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Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy declining nine-figure deals was in vain as LIV Golf rebels have the last laugh

Bynewsmagzines

Jun 6, 2023
Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy declining nine-figure deals was in vain as LIV Golf rebels have the last laugh


“Win-win for both tours but it’s a big lose for who defended the tour for last two years.”

Shockwaves were sent through golf when totally out of the blue it was announced that after nearly a year of furious dispute between the PGA Tour and LIV Golf, they have now formed as one along with the DP World Tour.

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Golf’s civil war is over, but at what cost?

The Saudi Arabian-funded breakaway league, introduced in 2022, started a civil war in the sport which on Tuesday was brought to an instant and very unexpected end.

“I would say it’s a great victory for global golf,” DP World Tour chief executive Keith Pelley said.

“It’s a fantastic victory for the consumer, it’s great for European golf, it’s great for our members. We’re a members’ organisation and that’s always front and centre in my mind.

“This is a win for global professional golf and for the DP World Tour. We are mature grown-ups. The divisiveness is now over. We are just beginning and it’s going to be a fun ride.”

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It’s far too soon to judge what this earth-shattering news will do for the sport long-term, however.

A number of stars including Dustin Johnson and Phil Mickelson decided to switch from the PGA Tour to the new movement. In contrast, despite being presented with astonishing offers, two of the sports greats in Tiger Woods and Rory McIlory opted to stayed put.

Woods, a 15-time major winner, previously gave a damning assessment of the LIV series that has been accused of lacking morality and sporting integrity.

Woods declined mega bucks to switch from the PGA Tour to LIV

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Woods declined mega bucks to switch from the PGA Tour to LIVCredit: Getty

“To play there [LIV Golf], I disagree with it,” he said amid its growing emergence last year. “I think that what they’ve done is they’ve turned their back on what has allowed them to get to this position.

“Some players have never got a chance to even experience it. They’ve gone right from the amateur ranks right into that organisation and never really got a chance to play out here and what it feels like to play a Tour schedule or to play in some big events.”

LIV CEO Greg Norman, who’s cut a scarce figure amid the monumental announcement, revealed that he offered the golfing legend around $1billion [£805million] to sign up.

McIlroy also not one to eye a switch despite reportedly being offered £400million to join up.

McIlroy also refused to join LIV Golf

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McIlroy also refused to join LIV GolfCredit: Getty
He's fallen out with Sergio Garcia in the process

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He’s fallen out with Sergio Garcia in the processCredit: Getty

“Look, I’ve lived it — for the top guys, all that money really isn’t going to change their life,” McIlroy said. “I’m in a way better financial position than I was a decade ago and my life is no different.

“I still use the same three, four rooms in my house. I just don’t see the value in tarnishing a reputation for extra millions.”

The PGA Tour suspended all those who competed at the LIV Golf invitational and it inevitably led to personal divisions among those in the game, with McIlroy and Sergio Garcia having a much publicised falling out.

While Woods and McIlroy are yet to speak out on the merging news, it’s highly unlikely the pros are going to follow what those in power appear to be doing and letting bygones be bygones overnight.

Mickelson, Johnson and this year’s Masters and PGA Tour Champioinship winner Brooks Koepka understandably rejoiced at the news, while PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan stated: “This is a historic day for the game we all know and love.”

LIV Golf was losing the war before the shock news

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LIV Golf was losing the war before the shock newsCredit: Getty

We can only wait to see whether it proves to be historically good or bad and at this stage we can only speculate how this seismic change to golf came about.

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“I’m guessing the LIV teams were struggling to get sponsors and PGA Tour couldn’t turn down the money,” former BMW PGA Championship winner Ben An said.

“Win-win for both tours but it’s a big lose for who defended the tour for last two years.”

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