So … what if a LIV player wanted back to PGA Tour? Max Homa has some words
Max Homa’s “unselfish” and “realistic” sides? They’re in.
But his “selfish, petty” part? It may need some convincing.
It was that kind of day Tuesday, where players in this week’s Players Championship went through the press conference wringer, though a good chunk of the questions were about a different league and players who weren’t even on the grounds. LIV Golf was very front of mind at TPC Sawgrass.
Last to talk was Homa, a deep thinker, and he gave a host of deep thoughts on the subject du jour. His most sincere, though, may have come when he was asked this:
“So it’s a virtual certainty that at some point a LIV contract is going to expire and someone’s going to want back into this ecosystem. How would you feel about that personally?”
It was an interesting question. Just a few weeks ago, Alan Shipnuck of the Fire Pit Collective had written that he had even heard that Brooks Koepka, now with LIV, has had “buyer’s remorse” on his move, and there’s at least a thought that players could return.
So what say you, Max, if pros wanted back in?
“I’ve thought a lot about this,” he said.
He then took a deep breath, before offering up 268 more words.
“My selfish, petty side would be really frustrated, because I have not been annoyed at anyone leaving. It’s your own choice and you have to do what you believe you should do. I’m totally cool with that. Things I’ve been joking about and maybe not so subtle about is some people have said things on their way out that’s been quite frustrating. So if they were to come back, I think it would be kind of, it would feel kind of nice because it’s almost like, oh, yeah, never mind, like I do like the PGA Tour, as we who have stayed love the PGA Tour.
“But I think that the fact that they went out and, you know, not saying we’re a family out here; I’m not super-duper close with a ton of guys, but like it does feel like we’re all kind of in this together to push competitive golf and push the game forward. So I think my petty side would be a little bit annoyed, but also kind of smiling underneath, thinking, OK, welcome, welcome back to what you could have just been doing.
“But I think my unselfish side and my realistic side is that, as I just mentioned, all of those guys that you can name that left are great for golf. Champion golfers, interesting golfers, so many great stories across their careers. So of course I think if I could put my selfish part aside and maybe put on my big-boy hat, I would realize that having them back would be a good thing for golf at large.”
Of course, as it stands, players who have left for LIV have been suspended by the Tour, though the length of suspensions is unclear. On Tuesday, when asked what would happen if a LIV player asked to return to the Tour, Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said only the position “has not changed.”
Earlier in his press conference, Homa was also notably asked if golf was missing “some of those characters that get under the skin of other guys?” And like his earlier answer, he looked at it two ways.
Yes, he said, he misses players, specifically mentioning Bryson DeChcambeau.
But yes, other personalities will come.
“Yeah, I think that certain TV shows and movies aren’t great, like a Hallmark movie, when everything is just all perfect,” Homa said. “And I think all of it is interesting. I do think that it is a shame that I find Bryson to be one of the most interesting people who has probably ever swung a golf club. He thinks about it differently. Even his setup of his golf clubs are different. He obviously transformed his body, and I thought that was incredibly interesting.
“It was something like, you know, sixth at Bay Hill last year or two years ago, it was like must-see TV, and it was awesome. As I talk to my friends who are far removed from my standing in golf and how close I am to it, I ask them quite often, you know, who are their favorite players and least favorite players, and it’s interesting because when they mention someone who is maybe not their favorite, they always seem to like light up and love talking about it. I’m not saying that those players are anyone’s least favorite, but they obviously have brought some controversy when they have played in events here and there, whether that’s good or bad, but for golf, I feel like that’s good. For entertainment, that’s good. For fans, that’s good.
“I guess one thing that I’ve kind of settled on is, although some of the most interesting players in golf are playing on a different Tour, I don’t think that those are the last of the interesting players that will come through this tour. I think that there will be other interesting aspects or other interesting characters to come play through here. They might be on it now; they might not be. They might be coming up in a bit, in a year or two. But of course, I think the most kind of frustrating part of kind of the fracture of golf right now is that everyone plays a role in entertaining the fans. And since there’s a divide, you’re missing something at the very least, and that’s quite a shame. Again, as a fan of golf, that’s a shame that you have to watch them in two separate events.
“But such is life, I guess.”