ORLANDO, Florida – Well, the LIV Golf Invitational Series and the PGA Tour have drawn their line in the sand and each week seems to bring more tension, more drama and more hostility between the two organizations!
Last week the two world golf organizations held golf tournaments on the same week. In my opinion, competition is what professional golf is about anyway, and is good for the viewing public and the game. Seems unfortunate, but there some mud-slinging going on, but hopefully, the two might be able to coexist in the long run.
Fans and the golf media, that have been unusually hostile to LIV Golf players and Phil Mickelson in particular, should understand that each player should determine his place and, know that it’s all about the money. “Show me the Money!”
I won’t name names, but if you are a professional golfer in the twilight years (approaching 50) and haven’t won or even placed high on the money list when a new tour offers you a seven-figure appearance fee, you jump at it. It’s an easy decision. These golf professional play golf all over the world for personal financial gain, that’s the bottom line.
On Sunday June 5 Billy Horschel handled the challenging Muirfield Village Golf Club and the field at Jack Nicklaus’ Place to win the Memorial Tournament by 4 strokes for his 7th PGA Tour win. It was fun to watch. On the Champions Tour, 55-year-old Jerry Kelly birdied the first hole of a playoff on June 5 to win the Principal Charity Classic in Des Moines, Iowa for his 9th win since joining the Tour. At beautiful Pine Needles Lodge & Club in Southern Pines, North Carolina, 26-year-old Australian Minjee Lee broke the scoring record at 13-under par at the United States Golf Association’s 2022 Women’s Open. Minjee earned a whopping $1.8 million at this year’s 77th Open.
In a surprise announcement, a significant group of players have resigned from the PGA Tour to play in the LIV Golf Invitational Series rather than face sanctions from the Tour. Some of the notables include Dustin Johnson, Kevin Na, Patrick Reed and Bryson DeChambeau. They still can play in the four majors but not the Players Championship.
Did you hear news about the 2023 Solheim Cup? Team USA Captain Stacy Lewis chose Natalie Gulbis and Morgan Pressel as her assistant captains for the competition to be played at Finca Cortesin in Andalucia, Spain.
Last weekend did you hear the roars for Rory McIlroy at St. George’s Country Club in Toronto? He won for the 21st time in his career at the 2022 Canadian Open in front of boisterous crowds, following two years of no play due to Covid restrictions? Also, last weekend on the LPGA Tour at the ShopRite Classic just outside Atlantic City, New Jersey, Canadian Brooks Henderson won her 11th LPGA title in a playoff. A former paratrooper from Thailand, Thongchai Jaidee captured his first PGA Tour Champions win at the American Family Insurance Championship in Madison Wisconsin, at University Ridge Golf Club. At Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pa. The American ladies beat the United Kingdom team during the Curtis Cup.
At the Inaugural LIV Golf Invitational Series at the Centurion Club in England, former Masters Champion Charl Schwartzel was the winner in the limited 48-man field. Swedish Homegirl 22-year-old Linn Grant won the DP World Tour’s Volvo Car Scandinavian Mixed tournament with runner-up, Tournament co-host Henrik Stenson trailing by 9 shots at Halmstad Golfklubb. Annika Sorenstam was the other co-host.
Golf is back. Golf is popular right now, maybe not hitting the heights of the ‘Tiger Boom’ but statistics show increased participation and interest to a worldwide base of males & females, Generation X & Y, and youth and many more.
Let’s all take a deep breath this week and watch the best players in the world compete in the 122nd edition of the U.S. Open at historic The Country Club in Brookline (MA), site of the 1999 Ryder Cup and three other U.S. Open championships, including Francis Ouimet’s game-changing win in 1913.