It’s all about the bucks, kid.

PGA Tour, Jay Monahan,(Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
PGA Tour, Jay Monahan,(Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) /

The merger between the PGA Tour, LIV Golf, and the Saudi PIF is less than two weeks old and there remains so much we don’t know.

Some things are clear. PGA Tour players feel betrayed and angry. LIV players have felt snidely celebratory.

Whatever lines in the sand were drawn by players still remain.

It’s also clear the PGA Tour is getting a massive influx of cash. I suspect PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan and DP World Commissioner Keith Pelley are getting a nice bump in pay, too. Those payouts may ultimately turn into golden parachutes. We’ll see.

The message to fans is that we’ll once again see the best players in the world compete against each other.

And that, we’re told, is the only thing we should care about.

My stance on LIV Golf is well-documented. I’m not a fan. In my opinion, it’s not a Tour, it’s an exhibition. I’m also not a fan of state-funded sports leagues. There are too many variables that allow politics to inject themselves into the equation.

LIV’s purpose, in the aftermath of the recent merger (or whatever you want to call it), was clearly not about “growing the game.”

In practical terms, LIV Golf was created to provide a foundation for a lawsuit against the PGA Tour. A resolution to that lawsuit was never really the point.

The point – certainly the reality – was to bleed the PGA Tour dry.

Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan told staff so much this week.

In that regard, the lawsuit was a resounding success. Legal fees were estimated to be spiraling towards $100 million.

Neither the PGA Tour nor the PIF wanted to undergo discovery in the various legal wranglings, either. The prospect of exposing secrets and unknown financial ties motivated both sides to find an off-ramp.

So here we are.

The Saudis will supply the money and the PGA Tour will continue to manage the Tour. If you believe that, I’ve got a golf course in northern Greenland I’d like to sell you.

Generally speaking, if you are supplying the money in a business venture, you have control.

Confused yet? How about confused, disturbed, emotionally-violated, shocked, and angry?

Welcome to the new state of PGA Tour fandom.

Golf fans are supposed to just swallow this thing like an anaconda taking down a fat capybara. Just choke it down. Then clap, you mindless masses, and thank the Saudis for saving golf.

Those are your orders.

Those of us who stood by the PGA Tour with our loyal fandom (and eyeballs on TV) are asked to simply forget the last two years.

My emotional journey has been like inhabiting multiple characters from the movie Wall Street.

For the last two years I’ve been Carl Fox, Bud’s salt-of-the-earth Dad:

“I don’t go to bed with no whore, and I don’t wake up with no whore. That’s how I live with myself. I don’t know how you do it.”

In the last two weeks I’ve become a reformed Bud Fox:

“So tell me, Gordon: when does it all end, huh? How many yachts can you water-ski behind? How much is enough?”

The PGA Tour wants me to think like Gordon Gekko:

“Greed is right, greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Greed, in all of its forms; greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge has marked the upward surge of mankind. And greed, you mark my words, will not only save (the PGA Tour), but that other malfunctioning corporation called the USA.”

Today, I feel like Bud’s old-school boss, Lou Manheim:

“The main thing about money, Bud, is that it makes you do things you don’t want to do.”

Next. LIV Golf and The Phony Team Format. dark

In the Hollywood script, the bad guys pay for their greed-driven crimes. But in real life, the place where morals, conviction, courage, and backbone are supposed to matter – not so much.

“It’s all about bucks, kid. The rest is conversation.”

Indeed it is, Mr. Gekko. Indeed it is.