The First Call Inbox

LIV Golf remains foremost in readers' opinions

As new league dominates headlines, readers of The First Call readers still have strong takes on what it all means; and more

LIV Golf — Portland | R2
Justin Harding tees off during the second round of the LIV Golf Invitational Portland at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club on July 1, 2022.

Question of the week [June 27 - July 3]: What's on your mind? Share your thoughts on golf, whether it's about LIV Golf, the PGA Tour, a rules issue, the best player of today, whatever is on your mind?

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I believe the PGA Tour should pay those players who don’t make the cut a stipend of some amount such as $5,000 or $10,000. 

Alan Dunninger
Lake Worth, Florida

I think Jay Monahan has completely botched the entire LIV Golf situation. His initial reaction was that of a bully and he has gone downhill from there. All he had to do was listen to see if there was a compromise solution. Now he has completely reorganized the Tour with a knee-jerk reaction, even though it needed a revamp anyway. I doubt he will see 2023 in the CEO's chair.

Michael Schurman
Durham, Ontario

With all the talk about the LIV tour, increased purses on the PGA Tour, and new incentives and tournaments that, in particular, will make the Top 50 more money, we really haven't heard much from those who fall in the Top 100-150 category. 

I do not have exact numbers, but I'm guessing that the former Tour members like Dustin Johnson, Kevin Na, Brooks Koepka, Sergio Garcia and all the 20 others or so, probably made in the neighborhood of $12 and $15 million in tour prize money in the past year. With them gone, that means that there is that much more prize money available to all tour members without any increase in any purses or incentives. That has to have a lot of appeal to all the membership, particularly to the lower echelon. 

This is money that is there for the taking that would naturally be gone due to those 22 players or so gobbling up their share year after year. We know where Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas, Scottie Scheffler and other high-profile names stand, but I'd love to hear from the guys who are struggling to keep their card about the new money that is now available by the defection of others. Also, their take on new tournaments, increased purses and new incentives.

Barry Duckworth
Knoxville, Tennessee

There are tons of high-quality golfers throughout the planet. Enough to fill several tours and then some.

If there is a positive to LIV Golf, it could be that more players will get a chance to move up to the PGA Tour due to open slots vacated by LIV golfers. And, thus, more spots will open up on the Korn Ferry Tour, etc.

But is this really growing the game?

Phil Campoli
Willowbrook, Illinois

Just let the situation play out. If either side has a distinct advantage, they will eventually prevail and will fill the void left by the other party. If the balance is somewhat equal or if both parties determine that continued dispute is not in their best interest, a merger or detente will result.

Robert Doughty
Bluffton, South Carolina

Hall of Famer Gary Player sums up my feeling about the LIV tour: "There are not a lot of them that can win on the regular tour anymore, so they're wisely taking the money."  

Moreover, awarding Official World Golf Ranking points to players in no-cut, 54-hole exhibitions is grossly unfair to the competitors in PGA Tour tournaments who face a cut and play 72 holes. 

R. A. Moss
Dayton, Ohio
I don’t care how much money you have. No one will lose hundreds of millions of dollars forever. Yes, LIV Golf can spend huge amounts of oil money for the short term, but for the long term financial sanity will absolutely prevail at some point. That is an economic reality. Where is LIV Golf, its players and the game of golf when the Saudi gravy train runs out? This may not end well. 

Reid Farrill
Toronto, Canada

The PGA Tour only moved when it became apparent a lot of money was out there. It was LIV Golf that caused competitive forces to start working, right? Right!!

Finley W. Brown Jr.
Chicago, Illinois

More defections to LIV Golf, more money being spent by the PGA Tour, more and more reasons for rational thought.

How long will the defectors continue to advocate they are focused on their independence to choose where/when they play, although the question has to be where is the evidence of independence in an employer/employee contract mandating attendance at 14 events?  

How long will the LIV program last for some of the players — not because the money will run out, but because they can be replaced seemingly/simply due to Norman finding a better player with fan draw?

How long can the PGA Tour maintain an association based pretty much on an exclusively America-based tour while continuously upping purses to compete with LIV and Saudi backing?

How long can the PGA Tour advocate the hypocritical viewpoint that Saudi money is so tainted by their murderous activities? As if the U.S. government has never done anything remotely close to such treachery.

C’mon, really? How much closer will this silly feud resemble two children pissing in a sandbox before there’s a resolution?

Peter Croppo
Bayfield, Ontario

According to the PGA Tour's 2019 IRS Form 990, Jay Monahan earned about $9 million during that year. In an interview, [LIV Golf] player Pat Perez said "somehow, the Tour keeps talking about 'we work for you.'"

According to the PGA Tour's 2019 official money list, only Dustin Johnson and Justin Thomas earned over $9 million during that season.

So, who is working for whom?

Charlie Jurgonis
Fairfax, Virginia

I believe it’s time. It has been for quite a while. The players on the PGA Tour are making a mockery of the courses. The architects have long since been running out of real estate (see Augusta National). As Jack Nicklaus has said for years, the simplest way to address length is to dial back the balls used on the Tour. 

I have no problem with guys shooting sub-par rounds. But come on, 22 under winning an event? Minus 4 being the cut line? Really? This is golf? Golf is more interesting when players have to hit mid-irons into greens vs. lob wedges. The Tour can control this and I believe it’s time.

Paul Vicary
The Villages, Florida

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