LIV Golf tees off

They managed to get Dustin Johnson to jump ship from the PGA, in addition to Phil and some other names. Rickie Fowler is rumored to be about to join them. They had a press conference earlier today where everyone either ignored or went mealy mouthed on questions about Saudi financing of the league.

I’m no particular fan of the PGA as an institution, but I sincerely hope that this effort crashes and burns.

I have followed this almost exclusively because it’s been covered in business and other media (I don’t enjoy playing or watching golf, usually); realistically I don’t know that it will crash and burn. The Saudis involved in backing it can apparently afford to (and have claimed they are willing to) fund this for many years at a complete loss, with no impact on their fortunes of any meaningful sort.

The petroleum pockets are simply, quite deep.

Maybe if the reaction to it is negative enough the Saudis will decide it doesn’t interest them any longer, but they’ve been pumping money into sports on a grand scale for quite a while now, with Formula 1 for example and they’ve been paying Vince McMahon something like $50m a pop to promote wrestling shows in the Kingdom.

There’s also a decent number of players they can probably entice–anyone who is on the back half of their PGA career and knows their best days are behind them…the offer to literally increase their earning potential by 5, 10x etc, will be pretty easy to agree to, Greg Norman has called it “life changing money” which for some PGA tour pros it would be. Dustin Johnson was a pretty successful player on the PGA tour and the money he is getting for this is more than his entire career winnings in the PGA (in part because the PGA winning structure isn’t that lucrative, many big name golf stars make the lion’s share of their income from endorsements and other income sources, not tour winnings.)

Maybe it’s a coincidence, but Golf Magazine just published this interesting profile of Phil Mickelson and kinda hinting he went broke gambling.

Oh, I don’t have any illusions that this league is going to go away. As you say, they’ll be no shortage of successful PGA golfers on the downslope of their careers who will take the guaranteed money. And the Saudis don’t care about getting a financial return on all the money they’re pouring into this – the whole point is to buy some positive PR for their murderous regime.

It is rather pathetic to hear Mickelson, Johnson and others talk about how they joined the league “for the good of the game” or because “it’s what’s best for their families.” I guess there’s always a reason to take blood money.

It’s not hard at all to argue that making more money is good for one’s family.

And whatever your opinions on taking money from the Saudis, it’s a lot more morally defensible than paying money to the Saudis. Which everyone with a non-electric car has already decided is acceptable.

The USGA announced it will not ban LIV event players from the U.S. Open, which makes sense, as the USGA has pretty much nothing to do with the PGA.

I suppose, but when you’ve already banked $70M, I reserve the right to roll my eyes when these guys discuss doing shady crap to provide for their families. They’re trading their good names for money, so they deserve all the bad press they get.

Very awkward press conference moment for Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood yesterday.

They were asked if there was anyone’s money they wouldn’t take if the figure was high enough. Putin for example? They very easily saw the untenable position of saying anything so they dodged.
Of course they did, given that they are taking the money of a brutal regime for the fairly transparent purpose of trying to rehabilitate that regime, what could they say? It was clear enough that, yes, as long as the price is right they, and their image, are for sale.

It all begs the question as to why anyone is prepared to pour large amounts of money into such a minority sport.

Maybe another thread.

Some savage questions being asked in the press conference

And here come the PGA suspensions.

How exactly do you resign from the PGA? I know that golfers can go to Q school and qualify for the tour that way. Does a tour veteran who’s won some events still have a card?

I thought pro golfers were independent contractors. Saudis and their money and the moral implications of accepting said monies notwithstanding, if a company of which I wasn’t an employee told me I couldn’t work for anyone else, I’m not working with that company anymore.

They fundamentally are, as I understand it, but the PGA Tour restricts eligibility for those contractors to participate in most U.S. tournaments.

And, that is essentially what Greg Norman and the LIV spokespeople are arguing they are trying to do: break the PGA’s monopoly on professional golf (at least in the U.S.), and give the players true “free agency” to play wherever they choose.

I like how you phrased that. Sure the LIV (and the money-grubbing assholes they’ve hired away) can “try to argue” that they’re doing it to help professional golfers, but we all know the reality: the ultra-rich are trying to sportswash their horrible human rights record by paying vast amounts of money to souless, self-centered, greedy fucknuts.

Fuck the LIV, fuck Greg Norman, and fuck anyone involved in it.

I assume people apply to be members of that association and there will be terms and conditions that apply regarding eligibility to play in the tournaments they run.

I’ve been driving electric vehicles for the past decade, so I’ll be as preachy as I damn want. :grin:

Actually, I’m kinda with Chronos on this. If you have ethical concerns about taking money from an evil institution, the proper course of action is to take the money and channel it into good causes. Other than that, if you have a chance to get filthy rich that’s not screwing anybody any more than they already are, go for it. I certainly wouldn’t impose it on a golfer to make the world a better place when our own government has shown little interest in doing so.

As a viewer, though, the comparison I draw is the USFL, and regrettably it’s an unfavorable one. I have no illusions that the USFL was created by sheer stubbornness and little else, but it does have a couple of substantial advantages over the LIV…namely, I can see the freaking games, and I can pull up the results on ESPN.com. As far as I can tell, the LIV may as well be just a nebulous concept, like Cryptoland or a rail system in Hawaii that does more than take up space. Where are the highlights? Photos? Articles that aren’t drama-laden puff pieces? Cheering crowds? Show me some of that and we’ll talk.

But do you get free squeegees?

Ouch.