For illustrating how detached from reality those involved with LIV golf are, it’s hard to top the organization’s recent comments about Majors.
Majed Al Souror, who is the CEO of Saudi Golf, said recently that:
"“if the Majors decide not to have our players play, I will celebrate. I will create my own Majors for my players.”"
There must be something about having an inexhaustible amount of money – I’ll never know but I presume there must be – that feeds hubris to a blinding level. Until a better illustration of that fact comes along, Al Souror’s comment regarding ‘creating my own Majors’ will do nicely.
You can’t create Majors; you can only recognize them.
What does he think he’s running, the women’s Tour? Even on that well-established Tour, regrettably, few deeply care when officials declare something a “Major.”
The LPGA is trying hard to establish a Major identity with the Evian, as it once did with the duMaurier, and as it continues to try to do with the Chevron, formerly the ANA. It hasn’t even been able to get a significant network contract for the Chevron.
The problem is that in the world the golfing public cares deeply about, “Majors” aren’t creatable. They are merely recognizable.
Even the PGA Tour, with a lot more history and credibility than LIV, couldn’t create a “Major.” Remember the dedicated campaign on the part of the Tour and its TV acolytes to promote the Players Championship as “the fifth Major?”
It never took. The Players today is what it was when it was created and what it has been for decades: a prestigious event with a superb field played on an internationally recognized course…but not a Major.
It is a measure of the ego as well as the detachment from reality of LIV players and execs that they think they can make something so merely by declaring it to be so.
That approach was refined into a strategy when Greg Norman assured his recruits that the PGA Tour would not suspend them, then that they would get OWGR points, and finally that their presence at Majors would be coveted by the sponsors of those tournaments.
The amazing thing is that Cam Smith, Bryson DeChambeau, Patrick Reed, Brooks Koepka, and the other LIV recruits were gullible enough — or blinded by money enough — to convince themselves that Norman would deliver on those promises when any reasoning observer knew he couldn’t.
With specific respect to the Majors, the insurmountable hurdle facing Al Souror is that the Majors are considered in that unique class because, in addition to the money, they deliver things the LIV Tour can only dream of, tradition, historic venues, and atmosphere being the three most obvious.
LIV Tour events have none of those and will not have for decades, if ever. Tradition can’t be created, it must be grown like a child. It took decades for anybody outside Scotland to care about the British Open.
As for atmosphere, the LIV Tour has to give away tickets and buy air time. As to the atmosphere at LIV events, it couldn’t be phonier if they piped in crowd noise.
Because the Saudis have an inexhaustible supply of money, it’s possible that LIV hangs around for a while. But contrary to Al Souror’s statement, his Tour will never present a “Major” in any sense beyond the declarative one.
Not even the PGA Tour, which learned this lesson with the Players, can create a Major. And if the PGA Tour can’t do it, the LIV Tour certainly can’t.