PGA of America CEO doubles down trashing of LIV Golf ahead of PGA Championship

PGA of America CEO doubles down trashing of LIV Golf ahead of PGA Championship

Men’s professional golf is at war. For the past year, members of the PGA Tour and the newly established LIV Golf league have traded blows with each other.

Supporters of the new league argue that it has changed professional golf for the greater good with new team formats, and shotgun starts, while also bringing the game to every corner of the globe.

Nonetheless, this past week, Seth Waugh, the CEO of the PGA of America, added fuel to this already large fire.

“[The PIF] can fund it for as long as they want to,” Waugh told The Times of London. “But no matter how much money you have, at some point burning it doesn’t feel very good. I don’t see they are accomplishing much.”

Waugh’s statement comes one week before the 2023 PGA Championship, hosted at Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester, New York.

Yet, despite these comments, 16 LIV golfers will tee it up in Western New York. The PGA of America did not discipline any player who left the PGA Tour for LIV, as two recent PGA Championship winners—Phil Mickelson and Brooks Koepka—now play on the Saudi-backed circuit.

Waugh has not been the only one to make strong opinions known.

Executives have gotten involved, too, most notably PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan and LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman.

Opponents of LIV have questioned the morality behind the new league’s funding.

The Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund (PIF) has poured almost $1 Billion into LIV, drawing the ire of some but not of others within the golfing world.

Waugh hopes this week’s tournament in Rochester will mirror the “civility” of the Masters contested this past April.

But, he did not shy away from continuing to stir the pot.

“I don’t think division is good for the game,” he noted. “Hopefully, it’s good for those individuals that have made whatever decisions they have, but the game has moved on. It’s amplified those who have stayed and the ones who have left have largely disappeared from the landscape—in terms of an exposure perspective.”

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