Moving Month, not Moving Day, is Here

LIV Golf, Portland,(Photo by Jamie Squire/LIV Golf via Getty Images)
LIV Golf, Portland,(Photo by Jamie Squire/LIV Golf via Getty Images) /

We all know Saturday as “Moving Day” on the PGA Tour.

On “Moving Day” players are more likely to take chances. There’s no more threat of missing the cut and there are still enough holes left to recover from a minor blow-up.

“Moving Day” can be a roller coaster ride. It’s the day the players take chances they wouldn’t on Sunday. It’s the day to make a splash and shake things up.

If you like when things get a little wild, let me introduce you to a new phenomenon. Welcome to “Moving Month” in professional golf – as in moving Tours.

In the next 3-4 weeks, we will see some big names jump to the LIV Golf Series. Cam Smith, fresh off his first Major win at The Open, has reportedly been offered something in the neighborhood of $100 million to join.

David Feherty, one of the most beloved voices in golf, just decided to take his talents to Saudi Arabia. Frankly, this is as big a move as a Top 20 player going to LIV. We can argue about the current quality of the broadcast presentation on LIV, but Feherty definitely improves it.

Henrik Stenson, the current European Ryder Cup Captain, seems all but gone. This is a shot across the bow to the PGA and DP World Tours. It will force uncomfortable decisions on both Tours about Ryder Cup eligibility.

Other names being bandied about? Adam Scott, Hideki Matsuyama, and Bubba Watson – all past Masters Champions. Aussie Marc Leishman is a prime target. Rickie Fowler certainly has an offer on the table.

We’ll find out in the next couple of weeks where there is just smoke or actual fire to these rumors.

One thing is certain. LIV Golf is gaining momentum.

The PGA and DP World Tours have been too cute by half in defining punishments for defectors. The Majors have sent mixed signals on future eligibility. The OWGR committee is coyly playing the long game with LIV Golf’s application for points.

There are a lot of balls in the air. For both the PGA and DP World Tours, indecision is a killer. In the next month, the slippery slope created by their wishy-washy responses will gain significant speed and produce greater consequences.

The solution? At this point, the PGA, DP World, OWGR, and the Majors have neatly painted themselves in a corner. None have taken a strong enough stand for or against LIV Golf.

There are now only two paths forward. Acquiesce to LIV Golf and let their players play on both Tours and in Majors or do what should have been done in February.

LIV Golf started as a small wound to the world of professional golf. Many disregarded it. Others saw a small threat and just slapped a band-aid on it figuring it would go away quickly.

That was clearly a massive miscalculation.

That small wound is now infected. Indeed, it looks gangrenous. The PGA and DP World Tours overestimated their health and vitality. Now their leg is swollen and turning a sickening yellow-green.

You know what happens next. It’s too late for topical treatments and antibiotics. The Tours let this infection fester. Through their own hubris and weak leadership, golf’s governing bodies and Major Championships may have a life-threatening issue on their hands.

You all know what has to happen when a limb is infected and puts life itself in danger. It’s time to get the bone saw and start cutting.

Oh, is that too soon? Did I offend some of you LIV fans with this metaphor?

I’m talking about metaphorically detaching LIV Golf from polite golfing society. The de facto head of LIV Golf is the one who uses such gruesome techniques against state enemies. Don’t you dare start clutching your pearls now.

It’s time for the Tours, OWGR, and Majors to take the offensive against LIV Golf. Stop tiptoeing. Brand it what it is – an exhibition circus, not a competing tour.

Refuse to reward OWGR ranking points to LIV events. Disallow all LIV players from PGA and DP World Tours. Ban them from Majors. Take away exemptions from this year forward (even I don’t think you can rewrite the rules after the fact for past Champions).

End their pensions; pay them out now and wash your hands of it. Pressure equipment manufacturers to drop their sponsorships. Do the same to corporate sponsors.

Force everyone with any influence in the game to pick a side.

Will a lot of this end up in courts? Yes. Will it be expensive for all involved? Yes. Will the PGA win? Maybe. But at least they can drag out the cases and watch the LIV guys slide off the OWGR rankings.

If you don’t make everyone pick a side, they will all choose both sides. If and when that happens, the PGA and DP World Tours will be in what amounts to a financial battle against a foe with unlimited resources. We all know who wins that one.

In a few short weeks, professional golf will be at a tipping point. Once it tips over, you can’t put it back to the way it was.

And make no mistake, the Tours and the Majors let it get to this point. Every measure they have taken has been a day late and a dollar short. The nuisance of LIV has grown into an existential threat.

Next. LIV Golf Will Continue To Lure The Biggest Names. dark

By the end of the FedEx Cup Playoffs we will all know if the golfing establishment goes on, hobbled but alive, or if obstinance wins the day and the current tours die a cruel and certain death of their own making.