Kevin Kisner criticizes PGA Tour-LIV fight, calls it ‘waste of time’
June 6, 2023, was a monumental day in the world of golf. That morning, PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan and PIF governor Yasir Al-Rumayyan appeared together on CNBC and announced a truce. The PGA Tour and the PIF (LIV Golf’s financial backer) planned to join forces. The war for golf’s soul officially had terms for peace.
With access to billions of dollars from the PIF, golf’s financial future seemed to be secured. And with no more fighting, the focus of the sport could finally turn back to the course.
However, the truth was far more complicated. This proposed partnership does not exist in a vacuum, and the years of fighting left a wake of chaos in its path. The biggest names in the game had chosen sides, and repairing those rifts would take time.
To make matters worse, some of those that stayed loyal to the PGA Tour felt betrayed when the partnership was announced. Some turned down millions in guaranteed money to stay loyal, and others simply felt blindsided by Tour leadership telling them one thing and then making these moves behind closed doors.
“I feel betrayed,” tweeted Tour winner Wesley Bryan. “[I] will not not be able to trust anyone within the corporate structure of the PGA Tour for a very long time.”
After over a year of vilifying the Saudi-backed LIV Golf League, the potential of a sudden merger was not so palatable. Some players even called for Monahan’s job after the announcement.
Three months later, the temperature of the situation has cooled down, but only slightly. The potential merger is on hold while legal battles play out and more clues for what the alliance will look like have come to the surface. That’s not to say the proposed merger isn’t still a hot talking point, though.
“[It] kind of [got] thrown in your face,” Kevin Kisner said on Barstool’s Foreplay podcast. “Like, ‘Hey, you fought three years to fight the PIF and LIV Golf, now we’re going to be buddies.’ Total waste of time for three years basically.”
Kisner, who served on the Tour’s Policy Board as a player director, spent a considerable amount of time over the last three years fighting to keep the Tour whole. But after the merger announcement, the Tour has done a complete 180 as it pertains to Saudi involvement in the sport.
“[It’s] super weird,” Kisner said. “Working so hard on that board. Spending so much time and effort on it over the last three years and then being off of it.”
Will we have any more clarity coming in the near future? That’s still up in the air.
You can listen to Kisner’s complete podcast appearance here.