As we finish up another weekend of golf, both on the PGA Tour and LIV Golf Tour, this past weekend provided fans across the globe another opportunity to determine which product is growing and asserting its dominance.
The Greg Norman-led LIV Tour welcomed fresh faces to their field, including World No. 2 and LIV Chicago winner, Cameron Smith, and Harold Varner III who also made his LIV debut over the weekend.
On the PGA side, the Jay Monahan-led Tour kicked off its new season over the weekend with the 2022 Fortinet Championship, an event that was won for a second consecutive year by American star Max Homa.
Now a question for you the reader to consider…
Could you ever envision a scenario in which LIV and the PGA peacefully coincide?
If you ask Greg Norman, you will get a resounding no.
When asked about a potential alliance, the former star was quick to shut that down. While he once considered sitting down with the PGA Tour, it’s clear that it’s no longer an option.
"“When we knew we were never going to hear from them, we just decided to go. We have no interest in sitting down with them, to be honest with you, because our product is working.” – Greg Norman"
Many, including myself, did not think that LIV Golf would have any substance in the golf world.
However, after this calendar year, it’s evident that this Tour clearly has the legs and the money to make a serious run for years to come.
Just look at the golfers on the LIV Tour. Former World No. 1 Dustin Johnson is recently coming off a LIV Tour win and he once again was leading an event after opening with a 63 this past weekend in Chicago.
The PGA Tour quickly shut down any chance of welcoming back the LIV Golf defectors after issuing indefinite suspensions to all.
According to Greg Norman, that was a sign from Monahan that the PGA Tour was in no mood to negotiate.
"“Simply put, you can’t ban players from playing golf. Players have the right and the freedom to play where we like. I know for a fact that many PGA players were and still are interested in playing for a new league, in addition to playing for the Tour. What is wrong with that?” – Greg Norman"
With all signs pointing to years of competition between the two rival Tours, fans are now left to wonder which will become the dominant product in the long run.
Golfers are now becoming more defensive of their respective Tours as well. If you ask LIV Golf star Bryson DeChambeau, he has not looked back since leaving the PGA for LIV Golf.
"“What LIV Golf has provided is something new and unique, different, and with that to be said, there’s going to be some disruption and people aren’t going to like it, and I respect every single person that doesn’t think it’s good for the game of golf.” -Bryson DeChambeau"
On the other hand, while PGA Tour star Rory McIlroy has no ill will towards anyone that chose to leave, he doesn’t think they should be allowed to play in the next Ryder Cup.
"“I have said it once, I’ve said it a hundred times: I don’t think any of those guys should be on the Ryder Cup team.” – Rory McIlroy"
It will be interesting to see not only how these two Tours will co-exist moving forward, but how these golfers will interact when they meet at some of the most important Majors and events each year. The hostility is certainly evident, but will this tension ever blow over?
Don’t be surprised if it doesn’t…just ask Billy Horschel and Ian Poulter.