BEDMINSTER, NJ - JULY 31: The 4 Aces Team of Pat Perez, Talor Gooch, Patrick Reed and Dustin Johnson spray champagne after winning the team competition at the LIV Golf Invitational Series Bedminster on July 31, 2022 at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire)

LIV Golf Continues to Impact the PGA‘s Decision Making

Despite doing their best to downplay LIV Golf, the impact from the upstart league has been immediate and obvious. Don’t think so? Just look at the recent decisions coming from the PGA Tour.

PGA Tour Announces Purse Increases in Response to LIV

Shortly after LIV Golf officially started, the PGA Tour began announcing upcoming changes related to schedule and money. These changes included an acceleration of “already planned” purse increases.

There will be eight tournaments that receive significant purse increases:

Sentry Tournament of Champions:
$8.2M to $15M

Genesis Invitational
$12M to $20M

Arnold Palmer Invitational
$12M to $20M

WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play
$12M to $20M

Memorial Tournament
$12M to $20M

FedEx St. Jude Invitational
$10.5M to $20M

BMW Championship
$8M to $20M

The Players Championship
$15M to $20M

In total, that’s more than $60 million dollars being added to the mix. This will certainly resonate with PGA Tour golfers, and more money for the them is a good thing. With that said, let’s take some time to highlight the hypocrisy of the PGA.

List of Complaints

Phil Mickelson and others claimed that their desire to join LIV Golf centered around a few key factors. Those factors included money and scheduling. Phil expressed his excitement for better work-life balance while maintaining the ability to compete for massive paydays.

In response the PGA basically acted as though Phil and the few vocal others were in the minority, and that the majority of players are satisfied with the status quo. However, it appears that the PGA did not even believe that themselves.

Sudden Change in Thinking

Just a few weeks later the announcements around scheduling changes and purse increases began to roll out. But the PR spin the PGA used was to label these actions as “an acceleration of already planned increases”.

I might not be the smartest person, but even I can smell that bullshit from miles away. As far as I know the PGA has not recently entered any new tv or media contracts. So where is the $60 million dollar increase coming from?

And does the PGA really expect me to believe that those increases were on the way even if LIV Golf never became a thing? Somehow I doubt that.

PGA Officials Are Old and Out of Touch

It amazes me to see how many people associated with the PGA tour don’t seem to understand the true impact of no longer being the exclusive place for the best golfers to compete for the biggest purses. A prime example would be Davis Love III, who recently appeared on the Rich Eisen show to discuss the PGA Tour and LIV Golf.

I don’t hold it against them, and I hope they are successful and they make a ton of money. But they’re going to be doing it in a different league if I have anything to say with it, and if our commissioner has anything to say about it.

Davis Love III appearing on The Rich Eisen Show

In other words, PGA Tour money comes with an exclusivity clause. Nowadays if you want to become a professional golfer there will be a point in which you must choose a path. As Davis Love described it, a kid coming out of college out of college will have to choose between playing for money or playing for history.

The PGA is essentially saying the top golfers should and will continue to choose to play on the PGA due to the apparently massive allure of becoming part of PGA Tour history? If so, then they are also implying that being part of PGA history has some abstract added value that should in theory offset the difference in money they could make should they choose to play with LIV Golf.

The Line in the Sand

One of the biggest mistakes the PGA made was to draw a line in the sand between themselves and LIV Golf, and suspending players for participating in the rival tour. In an effort to maintain their monopoly over the sport of golf, they failed to realize that the present moment eventually becomes the most recent history. By suspending the players for participating in LIV Golf events, the PGA has let it be known that they have zero intention of forming any sort of working relationship with the rival golf league.

Golf History is Changing

Many big name players have chosen to migrate to LIV, and the list continues to grow. It appears that many more player announcements are on the horizon following the conclusion of the PGA FedEx Playoffs. This trend is likely to continue moving forward.

Therefore, in a few years the recent “history” of the PGA will be headlined by the overall steady decline in the talent pool of PGA players. This will then have a compounding effect, because as more and more golfers choose LIV, then the theoretical value of being part of PGA tour history continues to decline. If the PGA holds firm in its exclusivity stance, then I believe we are witnessing the beginning of the end for the PGA Tour. It will not happen fast, but it does seem inevitable given the current set of circumstances.

About Drew

Sports fan sharing random thoughts and opinions. #Browns #LetEmKnow #Buckeyes #TarHeels

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