‘What are they waiting for?’ Morikawa pokes holes in rumored golf tours
PACIFIC PALISADES, Calif. — There was comfort in the fact that Collin Morikawa has questions, too, about the rumored Saudi-backed golf league. If the No. 2 player in the world is still waiting for answers, we all will be.
“What are they waiting for?” Morikawa asked Tuesday morning at the Genesis Invitational. “I don’t know.”
There’s a lot that some people know about the rumored tour that everyone in men’s pro golf wants to talk about. But to this point, its schedule, the players involved, the money changing hands — very little has been made public. There’s been plenty of assumption, hints about non-disclosure agreements and, as of Tuesday, even one Tour player discussing the specifics:
“From what I’ve heard, the money is very appealing,” Kramer Hickok, a 29-year-old PGA Tour member, said on the Stripeshow Podcast this week. Hickock’s intel, when summarized, sounds a lot like everything that has been discussed in veiled verbiage for the last 22 months:
Twelve to 14 no-cut events.
Forty players per event.
Ten of the tournaments in America.
And the point of ultimate interest: signing bonuses and “huge, huge purses.”
Morikawa was asked about that last point Tuesday. “Yeah, there’s money,” he said. “I don’t think anyone is signing up for free, right?”
But for his sake, as he takes the rumored tour’s temperature on Feb. 15, 2022, Morikawa is over all the kind of talk emanating in hushed, non-specific ways. “There still have been no names,” he continued. “Once again, we go back to evidence, right? Can we see concrete evidence of what’s going on? If we can, then people can make decisions. It’s an unknown, it’s a hidden thing. For me, it’s not enough.”
Morikawa has officially joined a growing list of players uninterested with taking their talents to the Middle East in any formal capacity. He’s right there with Jon Rahm, Rory McIlroy, Brooks Koepka, Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Tiger Woods — many of the pros who will benefit from the Player Impact Program and the $40 million dished out this year for their impact on the game. It was one of the many ways in which the PGA Tour has responded to rumored golf leagues, flashing some serious cash flow at its most important players.
Will it keep the best players in the world in line with the status quo, as Morikawa currently stands? Definitely not, the rumors will tell you. But in the absence of published particulars, secretive boo koo bucks just isn’t enough. Sitting in front of dozens of the national golf media members, Morikawa turned the tables with an analogy.
“That’s like asking everyone here to go join another media company,” he said. “And I’m just going to tell you, ‘Oh, I promise you there’s going to be this. There’s going to be this.’
“But you only heard it — not from me, not from who’s starting it, but just from other people. It’s kind of hard to know what exactly is there until I see it concrete, and that’s just not how I live my life. I need details, I’m really specific about things, and from my end I couldn’t get what I needed and here we are.”