When Phil pulled out his driver and pointed him towards the PGA TOUR, we all winced.
No reputation in golf was as good as that of Phil Mickelson, and now he’s exiled because he hates the PGA TOUR rules.
As popular as Tiger Woods was and still is, even he admitted he couldn’t beat the PGA TOUR.
The PGA TOUR made Tiger.
Tiger has always needed the PGA TOUR more than the PGA TOUR ever needed Tiger Woods.
Phil’s ego grew so big that he failed to realize that the player needed the event more than the event needed the player.
Golf remains restless over the ‘threat’ of Saudi start-up LIV Golf Invitational Series, which is set to begin in June. He promises to throw money at golfers the way one would expect an oil sheikh to spend money.
There’s so much money at stake that it could potentially pose a threat to the PGA TOUR, but this isn’t about golf. This is another attempt by a dirty government to ‘wash sports’ both their money and their globally stained reputation.
The Nazis tried this with the Olympics in the 1930s.
China has tried it twice this century by hosting summer and winter Olympics.//
Russia tried that with the 2014 Winter Olympics. Then the 2018 World Cup.
Qatar is trying it with the 2022 World Cup.
Hosting a few high-profile golf tournaments cannot erase the host country’s human rights records, and according to Amnesty International, Saudi Arabia’s human rights record is slightly appalling.
If this starter golf series were affiliated with another country, the PGA TOUR could afford to be a little less strident, but not for this one. There is no incentive for the PGA TOUR to let the LIV Golf Invitational Series play.
Golfing legend Greg Norman is attached to a series that currently has eight venues announced this year, including four in the United States, with one of those venues being at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, NJ.
If a golfer wants to play the LIV Golf Invitational Series, let them. And the PGA TOUR should use all legal means to see through a lifetime ban on this player.
The PGA should join the PGA TOUR and issue a similar edict.
PGA TOUR commissioner Jay Monahan, according to a Florida Times Union report, inferred to TOUR players earlier this year that they were gone if they were going to LIV.
Norman threatened legal action if the TOUR tried to stop players from playing in LIV tournaments. Legally he has a case, but no player of any marketing value will want to be in the middle of that fight.
And a no-name golf tournament is basically a Hooter’s Tour event.
The PGA Champions Tour comes to Irving this week with the ClubCorp Classic, a three-day event that begins April 22; it features a map loaded with past PGA TOUR winners and top celebrity players, including Tony Romo.
I asked former PGA TOUR winner Corey Pavin to assess the impact a LIV series could have.
“I don’t see that as a threat,” Pavin said. “It happened, my God, maybe 30 years ago. It’s just hard enough to get traction with it.
Pavin is referring to the startup World Golf Tour, which had the backing of Australian media mogul Rupert Murdoch in 1994. This league had the backing of…Greg Norman.
After the PGA TOUR made a few threats, the WGT didn’t last.
“I think the big champions were pretty straightforward with what they would do. The tour is certainly upfront with its penalties that would apply to players,” Pavin said. “I just don’t see players wanting to go play for money. The best players in the world, I think they just want the opportunity to create a legacy for themselves. So I don’t see how it’s going to gain ground. You might attract a few players.
Considering the amount of money that would have been involved in the LIV Golf Invitational Series, a player would be foolish not to participate in these tournaments. The purse figures are $25 million for the first seven tournaments and $50 million for the final.
The courses are smaller with just 48 golfers, and the 54-hole tournament will feature shotgun tee times.
Norman said the “brand names” said they would join LIV, however, he didn’t reveal who those “brand names” are.
The Telegraph reported that a handful of European players and one American applied. PGA TOUR pro Robert Garrigus has reportedly requested his release from the TOUR.
Someone needs to tell Norman that Garrigus isn’t Greek to Tiger. Or Rory. Or Rahm.
Speaking of these guys, they all committed to TOUR.
They do it because while they want the kind of independence that Phil wants, what they really want is to win the Masters. And the US Open. The PGA Championship. Memorial. Torrey pines. Etc.
They only want to leave the United States to play golf if the tournament is in Britain.
They are all engaged because they do not want to be associated with events supported by the Saudi government.