Over the previous few years, headlines on professional golf have shifted away from Bryson DeChambeau’s rivalry with Brooks Koepka to debates on Saudi Arabia’s new golf league: LIV. As soon as upon a time, the Scientist and Koepka would have been the topic of a proposal like these from 888sport, which could be utilized to skilled golf.
Their rivalry meant they have been barely trusted to make it via a Main in shut proximity, providing followers loads of leisure worth… however now, they’re each two of the most important names competing in LIV Golf. Beforehand, the PGA was the one possibility for golf followers trying to wager on a event’s end result. Now, slowly however absolutely, extra oddsmakers are overlaying LIV occasions.
It’s yet one more reminder that the rival group is right here to remain. Nevertheless, placing arguments about LIV’s funding and the PIF apart, is LIV the top of the PGA? Or is it a harbinger of recent competitors for the PGA?
The Tiger Query: What’s the Incentive to Observe?
Questionable funding apart, one of many largest points tied to LIV is its large prize purses. In an interview with the media in mid-July of this yr, Tiger Woods voiced his opinion on LIV—and most of it revolved across the high quality of golf. Dozens of execs have jumped ship from the PGA to play in LIV as a result of its prize purses are large—as much as $25 million for minor occasions.
This has led execs like Phil Mickelson to signal on with LIV. Mickelson earned $200 million for swapping sides, whereas Tiger was supplied a sum near $800 million. However the legend didn’t take it—and why not? For Tiger, it comes all the way down to difficult himself. Will gamers be pressured to up their sport in LIV? Or will they be competing in a subpar pool—and if they’re, how will that have an effect on the way forward for the game?
The Authorized Query: Is the PGA a Monopoly?
On the opposite aspect of the controversy, the PGA has run as a near-monopoly in golf. From a enterprise perspective, this has led to an anti-trust swimsuit being filed in opposition to the PGA within the US. However from a sporting perspective, is the PGA a monopoly… or is it merely golf’s authoritative physique?
Within the case of the latter, the PGA is an instrumental governing pressure in golf. They keep the established order and foster competitions that may develop the way forward for golf. Ought to LIV carry out the identical capabilities, it could lastly earn respect from followers and pundits. Till then, nonetheless, the league will doubtless be considered as a money seize, and the professionals who jumped ship as money-hungry.