Players still in the dark over PGA Tour-LIV Golf merger

LOS ANGELES — There is turmoil at the highest levels of men’s professional golf as players prepare for this week’s US Open at the Los Angeles Country Club.

The PGA Tour vs. LIV Golf, a poignant battle that suddenly became the most unlikely partnership after a surprising joint announcement last Tuesday, leaves many unanswered questions.

A week after the announcement and the third major championship of 2023 is about to begin with Thursday’s season opener, these questions remain unanswered.

I realized that the players on both teams knew very little about the details and simply didn’t want to talk about the topic because they didn’t know enough about it.

“To be completely honest, I literally know as much as you do,” US Open defending champion Matthew Fitzpatrick said Monday. “I think everyone got asked about it. I realized it when everyone else did. Yeah, to be honest, I literally know nothing. Everything is a mess.”

Matt Fitzpatrick has many questions about the PGA-LIV merger, but few answers.
USA TODAY Sports (via Reuterscon)

PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan and Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF) President Yasir Al-Rumayyan, who financially backs LIV Golf, met on CNBC last Tuesday for an interview with Kumbaya Project, in which Monahan called the “framework”. announced a partnership called The deal surprised the golf world and broke the hearts of many PGA Tour players who turned down lucrative offers from Saudi Arabia to join LIV Golf.

Monaghan has since hinted that it will be his job to compensate players who have remained loyal to the PGA Tour.

When asked if he thought he should be compensated for not going to LIV, Fitzpatrick replied, “Yes, I pass.”

Cam Smith lines up the putt on the second hole in the first round of the LIV Golf DC 2023 tournament
Cam Smith is another golfer waiting to hear about a big deal.
USA TODAY Sports (via Reuterscon)

Asked about the confusion, Fitzpatrick said: [and] I don’t think anyone knows what’s going on. Are we signed with PIF or are we not signed with PIF? I have no idea. It’s clear that no one knows what’s going on other than about four people in the world. ”

Cam Smith is also one of the famous players in that category.

“Yeah, to be honest, I really know as much as you guys know,” Smith, the reigning British Open champion, told reporters after playing the LACC’s front nine on Monday. “I haven’t been told much. I’m just taking it as it is. At the moment, I’m just trying to play the best golf I can and win the U.S. Open.”

Smith confessed he didn’t believe the news when the PGA Tour and LIV partnership was announced last week.

“I think my first reaction was that it was kind of a joke. Then HE[Al Rumayyan’s nickname]called me and explained what was going on,” he said. Mr Smith said. “He didn’t go into too much detail.

“But I think there’s definitely a lot of interested players on both sides as to what the future holds.”

One obvious question that remains unanswered is how a player who has attended LIV and been kicked off the PGA Tour will regain PGA Tour membership in 2024.

Interestingly, Fitzpatrick was vocal in March that he would not welcome the return of LIV Golf players.

H.E. Yasir Al Rumayyan hitting the Pro-Am shots ahead of the LIV Golf Invitational - Chicago at Rich Harvest Farms on September 15, 2022
Mr. Yasir Al Rumayyan is a major financial contributor supporting the integration of the LIV and the PGA.
via Getty Images

“My personal take is that you can’t have cake and eat it,” Fitzpatrick said before The Players Championship. Despite being the defending champion, Smith was not invited to play due to his suspension from the PGA Tour. “If they went to the LIV, I wouldn’t let them go back. I didn’t. I think this is incredibly unfair to the PGA Tour. [allow them back] If they allowed it, I would be appalled. ”

Asked Monday if his PGA Tour colleagues were of the same mindset, Fitzpatrick said: “I think the questions and answers are out there, so I’m going to move on to the U.S. Open.”

Asked if distractions during a game could be a problem as players prepare for a major championship, Fitzpatrick said, “No, I think it’s overrated. You are. I don’t think so [standing] On the first tee, I was like, ‘Oh, what’s going on in the world of golf? You’re thinking, “It’s a par 4, where should I hit it, where is the wind?”

“That’s all you’re thinking about.”

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