The PGA Tour had to know it was going to have to deal with some backlash when it agreed to the LIV Golf merger commissioner Jay Monahan insists is not actually a merger, and it came as no surprise the players who declined to defect to the upstart league were less than thrilled about the decision.
Rory McIlroy—who emerged as the de facto spokesperson for PGA Tour loyalists—made it very clear his feelings about LIV Golf as an entity haven’t changed in the wake of the bombshell development.
It’s safe to assume the man who’s racked up more than $125 million in career earnings and willingly forfeited a $3 million bonus he was set to receive is going to be just fine despite turning down the massive bag of cash he could’ve easily secured if he’d followed in the footsteps of the likes of Phil Mickelson, Brooks Koepka, and Dustin Johnson.
However, it seemed pretty clear the PGA Tour was going to have to figure out a way to assuage the golfers who turned down those offers only to see the men who cashed in welcomed back to the organization with open arms.
Based on a report from The Times, it appears it has done exactly that—although the solution seems poised to stir up even more controversy.
The outlet spoke to a source who said there’s a tentative plan involving a compensation fund made possible by the virtually endless pile of money at the disposal of the Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund that was harnessed to get LIV Golf off of the ground, saying:
The plan would allow players such as Phil Mickelson, Lee Westwood, and Sergio García to keep the money they were paid to join LIV Golf but would also hand leading players on the PGA Tour substantial payments from the new entity to “level up” their financial rewards, according to a source with knowledge of the proposal.
Of course, that solution has the potential to stir up even more accusations of “sportswashing” for PGA Tour players who will undoubtedly be hounded with questions about receiving what many people will perceive as the “blood money” used to placate them.
As a result, it will be very interesting to see how this ultimately pans out.