similar position. Having questioned the values and morals of golfers like Phil Mickelson, Greg Norman, and Brooks Koepka, the PGA Tour’s reversal of fortune reflects poorly on their own established standards. Phil Mickelson’s remarks about the PGA have come to pass, and players now have greater bargaining power. Ultimately, money is a universal desire, and every player deserves the opportunity to pursue it.
PGA players should express gratitude to those who took the drastic step of joining LIV Golf. Without their actions, the PGA Tour would have had little motivation to change their approach to doing business. All players who previously left the PGA Tour to compete with LIV Golf will have the chance to reapply for their status next season, despite the season already being underway.
One lingering question remains: Will American companies supporting the PGA Tour reconsider their sponsorship due to this merger?
The merger between LIV Golf, DP World Tour, and PGA Tour follows a trend seen in various sports like football, rugby, and cricket. Over time, these sports have split, cooperated, and merged, each seeking a larger share of the proverbial pie. The driving force behind such mergers is often the promoters’ desire for increased revenue. In this case, both the DP Tour and World Golf stand to benefit from the merger, as demonstrated by the current British Open winner, Cam Smith, and the reigning US PGA Champion, Brooks Koepka, both of whom are LIV Golf players.
Photo Via: Golf Channel