PGA Tour stars, including Tiger Woods, gathered on Tuesday to discuss the LIV Golf series, which has lured away tour players by offering them staggering sums of money. The PGA Tour stars emerged from the meeting feeling positive, but they were unwilling to detail how they planned to fend off the rebel golf start-up or live relatively peacefully alongside it.
The meeting was the most recent event in what has been an unusually contentious year in golf, and it took place just one week after a federal judge ruled that the PGA Tour has the right to exclude LIV golfers from the FedEx Cup playoffs, which will be held until the end of August. The meeting was the latest turn in what has been an uncharacteristically antagonistic year in golf.
On Wednesday, PGA Tour players were hesitant to divulge facts about a meeting that had been conducted in Wilmington, Delaware, that had drawn Tiger Woods. Woods had flown in from his home in Florida in order to attend the conference. The BMW Championship would begin later that day. The third-ranked golfer in the world, Rory McIlroy, told reporters on Wednesday that the meeting had a “impactful” outcome.
According to McIlroy, Woods’s leadership at the conference was vital as players discussed how to strengthen the PGA Tour and deal with the divide that has emerged in the golf world as a result of the advent of the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Invitational series.
Players were ready to laud Woods, but when it came to providing any practical measures that emerged from the discussion, they were reluctant to do so.
During an interview with reporters on Wednesday, Xander Schauffele expressed his desire to see a conclusion that resulted in “some form of harmony.”
Reporters were informed by Schauffele, who is ranked sixth in the world, that there was “a little bit of a code” to maintain silence.
During a press conference, the seventh-ranked golfer in the world, Justin Thomas, said that the meeting had been “constructive” and that the players who had attended “simply want the best for the tour and want what’s in the best interest.”
Thomas was quoted as saying, “I believe if someone like him is enthusiastic about it, no insult to any of us, but that’s really all that counts.” If he is not the mastermind behind anything, then, number one, it is probably not a smart concept in terms of the enhancement of the game, and number two, it is not going to be successful. He must be operating secretly behind the scenes.”
McIlroy said that the PGA Tour would ultimately need to adjust to a future in which Woods was not competing on the tour, in addition to having to cope with LIV Golf. McIlroy made this statement.
Patrick Reed, the champion of the 2018 Masters Tournament who joined LIV Golf in June, has filed a defamation lawsuit against Golf Channel and the commentator Brandel Chamblee, claiming $750 million in damages. The complaint is an addition to the drama that unfolded on Tuesday.
The lawsuit, which was submitted to a federal court in Texas, asserts that the network and Chamblee have colluded with the PGA Tour to defame LIV players. The lawsuit also claims that this was done in order to eliminate LIV Golf as a potential source of revenue for the network.
The lawsuit claims that Golf Channel, Chamblee, and the PGA Tour have been working together “to destroy his reputation, create hate, and a hostile work environment for him.
According to the complaint, both Chamblee and Golf Channel operate under the philosophy that “it does not matter how horribly they damage someone’s reputation and life, so long as they rake in more revenue and profit.”
Over the last several months, the LIV Tour has attracted a lot of attention and controversy due to the fact that it is funded by the sovereign wealth fund of Saudi Arabia. Bryson DeChambeau, Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, and Phil Mickelson are among of the players that have defected from the PGA Tour and joined LIV Golf. In February, it was reported that Mickelson had claimed that the LIV series was a “once-in-a-lifetime chance,” even though he had previously described Saudi Arabia’s record on human rights as “terrible.” This prompted widespread indignation among golf fans.
Mickelson is one of 11 golfers who defected from the PGA Tour and then filed an antitrust lawsuit against the PGA Tour earlier this month. The lawsuit seeks to challenge the PGA Tour’s suspensions and other measures that have been used to discipline players who have joined LIV Golf. According to reports, Mickelson received as much as $200 million to sign with the breakaway tour.