PGA Tour vs LIV Golf

For some reason your post reminded me that perhaps I’m too old and maybe there is a market for this virtual nonsense. It is ironic however how those opposed to LIV and it’s “gimmicks” and team play have come up with a league that is based on team play and is far more “gimmicky”. This league seems like one a person might particpate in on Tuesday evenings with their friends at the local arcade or bowling alley.

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Yes we are older with the wisdom from experience, good and bad, that comes with it.

I’ve learned to not ignore or dismiss so easily, preferably not at all, so many trends inspired by youth.

A few become the norm and not the exception when genuinely winning ideas for more than the youth.

But as most of us here know that age 20 was different than age 30 than is age 40 and so forth, and wife or husband or kids are game changers with no going back however things work out, a whole lot of those supposedly exciting and great ideas by 20-somethings for 20-somethings or younger do not have staying power.

We’ve seen this in many so-called “disintermediation” businesses (i.e. loopholes to work around regulation) and especially in many pandemic-influenced businesses over the last decade, to include some colossal busts like WeWork, FTX, the various subscription meal plan businesses, and as covered in its own thread here, most businesses built around a streaming media subscription, as only a few examples that were skewed heavily towards youth.

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The PGA Tour television ratings are way down in the US, and this author offers an explanation, but as far as weak slates go, unlike him I have zero concerns about the spectacle or the ratings that is this year’s Masters.

To his point and that of others made in the PGA thread, we don’t want this transition to finally get the acquisition of the PGA and merger of it with LIV done to last years and not have the best playing the best in the major PGA tournaments.

And if the rains stay away unlike in much of the 2023 Masters, I think this year’s Masters one week later than in previous years will be a boon for ratings.

And for the obsessive mudder out there, well, save us the whining and just go home and stay with your mudder, mudder.
:smile:

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We’ll see what happens with the Masters, which is typically the highest rated tournament of the year. It wouldn’t surprise me if it is down from its normal ratings. While there are some LIV players in the Masters, we are still talking about the weakest field ever that will be missing many deserving LIV golfers.

I suspect one of the biggest hold ups is the ridiculous position taken by some PGA Tour players that LIV golfers should somehow be penalized for their successful exploits and in particular for causing PGA purses to rise considerably. Get over yourselves already and let’s get these tours united without penalty. Apparently the Jon Rahm defection has not been the lesson it should have been to the tour. I know that my interest in the PGA Tour has waned considerably in this full asterisk season, but that won’t stop me from watching the Masters.

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The Masters never has the best field because of the many amateurs and old winners . I’ll be watching all 4 rounds hoping that any golfers who play 3 rounds a week don’t make it to Sunday . I’ll be cheering for the Canadians :+1:t2:

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The Masters always has the weakest field of the four majors, but not because of the handful of amateurs and handful of non competetive past winners. They still allow in the top 50 players in the world except this year that isn’t the case as they only will allow in the top 50 in the now bogus world rankings. Many of the true top 50 in the world won’t be allowed to play, making the field the weakest ever.

The Masters is the weakest field of the majors simply because the field admitted is around 90 rather than a full field 154 and therefore the players ranked 50-100 don’t make it in but do generally make it in to the other full field majors. There are actually more weaker players in the other majors as a result of qualifying and PGA club pros being admitted for example, but the depth of top touring pros that are admitted, roughly double the amount, make the other major fields stronger. The PGA Championship always has the strongest field of the four majors and usually the strongest field in golf, except for the Players Championship in many years. In essence, before LIV in order to win the Masters you had to beat the top 50 players in the world while in the other majors you had to beat at least the top 100. That is now out the window as many true top 50 and 100 players, say 15-20, will not be permitted to play in any of the majors. So winning a major this year will be easier than it has ever been as 15 to 20 players who should be there won’t be. Think of it as entering the Stanley Cup playoffs this year but not having to play say Colorado, Florida, Boston or Vegas because they used a different coloured puck during the regular season. If that occurred the NHL playoff field would be weakened considerably.

Whether LIV plays 3 rounds or 4 is irrelevant to the quality of LIV players vis a vis PGA Tour players. The best two players in the world are generally considered to be Scheffler and Rahm, the former from the PGA and the latter from LIV. No contorting of the bogus rankings will change that. The actual best player in the world since 2016 is Brooks Koepka as measured by performance in majors, which is the true measure in golf. He is a LIV player. Fortunately all 3 of these players will play in all of the majors this year.

History only cares about how many majors a player has won, not how many Valspar Championships a player has won. The bottom line is that many players deserving of a shot at winning a major will be unfairly denied that shot. You don’t have to like the LIV format to recognize this. I watch very little of LIV but of course now watch very little of the watered down PGA Tour as well. Judging by the plummeting ratings this year I am not the only one who feels this way. Just because LIV successfully threatened an illegal monopoly shouldn’t mean that major fields are watered down as is now the case. It’s about supporting freedom and capitalism for me. I always cheer for the Canadians as well so we have that in common. I wonder how you would feel if a Canadian golfer moved over to LIV? It could still happen.

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Yes, if I’m a pro golfer or tiddly winks player and decide that’s how I will support my family, I will take what best fits to earn money percentage wise to support my family, PGA, LIV or the Tiddly Winks tour of whatever. Has absolutely nothing to do with winning majors or what have you.
Yes jon, freedom and capitalism as you say, the bottom line. And the most basic bottom line is your family and supporting your family.

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I was listening to an NBA podcast a while ago - and one of the guys on there said “I know that you fans are not going to want to hear this but not every player cares about winning a championship. A whole lot of them know they will never win a title and are in this for the money.”

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I expect that is the case in all sports, as it is in life. In any workplace there are those that strive to excel and make that workplace better and others who show up and do the minimum and cash their paycheque, happy as a clam.

But becoming a successful pro golfer is hard, just as becoming a successful football or hockey player or musician or actor is hard. For every success there are hundreds if not thousands of failures they say. If you make the PGA Tour and stick around for a couple or three years you are pretty much set for life financially. If you are selected for LIV you are likely already set for life and if not will be after one year. The LIV Tour consists mostly of currently elite or up and coming golfers or successful in the past pros still capable of a big win. Even the few younger players fresh out of college are considered to be future stars, except maybe for Brooks Koepka’s brother.

On average LIV now has far better players and strength of fields than the PGA Tour. It is still of course easier to win on that tour because you only have to beat 47 players each week. but the top 48 are better on LIV now I would say than the PGA Tour. Therefore the ”elite field” PGA tournaments inspired by LIV are probably easier to win and have a weaker field than LIV tournaments. The differences are in the approach taken by the two tours and the bells and whistles. There remains no difference in the way the game is played or scored and what needs to be done on the course to win.

Unfortunately, without anything resembling a merger on the horizon, LIV players are arbitrarily and unfairly being kept out of the majors. That makes those tournaments the weakest they have ever been and is bad for all golf fans. Those fans appear to be expressing their disdain by not watching golf on TV like they used to. Hopefully this will get the powers that be to listen and to fix the competetive imbalance.

I expected that one day LIV would merge with the PGA Tour, but now I am not as sure. LIV is not the first upstart league to challenge a monopoly, only the most successful. The AFL, ABA and WHA all merged with the pre existing monopoly they challenged. This strengthened the NFL, NBA and NHL in the long run. I get it that many people are naturally resistant to change, but I don’t think they have thought it through. Taking that position is taking a position against freedom and capitalism, but ironically I don’t think those taking that position are communists or advocate totalitarianism.

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An update and a bit more depth on the Anthony Kim comeback story. He is about to play his 3rd LIV tournament this weekend.

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Rory talking more sense, but unfortunately not overly optimistic that there will be any kind of merger soon. At least he is a true fan of golf and recognizes the sham that tournament golf is at present and feels for the fans and just wants to see the best players facing off again.

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Backing up Rory’s wise words above are 3 top LIV golfers, including the smartest man in the room as always Phil. Very bang on point he makes in that the game will be in a much better place once the tours are merged in some way so that the best players in the world can play each other in the best tournaments. The same point I just made regarding how historically challenges to overbearing monopolies in sports usually end up with everyone being better off in the end.

I must say that I am starting to become concerned and a little ticked with those few and uninformed voices that are still crying for an all out war or still manifest some artificial indignance against LIV. Jeepers. It’s 2024 and freedom to invest and do business as one sees fit is important as is upholding a democracy (in North America- don’t bother with the Saudis aren’t a democracy crap-irrelevant- neither is China and we do thousands of times more business with them than with SA). All that happened here was a clash of two business models, with on balance the newcomer winning the day as a business model.

To those who don’t support ending this nonsense created by the PGA Tour and childishly seeking revenge against the cojones laden LIV players by imposing “penalties”, I say you are not a true golf fan or care much about the future of the game. And from what I can tell it is the Draconian concept of “penalties” that is holding up the negotiations as much as anything. It’s like saying you were smarter and more daring and therefore reaped a greater reward and now us chicken shits want a piece. It’s the same as if the pilgrims coming over from England were sent back home after establishing settlements and taking all the risk while the less daring took them over. Thanks for all the heavy lifting! Whatever happened to risk/reward in a free society?

I am not encouraged by the inabilty of the parties to conclude a deal. I am encouraged by the fact, as players on both sides are now talking about, that TV viewers are leaving the PGA Tour in droves as ratings crater. You would think this would make someone listen and pretty soon the networks are going to be asking the PGA Tour for some of their $700 million back. The arrogance of the PGA remains astounding. They don’t have the money to fight LIV, especially with a drop in TV revenue sure to come. Perhaps even more importantly the PGA Tour continues to damage the sport of golf and erode it’s fanbase with it’s myopic views. I suppose they deserve what they get but as a golf fan all my life I hate to see the popularity of golf take a huge hit; a hit I expect will be more or less permanent.

Right now I think most viewers are seeing what I am seeing. You can watch a star laden tour with a format unfamiliar and unappealing to most (LIV) or watch the decimated now feeder tour and a bunch of no names (PGA). Neither is particularly appealing to me, although I will watch the asterisked majors this year and could never miss the Masters for sure.

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Yeah I am with you on the complaints about the Saudis - They are a drop in the bucket compared to mainland China in regards to just about any human rights metric you want to throw out there other than treatment of women.

Which brings me to the NBA and how they gloss over the Uyghurs and that ongoing genocide. Side note with the Uyghurs - they bought out a restaurant I go to every now and then, anyhow I heard the accent asked where they were from they said I would not know who they were - They said Uyghurs - i said i knew who they were western China Turkic language group, genocide and reeducation by the Han Chinese etc. They made me sit with them and eat while I waited for my food - would not take no for an answer.

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Voice of reason Jon Rahm calling for a change to LIV format. Would not be surprised to see this happen.

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They’ll have to figure out a new name too. LXXII is not going to work.

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It seems like Rahm is making comments daily while in the Masters spotlight. More common sense from the man.

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I never did buy into the Saudi Blood money argument, not that I am a big fan of the Saudi’s but the stuff they do is minor league compared to the CIA, NSA and the UK’s MI6.

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No surprise, but let’s get it done after the Masters. In the next month before the next major please.

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I wonder what the PGA has in the files and archives that they didn’t want to show up in court? I am sure there was a ton of dirty laundry there that they didn’t want showing up in court.

Well for one they weren’t operating as the charity they pretended to be for tax purposes, although that was established in the 1990’s and nothing happened.

They are also being investigated by the DOJ, but I don’t think anything will come of that.

The PGA Tour has a long sketchy monopolistic history, but I think the main reason they caved in to LIV was that they knew they couldn’t compete financially in the long run.

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