Because Davis Love III has been on the PGA Tour Policy Board, it’s no surprise that he understands how LIV affects the PGA Tour.
Love admits that it surprised him when LIV started playing and that they attracted more top players after Phil Mickelson.
“I told Jay (Monahan, PGA Tour Commissioner) a year ago and you can ask him, I said don’t worry about it, it’s not going to happen. I was completely dead wrong,” Love admitted.
“Six months ago, I told my own tournament, oh, don’t worry about it, not going to happen. Mickelson’s going down, but nobody else will jump ship,” and he was wrong about that, too.
Now he admits he has no idea what’s going to happen in the future. But he believes it’s going to be a fight.
The players who have remained with the PGA Tour, he believes, are more unified than ever.
There is speculation that a few more players are waiting to play the FedEx Cup Playoffs before announcing because there’s so much money in the series. Cameron Smith, winner of The Players and the British Open, has been mentioned by several news sources as being a candidate to go.
Davis Love called the entire situation unfortunate and reinforced the fact that Commissioner Monahan is doing nothing but enforcing the rules written by the players.
“We understand that we make the rules on the PGA Tour and the commissioner’s enforcing our rules,” Love noted, “and we don’t want those guys playing, come and cherry-picking our tournaments.”
He said that because the LIV golfers are now looking to participate in one of the most lucrative parts of the season.
Love said that the players hold the cards, not Monahan or Seth Waugh, or Mike Whan. He believes more and more players are getting fed up with LIV.
“These guys are threatening our way of life. They’re trying to take money out of our pockets,” Love insisted.
In fact, they are trying to do it twice. They are suing to be able to play PGA Tour events, and they are likely asking for damages because they have been suspended. But they chose that route.
“Understanding the consequences, you signed up for these rules,” Love said. That is what he told the LIV defectors or potential defectors before they went to join Greg Norman.
“I said … you’re fixing to break a rule that’s a big rule, and you’re going to get penalized for it.”
And he was right, and they did, and the penalty was suspension. Now, they are apparently surprised, and they are suing to get back some of what they walked away from in terms of tournament play and money.
It seems a bit like raising toddlers or teenagers. Just ask any parent, but Love did not say that.
“Some of them understood that, some of them said it’s not going to happen, and some of them just flat out lied, I’m not doing this, I’m not doing that,” he added.
It’s all proverbial water under the bridge at this point while the courts decide.
In the interim, Davis Love looks forward with positive anticipation to the Presidents Cup.
For that event, it’s unlikely the 11 who have taken the Tour to court asking to play the FedEx Cup Playoffs will sue to play the Presidents Cup.
The reason is that nobody gets paid to play in it. They do get to designate money for charities, but with no cash, it’s doubtful anybody will hear from LIV golfers.
Davis Love is looking at pairings that might include Wake Forest guys like Cameron Young and Will Zalatoris, two relative newcomers that have made names for themselves even though neither has won at the PGA Tour level.
“Will and Cam both said to me, it would be a dream come true for us to play together,” Love revealed.
“Will and Cam would have just an immediate trust in a pressure situation. They’ve done it before, they’ve roomed together on the road.”
He said it was easy, like the Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele pairing at the last Ryder Cup.
“We know we’re going to get 12 guys that really want to play, and Max Homa and Will Zalatoris and Billy Horschel, guys like that.”
The current points list is Scottie Scheffler, Patrick Cantlay, Sam Burns, Xander Schauffele, Justin Thomas, Tony Finau, Jordan Spieth, Collin Morikawa, Max Homa, Will Zalatoris, Billy Horschel and Cameron Young.
If he stayed with that line-up it would surely be a strong team.
In addition, Davis Love just added Webb Simpson to the roster of assistant captains because Simpson lives at Quail Hollow where the event is being played.
Love said he was not counting Simpson out as a player for the Presidents Cup even though he is currently 29th. Last year Patrick Cantlay got hot in the Playoffs and ended up winning the FedEx Cup.
One interesting bit of news was when Love revealed it’s Fred Couples who makes the pairings, which I personally always suspected was the reason his presence on the Presidents Cup teams nearly always guaranteed success. It was probably a factor in the most recent Ryder Cup, too, since he was finally involved in that event.
Couples is a great reader of people, and it’s time he got his due in that category, even if it had to come from one of his good PGA Tour friends, Davis Love, and not from a choice made by the PGA of America.
As the lawsuits play out, and while we wait to see if there will be Dancing Itos at Mickelson’s requested jury trial, Davis Love is getting ready for another Presidents Cup, no matter what happens in court.