Northern Plains, Ur. -Whether you believe the first shot was fired when Phil Mickelson said the PGA Tour used “manipulative, coercive, and strong-arm tactics” and its commissioner, Jay Monahan, wouldn’t do what was right “unless you had leverage…”
Or that was when Monahan rescinded playing privileges for those who jumped into LIV Golf and described Greg Norman’s project as an “irrational threat” and “not interested in the ROI or real growth of the game” that turned out to be impressive…
And not above some good platitudes.
Such as The inaugural event of the LIV Golf Series in the United States Starting Thursday at the Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club outside of Portland, Oregon, the traditional league against the wild kid continues to trade insults and strategically timed announcements.
Monahan celebrated the start of the first LIV event in London by announcing that those playing in the Saudi-backed series have been suspended from the PGA Tour. This ruling came because the entire field was swinging in LIV rifle start format.
LIV responded by welcoming Brooks Koepka to her team minutes after Monahan’s press conference at the Travelers Championship a week ago to announce that the PGA Tour was raising its portfolio in several tournaments.
On Tuesday, while LIV was introducing three of its new members, Bryson DeChambeau, Patrick Reed and Matthew Wolff, at Pumpkin Ridge, Monahan was revealing the PGA Tour and the DP World Tour expanding and strengthening their alliance.
This turns into Duke vs. North Carolina. Red Sox vs Yankees. All at odds with each other.
And make no mistake, the LIV Golf definitely caught the attention of the PGA Tour.
Bresson Deshampeau on the Saudis and LIV Golf:“People will see the good they do.”
more:Controversy continues to follow LIV Golf and its players ahead of the tournament near Portland
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So what did some of those players who decided to walk away from the PGA Tour do? They started shooting.
LIV Tour players attack in the PGA Tour
Like Pat Perez, the unapologetic 46-year-old is striving for more money while working less after 20 years and starting 515th on the PGA Tour.
Perez caught a look at the field of this week’s PGA Tour event, the John Deere Classic, and he was like a friend in the water.
“The tour has tried to harden our guns all year and comes with bans and suspensions and all of that,” he said. “And how did that work? Look how many players are here. It didn’t work at all. So the top threats and all that kind of stuff, how many major winners do you have here compared to John Deere? It’s not that much closer.”
“The tour wants to keep talking about the strength of the field… the strength of the field is here. So whether everyone wants to talk about it or not, it is what it is. Facts are facts.”
For this week, however, Peres is right. It is not close. John Deere lost top 50 player, No. 25, to Daniel Berger, who withdrew on Monday with back issues that have been plaguing him for most of this year. The event has only six of the top 100, led by number 58 Webb Simpson.
But, Perez needs to take a break. The LIV event features eight top 50 players, including number 17 Dustin Johnson and number 19 Kupka. Certainly not excellent to this point. But, for Perez, that puts the John Deere era to shame.
Some players can no longer hide their disgust with the PGA Tour and how it handled the LIV threat. Some responded by resigning from the tour. They include Dustin Johnson, Sergio Garcia, Patrick Reed, Lee Westwood and Charles Schwarzl.
Several were asked what, if anything, the tour could have done to prevent players from defecting.
“Listen to the players for once,” Reid said.
“It would have at least been possible to get the call from the LIV group,” Perez said. “At least take a meeting, and see what it’s all about. Monahan just shut it down from the start. I didn’t want a meeting, I didn’t want to listen to anyone. Maybe (he) would be a little different…not listening to the players.”
Wednesday’s Speech by Garcia, Westwood and Martin Kaymer: Communication.
“Transparency is a big thing,” Kaymer said. “It was great to evaluate all the options that are available in all the tours and that we can all decide together, that we can sit at the table as adults, and find a solution that is not only good for the individuals but for the whole tour for all the members.”
However, no one knows what the LIV Golf will look like in three years. Is this the NFL that was forced to merge with the NFL? Or is this the original USFL that died three seasons later? (In a related item, the next stop in the US for LIV Golf will be at Trump National Golf Club, Bedminster.)
Some of those who have taken shots on the PGA Tour now, wouldn’t shut the door on returning to the Tour if they were allowed to.
“I want to play the PGA Tour,” DeChambeau said. “It’s not my decision if I can play or I can’t, but I want to keep playing. We’ll see how you play.”
Tom D’Angelo journalist at Palm Beach Post. You can reach him at email@example.com.