LIV Golf has made impressive strides in the men’s professional game this year with some notable names signed to the Saudi-backed series, including Bryson DeChambeau, Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson, Brooks Koepka and Sergio Garcia.
The signings keep coming in, with the likes of DeChambeau and Koepka announced after the first event, as well as Abraham Ancer, Patrick Reed and Paul Casey. And there are more ready to move.
Additional players are expected to make the jump to LIV after the 150th Open and then again after the FedExCup Playoffs. Golf Monthly has heard several names associated with the series, including Henrik Stenson, Tommy Fleetwood, and Hideki Matsuyama.
Video: What is LIV Golf?
However, two more names rumored to be considering a move could be the turning point in terms of a possible collaboration between LIV Golf and PGA and DP World Tours.
Golf Monthly understands that Jordan Spieth and Cameron Smith are weighing offers to join LIV, with Spieth, a three-time Major winner, one of the biggest names in the game and Australian Smith, the Players Championship winner, one of the top talents. of sport.
If the rumors turn out to be true, it could be the last straw in terms of negotiation between all parties; the point at which critical mass is reached. The PGA and DP World Tours may need to start thinking about coming to terms with Greg Norman before the game starts to look completely fractured, but the reluctance to do so is entirely understandable and even laudable, depending on his point of view.
Furthermore, any collaboration could lead to more problems, given the strong stance taken by some existing PGA and DP World Tour members on the Saudi-backed league. But who knows if it will go that far, given the anti-LIV rhetoric from DP World and the PGA Tour thus far.
However, if more big names are moved, it seems like some kind of collaboration would be required to stop a scenario where the best players in the game rarely compete in the same event (if at all, depending on the stance of Majors). ). If that doesn’t materialize, the golf fan would be the biggest loser.
Rory McIlroy, arguably the most outspoken player in terms of rejecting LIV Golf, is even beginning to admit that some kind of dialogue may be necessary. “That has to happen,” he replied when asked if “peace talks” should be held between the three parties.
“Everyone has to pivot and change and try to be better and hopefully get to that stage, but like you said, it’s messed up right now and the whole narrative is not good; it is dividing the game instead of everyone coming together,” he said. “I think everyone needs to come together a little bit more.”
We’ve already seen Ian Poulter temporarily lift his ban from the Scottish Open and return to the DP World Tour, and the Englishman is keen to continue supporting his home tour. He revealed that he plans to play the Czech Masters, the BMW PGA Championship and possibly one more event this summer.
The DP World Tour may need to welcome back LIV golfers, especially if Henrik Stenson, the current European Ryder Cup captain, makes the reported and rumored move. But he could also go the other way and dole out full suspension for LIV dropouts, according to the PGA Tour, a circuit with which he has a strategic alliance.
One thing is for sure, though: professional golf is as chaotic as ever, and it will fracture even more if LIV Golf announces more big-name signings and PGA and DP World Tours continue to stand firm. It remains to be seen who, if anyone, will set aside their best interests for the good of the game.