Let’s get this out of the way right at the beginning.
I’m NOT a fan of the LIV series.
I’ve wondered for years, and asked numerous guests on my show, are today’s players concerned about history and legacy, or are they just in it for the money? I asked this question because it seemed that players were more and more content with NOT winning. You can make a really good living on the PGA Tour finishing in the top 20 often.
It’s not fair to Charles to use him as an example, but, Charles Howell III has been on the PGA Tour for over twenty years. He has three victories on tour, the 2002 Michelob Championship, the 2007 Nissan Open and the 2018-2019 RSM Classic. Three wins. In his twenty years on tour he’s won right at $42,000,000. $42,000,000! Pretty good living.
But apparently not good enough for a handful of players, some major champions at that.
I guess I understand the players in their 40’s taking LIV up on their offer, the Westwoods, Poulters, Garcia. There glory days on the PGA tour are in the rear view mirror. That’s not the case with Dustin Johnson, or Kevin Na, even Patrick Reed. They’re grabbing the money.
And they’re grabbing unseemly money.
We can argue all day about from where the money is coming, but for me, the real money issue is HOW the PGA tour uses money. Do they generate it, no. In my opinion the real heroes at PGA tour stops are the non-profits that actually stage the tournament. The organizations for whom the volunteers work. The organizations that make sure that the money raised at a tour stop does go back into the community, where it’s needed. I’m not hearing any of that on the LIV tour.
The fact that these LIV players are turning their backs on the organization that helped propel them to a level that makes them attractive to “poach” is not defensible. And please stop with the “growing the game” line. There’s NO growing the game. There’s just money.
As I write this, there is still a lot that’s undecided. Will these players get World Ranking Points from the LIV events. Will they be welcome at ALL of the majors moving forward. If all of that happens, they will have gotten EVERYTHING they wanted.
And the game will be worse for it.