Can PGA Players Forgive and Forget After LIV Merger?


Jun 8, 2023

In a surprising turn of events, PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan announced the merger between PGA Tour and LIV Golf on CNBC, sending shockwaves throughout the golfing community. Monahan faced an irate group of players.

2 Unanswered Questions Surrounding Merger

The players, many of whom were kept in the dark about the merger, are rightfully upset. They feel betrayed by Monahan, who had promised to boost purses and rewards for legacy players to keep them within the PGA Tour. The Commissioner has to appear and face the music.

Can LIV Golfers Start Playing PGA Events Immediately?

At the center of the controversy are those players who left PGA for LIV Golf, lured by contracts worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, and Bryson DeChambeau were among those who accepted these massive deals, with Cameron Smith allegedly signing a $100 million contract.

Is LIV Evil Empire Narrative Fault of Outspoken PGA Players?

But what about the players who turned down LIV’s lucrative offers out of loyalty to the PGA Tour? Justin Thomas, Patrick Cantlay, Hideki Matsuyama, and Rickie Fowler, who reportedly turned down $75 million, all stayed with the PGA Tour on promises of higher rewards and recognition of legacy.

Ranking PGA Loyalists that Passed up Millions

Now that the two organizations are merging, these players who stayed loyal to the PGA must face the stark reality: their colleagues who signed with LIV get to keep their high-dollar contracts and will all compete in the same events.

How Much Blame Should PGA Take?

This is not a trivial issue, as it raises questions about loyalty, fairness, and power dynamics in professional golf. For many, it’s an added insult that the heavy-hitting players who accepted the lucrative offers can afford to pick and choose where they play while others must grind week in and week out to make ends meet.

Will the Merger Improve Sportsbooks’ Offerings?

The controversy also highlights the uneven distribution of wealth in professional golf, with top players like Phil Mickelson, who already has five majors to his name, never needing to play another round in his life. This divide will be a major topic at the upcoming players-only meeting, and Commissioner Monahan is likely to face a barrage of tough questions.

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Thumbnail photo via USA TODAY Sports Images

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