Seth Waugh said the PGA of America is a fan of the current ecosystem and organization does not think this is good for the gameGetty Images
Players who compete in the LIV Golf Invitational Series could "jeopardize their participation in future PGA Championships," according to Joel Beall of GOLF DIGEST. PGA of America CEO Seth Waugh said, "We're a fan of the current ecosystem and world golf ranking system and everything else that goes into creating the best field in golf. ... We don't think this is good for the game and we are supportive of that ecosystem. We have our own bylaws that we will follow towards those fields." Beall noted those current bylaws "require players to be PGA of America members in order to play in the PGA Championship," a status they "gain through their membership on the PGA Tour." Waugh said, "The league structure is somewhat flawed. We do think that for a lot of reasons, bringing outside money into the game is going to change it forever, if that, in fact, happens" (GOLFDIGEST.com, 5/17).
STAYING STRONG: GOLFWEEK's Eamon Lynch noted Waugh was the "first industry leader" outside of the PGA Tour to "publicly stiff-arm the Saudis, which he did at last year’s PGA Championship by pointing out that all money is not the same." It is "to his credit" that while others have "waffled on this attempt to hijack golf to sportswash Saudi human rights abuses, Waugh has not wavered." Lynch: "Any players hoping for a sign that their imminent embrace of the Crown Prince’s minions will not impact their ability to compete in majors -- or in the Ryder Cup, which also falls under Waugh’s remit -- found no comfort in his comments today" (GOLFWEEK.com, 5/17).
CLEAR DIVIDE: GOLFCHANNEL.com’s Ryan Lavner wrote Tiger Woods "made clear the dividing line: You’re either following him down the path he helped pave -- or you’re walking with Phil Mickelson into the great unknown." Somewhere, PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan "had to be smiling." The "most important player in the sport" had "done his part to minimize the Tour’s existential threat while further alienating Mickelson and his controversial views." Woods "made clear -- repeatedly -- that he strongly disagrees with Mickelson’s idea of a new world order." That the "best place for the top players to compete" is on the PGA Tour, not the "upstart league" (GOLFCHANNEL.com, 5/17). GOLF DIGEST's Beall in a separate piece wrote Rory McIlroy has a "stance toward the Saudi-backed LIV Golf effort that is shared by many." On the ongoing drama, McIlroy said, "Honestly I'm rooting for it all to be over. I'm just so sick of talking about it." Because McIlroy has "been unequivocally LIV Golf’s most outspoken critic" -- along with his role as Chair on the Tour’s Player Advisory Council -- a sizable chunk of McIlroy’s Tuesday press conference at the PGA Championship was "dedicated to the looming storm in professional golf" (GOLFDIGEST.com, 5/17).
CLIP AND SAVE: Golf reporter Alan Shipnuck noted a "prominent Tour agent" recently said that he is "hearing Norman is on the outs with the Saudis, which would be another wild development in this saga" (FIREPITCOLLECTIVE.com, 5/16).