The PGA Tour-LIV merger shook the golf world. Players reacted *very* differently
The golf world was shook to its very core Tuesday morning.
In a surprising reversal, the PGA Tour, DP World Tour and LIV Golf announced they will be merging into one entity. The announcement ends a months-long standoff between some of golf’s largest stakeholders, and changes the landscape of the sport as we know it.
The merger came as a surprise to all but the inner-most parties of each body. PGA Tour members heard the news via social media — at least according to their tweets — with Jay Monahan sending a letter to players shortly after.
“I love finding out morning news on Twitter,” Collin Morikawa wrote.
Callum Tarren, a second-year Tour pro, said in an interview with Golf Channel he found out the news while in the fitness trailer at this week’s RBC Canadian Open. He also said that he feels as though players who stayed loyal to the PGA Tour were kicked “in the teeth.”
“Obviously Rory [McIlroy] was a huge advocate of the PGA Tour,” he said. “And now he kind of looks like all his hard work and sticking up for the PGA Tour was left by the wayside.”
(McIlroy has not publicly made any statements in regards to the mergers, but many other pros have.)
After months of preaching anti-LIV sentiments, especially as it pertains to Saudi Arabia’s human rights record, Jay Monahan made an appearance on CNBC with Yasir Al Rumayyan, governor of the Saudi Public Investment Fund, explaining the merger.
“A lot of people have been reading about the tension,” Monahan said. “And we’ve talked a lot, and I said previously that we were going down our path and they were going down theirs. And today, that tension goes away. The litigation is dropped. We’re announcing to the world that on behalf of this game, we’re coming together.”
Some players were not pleased with Monahan’s plan to not only merge with LIV, but also keep Tour members in the dark about the decision.
“Tell me why Jay Monahan basically got a promotion to CEO of all golf in the world by going back on everything he said the past 2 years?” Dylan Wu tweeted. “The hypocrisy. Wish golf worked like that. I guess money always wins.”
Wesley Bryan added: “I feel betrayed, and will not not be able to trust anyone within the corporate structure of the PGA Tour for a very long time.”
A players’ meeting is scheduled for 4 p.m. today at the RBC Canadian Open.
LIV golfers, however, struck quite a different tune when the news broke. Phil Mickelson, one of LIV’s biggest names and one of the most ardent supporters of the tour, quote tweeted the merger news and said, “Awesome day today.”
Others also chimed in.
Alluding to Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee’s critical takes on LIV Golf, Brooks Koepka tweeted, “Welfare check on Chamblee.” Bryson DeChambeau posted “What a monumental day for the game of golf!!” to his Instagram story.
With details emerging as the day progresses, there is only more fallout to come, but one thing is certain: pro golf will never be the same after today.