Ok, as far as I know the PGA isn't torturing anybody...so I give them the edge there. The PGA (a supposed non for profit) however refuses to share how much of the money it collects from tournaments actually goes to players? Zero, I repeat zero transparency. Players on the PGA get zero job security and pay their own travel, lodging...as independent contractors.
Meanwhile the LIV tour provides tournament purses that are typically 3 times larger. If I were dumb enough to enjoy the game of golf (& seriously Churchill had it right*) I'd want the money baby!
Also, the PGA is a monopoly that honestly exploits their players. Of course they're crying foul, they don't like competition. Should they be able to dictate where people can play?
BTW: Think LIV is wrong to do business with the Saudis. Better not drive your car. You buy Saudi oil. Don't take an Uber. Yep they're a major investor there. Don't get me started. Oh yes, Joe Biden who vilified Saudi Arabia in the 2020 election is about to visit the nation this month to make nice and beg for oil (since we need their exports). Haha.
* "Golf. A good walk ruined". Winston Churchill.
Want to learn more? I hate golf but loved the podcast.
PGA Tour Suspends 17 Golfers Playing in Saudi-Backed LIV Golf Tournament
Commissioner Jay Monahan laid out the sanctions in a memo to players shortly after players teed off at the inaugural LIV event
By Andrew BeatonFollow
Updated June 9, 2022 2:43 pm ET
HEMEL HEMPSTEAD, England—The PGA Tour suspended 17 players, including Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson, who are participating here in the first event of the new rival, Saudi-backed LIV Golf circuit.
The long-anticipated sanctions came in a memo sent by commissioner Jay Monahan to PGA Tour players shortly after the LIV Golf participants teed off here at Centurion Club just northwest of London for the inaugural tournament. The PGA Tour had previously made clear its players were not permitted to participate and had denied release waivers for the tournament, which conflicts with the PGA Tour’s RBC Canadian Open.
“These players have made their choice for their own financial-based reasons. But they can’t demand the same PGA TOUR membership benefits, considerations, opportunities and platform as you,” Monahan wrote in the letter. “That expectation disrespects you, our fans and our partners.”
Monahan wrote that the LIV Golf participants had “decided to turn their backs” on the PGA Tour and that the same fate awaits golfers who participate in future LIV events.
A weekly look at our most colorful, thought-provoking and original feature stories on the business of life.
Monahan then finished the message with a rallying cry for a membership under siege. He referenced legends Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Tiger Woods, noting that their legacies are inextricably tied to the PGA Tour.
“This collective legacy can’t be bought or sold,” the memo says.
The showdown has huge financial implications for both individual players and the game’s dominant institutions. LIV Golf, which is backed by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign-wealth fund, is luring players by offering huge purses and undisclosed appearance fees that are potentially transformational for their personal financial futures. And by attracting so many big-name players so quickly, the new circuit threatens to undercut the PGA Tour’s lucrative, decades-long dominance of the sport.
In response, LIV Golf issued a statement saying the PGA Tour’s decision is “vindictive and it deepens the divide between the Tour and its members.”
“It’s troubling that the Tour, an organization dedicated to creating opportunities for golfers to play the game, is the entity blocking golfers from playing,” LIV Golf’s statement said. “The era of free agency is beginning as we are proud to have a full field of players joining us in London, and beyond.”
Phil Mickelson attained lifetime PGA Tour membership through his longevity and success on the tour.
PHOTO: STEVEN PASTON/ZUMA PRESS
Englishman Ian Poulter, after the round, said he would evaluate his options and consider challenging the ban legally. “I don’t feel I’ve done anything wrong,” he said.
The punishment figures to have varied impacts on the players, who have taken differing approaches since latching on with LIV Golf. Dustin Johnson, a two-time major champion and the highest-ranked player playing here, said this week that he is resigning from the PGA Tour. The memo indicates that 10 of the 17 PGA Tour players suspended have informed the Tour that they have resigned their memberships.
Phil Mickelson, the superstar who has been the lightning rod of criticism for his involvement with LIV Golf, said he isn’t taking that step. Mickelson, who after the round declined to comment on PGA Tour matters, attained lifetime PGA Tour membership through his longevity and success on the tour. Poulter also didn’t resign his membership.
Professional golf now is staring at the reality of a fractured landscape. Most of the best players in the world have remained with the PGA Tour—there are far more highly ranked players participating in the RBC Canadian Open than teeing off at Centurion Club. But in recent days, LIV Golf has pulled off a series of coups that demonstrate its burgeoning threat to the Tour.
Johnson’s inclusion in the initial field last week came as a shock after he had previously said he was committed to the PGA Tour. Mickelson was revealed as a participant this week after he spent four months away from the game in the aftermath of his widely criticized comments about his willingness to do business with the Saudis despite the country’s human rights track record. Then, on Wednesday, a pair of other top players—Bryson DeChambeau and Patrick Reed—reportedly committed to play in future events.
The split has created awkward questions for players on both sides of the divide. The LIV golfers have been put under the spotlight for their willingness to accept big money from a Saudi regime that critics say may be looking to use the halo from the players’ celebrity status to boost its global image. PGA Tour players at the RBC, meanwhile, have been asked to take stances on their missing peers.
“I want to play on the PGA Tour against the best players in the world,” Rory McIlroy said this week. “Any decision that you make in your life that’s purely for money usually doesn’t end up going the right way. Obviously money is a deciding factor in a lot of things in this world, but if it’s purely for money [it] never seems to go the way you want it to.”
The PGA Tour also faces the paradigm in which it doesn’t control golf’s four majors—each of which is overseen by a different body. Most imminently, the U.S. Open begins next week and the United States Golf Association, which runs the event, said this week it will allow the LIV participants to play. The USGA said it didn’t feel it was fair to change exemption or qualification criteria that had already been established prior to the LIV golfers playing.
Since its genesis, LIV Golf has been a source of controversy and those tensions became supercharged earlier this year after the publication of comments in February from Mickelson. In those remarks, Mickelson described the Saudis as “scary” while referring to the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and the country’s treatment of gay people. Mickelson said he would nonetheless consider playing on the circuit.
Mickelson, who apologized, was quickly dropped by his sponsors and spent the months since then out of public view. He didn’t play professional golf, and his absence was acutely felt at the Masters, where he is a three-time champion, and the PGA Championship, where he shocked the world a year ago and became the oldest major winner.
Mickelson returned to the spotlight this week when he was a late addition to the LIV Golf field. He once again apologized and repeated that he doesn’t condone human rights violations. He explained that he signed on for LIV Golf because he believes it is best for himself personally and professionally, adding that he thinks LIV can grow the sport.
Mickelson also declined to confirm or deny a report that he was paid $200 million to sign on with LIV.
“I feel that contract agreements should be private,” he said. “Doesn’t seem to be the case, but it should be.”
Write to Andrew Beaton at email@example.com