PGA Fires Back at Players that Jumped Ship

JUNE 8TH – The PGA has taken notice of its alienated golfers – and in a big way. Yesterday, we wrote an article that discussed the background of the league and some of its newest commitments. You can check that out here. Today, PGA commissioner Jay Monahan put a fork in the road of the LIV Tour, the league that has made so many headlines in the last few weeks. LIV, who has stolen a good amount of the PGA’s strongest competitors, teed off today in London.

Monahan announced Thursday morning that the PGA has suspended the following players:

  • Phil Mickelson
  • Dustin Johnson
  • Ian Poulter
  • Sergio Garcia
  • Taylor Gooch
  • Lee Westwood
  • Brandon Grace
  • Matt Jones
  • Kevin Na
  • Martin Kaymer
  • Graeme McDowell
  • Andy Ogletree
  • Louis Oosthuizen
  • Turk Pettit
  • Charl Schwartzel
  • Hudson Swafford
  • Peter Uihlein

There are 2 notable absences from this list: Bryson DeChambeau and Patrick Reed. As far as I can tell, this is only because these players were not listed to tee off this weekend in London. That means that they are sure to face suspension when they do tee off eventually.

Phil Mickelson earlier this week at his press conference.

The Optics

As far as the list of suspensions goes, the big wigs at the LIV are sitting pretty. In response, a statement issued by LIV read “Today’s announcement by the PGA Tour is vindictive and it deepens the divide between the Tour and its members.” Which could be argued is true. It is never good for a league to punch down in pettiness as the PGA has. The players in question were probably not going to be competing in PGA events anyway. The act of suspension just allows the PGA to keep their dignity.

While it’s an easy argument for the LIV Tour to say that the PGA Tour is hurting the game, the LIV Tour and its golfers have blood on their hands too. All these players have left the PGA for a league that maxed out at 100,000 views (online) on opening day. Meaning that the PGA loses a good share of revenue, considering some of its most decorated players(Johnson, Mickelson, DeChambeau) are no longer on television. This, of course, came with no cooperation from the tour itself. Imagine if you just stopped showing up to work one day and just started working with a rival company. Something tells me that wouldn’t go down too well.

Conclusion

This charade needs to stop. The PGA suspending players is petty, and not good from a PR standpoint. However, it’s hypocritical for the LIV to say that it’s bad for the game when they are airing some of the best golfers in the world to just 90,000 people on a laptop.

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