It's an earthquake. Golf is shaken by the increasingly powerful influence of the LIV Golf Series, which continues to draw great players from the P
It’s an earthquake. Golf is shaken by the increasingly powerful influence of the LIV Golf Series, which continues to draw great players from the PGA Tour by putting mountains of dollars on the table. The latest great addition? Brooks Koepka, champion of four majors, in addition to the Mexican Abraham Ancer, 20th in the world ranking. In this way, there are 8 among the top 50 of that list who have already decided to go over the side. In the middle of the crack, a declaration of principles of the British Open was expected, which will start on July 14. Finally, the oldest Grand Slam tournament on the calendar is set: it will allow Arab-funded league players – suspended for the regular tour – to perform in the last of the year’s four major tournaments. Martin Slumbers, CEO of The R&A, reported:
“The Open is the original Championship of golf and since it was first played in 1860, the openness has been central to its distinctive character and unique appeal. Players who are exempt or have earned a place by qualifying for the 150th Open, in accordance with the terms and conditions of entry, will be able to compete at the Championships in St Andrews. We are focused on hosting a world-class event in July and celebrating this truly historic occasion for golf. We will invest proceeds from The Open, as we always do, for the benefit of golf, reflecting our purpose to ensure the sport continues to thrive 50 years from now.”
The PGA Tour, which organizes the American golf circuit, decided to ban golfers who participate in the dissident circuit from registering for its tournaments. But according to speculation, the circuit commanded by Jay Monahan would be preparing a counteroffensive to try to win back the golfers who went to the LIV Golf Series, including big names like Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau and Koepka himself, who has just announce their withdrawal from the Travelers Championship, which begins Thursday in Cromwell, Connecticut. The idea is to increase from 2023 the prize pool of eight renowned tournaments to at least 20 million dollars, and introduce three new tournaments worth 25 million dollars each, without cut, as in the LIV circuit competitions. .
The calendar could also evolve with a season modeled on the “civil” year, between January and December, while currently the PGA Tour starts in the fall of the United States, our spring. The first LIV Golf League tournament took place at the beginning of June in London, with the participation of 17 members of the PGA Tour, all excluded from the American circuit until further notice. The winner, South African Charl Schwartzel, returned home with a $4 million check in his bank account.
In a conference during the US Open, Koepka had accused journalists of putting “a black cloud” over the US Open, by raising the LIV Golf Invitational Series on the day’s agenda: “I’m here at the US Open and ready to play, and I think it sucks: and’all are throwing this black cloud over this event,” criticized the four-time major winner, adding: “It’s one of my favorite events. I don’t know why you guys keep doing that. The more legs you give it, the more you keep talking about it.”
But a few days later, the golfer born in West Palm Beach, Florida took a turn and offered signs that he will be part of the Arab league: in fact, he has already announced that he will withdraw from the next PGA Tour tournament. Also his younger brother, Chase, was engaged from the first date of the league commanded by Greg Norman and tied for 33rd in the opening date in London, where he took a check for $ 150,000.
Meanwhile, Abraham Ancer was officially announced as a new LIV figure, and then the Mexican said goodbye to the main tour: “After careful analysis, I have made the decision to join LIV Golf. This was not a decision that was made lightly,” Ancer said in a statement posted on his Twitter account. “I feel very fortunate and would like to thank the PGA Tour for the opportunities I have had in my career to this point. I am excited to see what the future holds for my golfing career,” he added.
A trend is beginning to emerge among the players who go to LIV Golf, beyond the obvious ambition for money. In almost every case, it comes down to his questionable long-term ability to consistently compete against the best in the world on the PGA Tour, whether based on physicality (Koepka, DeChambeau), decrepitude (Mickelson, Westwood, Poulter), decreased ability (McDowell, Kaymer) or apathy, like Dustin Johnson. In the case of the former No. 1, many say that he “would rather be fishing.”