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PGA Tour And LIV Animosity is Not Driven by The Media

By: | Tue 11 Apr 2023

BEFORE The Masters got under way, two-time champion Bubba Watson, who defected to LIV Golf last year, claimed that the animosity between the PGA Tour and LIV was media driven.

That would indicate that the world's media were actively looking to stir things up. However, the evidence suggests otherwise. I am a fully paid-up member of the world’s media and there is not the slightest doubt in my mind that the leading actors in this drama have had plenty to say without any encouragement from my colleagues.

If you doubt it, here is just some of the evidence…

  • February 2022 - Phil Mickelson on Saudi Arabia and LIV (from an interview he claimed was off-the-record). “They’re scary mother******s to get involved with. We know they killed Khashoggi and have a horrible record on human rights. They execute people over there for being gay. Knowing all of this, why would I even consider it? Because this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reshape how the PGA Tour operates.”
  • Rory McIlroy on Mickelson - “I don’t want to kick someone while he’s down obviously, but I thought they were naive, selfish, egotistical, ignorant. Who’s left? Who’s left to go? There’s no one. It’s dead in the water in my opinion. I just can’t see any reason why anyone would go.”
  • May 2022 - Greg Norman on the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi. “Look, we’ve all made mistakes.”
  • June 2022 - Norman on Jack Nicklaus: “One hundred percent truth? Jack’s a hypocrite.”
  • Norman on McIlroy: “Rory has been brainwashed”
  • Graeme McDowell speaking before LIV Golf’s inaugural tournament at Centurion, near London - “If Saudi Arabia want to use the game of golf as a way to get to where they want to be and they have the resources to be able to accelerate that experience then we are proud help them on that journey using the game of golf and the abilities we have."
  • August 2022 - Harold Varner III announces he is joining LIV Golf and goes public with the admission that he is doing it for the money.
  • November 2022 - Rory on Greg Norman. “I think Greg needs to go. I think he just needs to exit stage left,”
  • January 2023 - Patrick Reed describes Rory McIlroy as an “immature child” after the Northern Irishman refused to shake his hand at the Dubai Desert Classic. Reed responded by throwing a tee at McIlroy.
  • February 2023 - Rory McIlroy on Netflix Full Swing. “F*** Phil Mickelson.”
  • February 2023 - Sergio Garcia on his fallout with his former wedding usher Rory McIlroy. “I think it is very sad. I think that we’ve done so many things together and had so many experiences that for him to throw that away just because I decided to go to a different tour, well, it doesn’t seem very mature; lacking maturity, really.”
  • March 2023 - Bryson DeChambeau reveals that Tiger Woods has effectively ended their friendship since he joined LIV.
  • March 2023 - Fred Couples. “If you’re giving Phil Mickelson $200million at age 52 to shoot 74 and 75, God bless you. He’s a nutbag.”
  • April 2023 - Cameron Smith - "For us, internally, it’s kind of a pride thing. There’s a lot of chatter going around about ‘these guys don’t play real golf anymore’. And I think it’s B.S. to be honest. And we just want to show people that.”
  • April 2023 - Joaquin Niemann - “There is a big rivalry right now between the Tour and LIV. I think it’s going to be more fun knowing that they hate us. Then go to the majors and beat them.”
  • April 2023 - Harold Varner III - “They are full of s***; they are growing their pockets. I tell them all the time, ‘You didn’t come here to grow the game.” He was talking about LIV golfers. Varner is a LIV golfer!

Sergio Garcia

(Image Credit: Kevin Diss Photography)

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Tags: PGA Tour LIV Golf FedEx Cup

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