The beef between the PGA Tour and LIV Golf seems to have slowed down quite a bit in recent months. While the two tours still aren’t on the greatest terms, the constant back-and-forth bickering has subsided significantly. LIV commissioner Greg Norman believes it’s because Rory McIlroy has “seen the light.”
Over the past year, McIlroy has essentially served as the unofficial spokesperson of the PGA Tour. He’s defended the league against Norman’s Saudi-backed LIV Golf. While the four-time major winner once claimed the startup league was “dead in the water,” he’s come down off that stance.
Norman has taken notice.
“I am glad Rory is starting to maybe see the light a little bit,” Norman told BBC Northern Ireland, per OutKick.
McIlroy has recently said that the two golf leagues need to find ways to co-exist. That hasn’t quite happened yet, but Norman suggested that LIV is starting to have an impact on players still on the PGA Tour.
“I am glad Rory has recognized that LIV really truly identified how antiquated the PGA Tour was,” Norman said. “I am glad Rory is recognizing LIV has been a leader in getting the PGA Tour to try and follow us. Why have we done that? Because of the players.”
Despite multiple threats from the PGA Tour, several of the game’s top players left for LIV Golf. Phil Mickelson, Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau and others have already jumped ship for the startup league.
With LIV swiping so many big names from the Tour, it seems inevitable that the two leagues will work together at some point down the road.
Phil Mickelson blasts USGA for excluding LIV;s Talor Gooch from U.S. Open
Mickelson has never really been one to bite his tongue, especially when it comes to defending LIV Golf. One of the first defectors from the PGA Tour has offered strong support for the league and the players in it.
So, when the USGA retroactively disqualified Talor Gooch from this year’s U.S. Open, Mickelson went on a bit of a tirade. A Twitter tirade, that is.
Gooch qualified for the U.S. Open by qualifying for the Tour Championship. The USGA recently made a change to its rules, stating a player “must be both qualified and eligible for the Tour Championship.”
Now that Gooch has moved on to LIV Golf, he’s no longer eligible for the Tour Championship. Mickelson went off about the change.
“Hey Mike, what about changing a rule and making it retroactive to exclude someone who has already qualified?” Mickelson tweeted. “How can Talor Gooch not take that personal? It’s a direct attack on him and his career. How does it benefit the usga or US open? It doesn’t. Just a d!*k move.”
The USGA responded about the rule change in a statement to Golfweek.
“The USGA annually reviews its exemption criteria for all championships, and we did for the 2023 US Open,” a spokesperson told Golfweek. “Importantly, we provided more clarity to a specific exemption category to reflect that players must be both qualified and eligible for the Tour Championship, beginning with the 2023 U.S. Open. The change was not made retroactively, but rather as a part of our annual review process and included within several other changes made to the criteria for the upcoming 2023 championship.”
The U.S. Open is scheduled for June 15-18.