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Sunday, June 16, 2024

No Ceasefire, No Peace In LIV Golf vs. PGA Tour

  • PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan having 'none of it.’
  • Bryon DeChambeu wants an on-course battle like a ‘Super Bowl’ of golf.
Chris Pedota-USA TODAY NETWORK

LIV Golf has been on a charm offensive, with chief executive officer Greg Norman wooing Congress and Phil Mickelson urging the PGA Tour to work with, rather than against, the upstart tour.

But PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan is having “none of it.” With the feuding tours embroiled in a lawsuit, don’t look for a ceasefire in the near future.

During the 2022 Presidents Cup, Monahan took aim at his Saudi-backed rivals during an interview with the Golf Channel. 

“Listen, I think I’ve been pretty clear on this: I don’t see it happening,” Monahan said. “When you look at where we are, and you think about words and actions, we’re currently in a lawsuit, so coming together and having conversations, to me, that card is off the table and it has been for a long period of time.”

Norman and LIV stars such as Mickelson and Bryson DeChambeau have been calling on the battling tours to work together. DeChambeau, for example, said he’d love to see a LIV vs. PGA Tour event. “It would be fun to see what (American) football is doing… a Super Bowl sort of thing.”

On Tuesday, Mickelson and several other golfers dropped out of LIV’s anti-trust lawsuit against the PGA Tour. It doesn’t sound like Norman’s recent lobbying visit to Washington, D.C., produced much goodwill.

Despite Norman and LIV’s ties to former President Donald Trump, Norman’s meeting with the 75 members of the conservative Republican Study Committee didn’t go well, according to Golf Digest.

“Don’t come in here and act like you’re doing some great thing while you’re pimping a billion dollars of Saudi Arabian money and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the United States,” said Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas) afterward to reporters.

Rep. Tim Burchett (R-Tenn.) dismissed LIV’s pitch as propaganda: “A bunch of rich guys [are] not gonna play golf somewhere — it doesn’t bother me one bit. Federal government needs to stay out of that and just let these country clubbers handle their own game.”

But Norman and LIV still have Trump and other power players in Washington on their side. The public shift in LIV’s tone toward compromise and accommodation is an attempt to put the onus on the PGA Tour as the obstacle to peace in the golf industry.

LIV has three events left on its initial eight-tournament schedule this year. The rebel league will hit Bangkok, Thailand, and Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, before closing out the year at Trump National Doral in Miami in late October.

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