The world of golf is in upheaval, there is no doubt about that. The LIV has unleashed a historic period for the discipline, causing betrayals, leaks and a lot of nervousness from the most iconic tour on the planet, an omnipresent entity that seemed untouchable until a while ago. That is why in these months of battle, the PGA has brought out all its artillery. New tournaments, more money and even its biggest star acting as a public relations person have been seen in these chapters. But not even Tiger Woods has been able to stop the boiling of the Saudi league.
And it is that with players like Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau, Phil Mickelson and Bubba Watson With contracts signed for several years, in addition to a bottomless wallet, LIV’s permanence is assured in the short and medium term. Even more so, when in recent months the profile of golfers who are looking to add has changed.
They no longer look for the great stars of yesteryear, who achieved majors and records several years ago. Now they want the present and the future. That is why Niemann and Cameron Smith are the latest names that sound strong to cross the pond and join the ranks of the Saudi super league. In fact, as reported Thirdthe Chilean thing is practically confirmed. Only time, and some last obligations in the PGA, separate him from LIV Golf. This Friday, Joaco, after having a lackluster start, got active in the final holes and he saved the day with two birdies and an eagle in the last three holes, which left him in sixth place in the Tour Championship.
A union that the very Tiger Woods looks to slow down. Concerned about the massive leaks and the inevitable offers that the best players in the world were going to receive, the PGA was forced to call in its greatest icon to calm the waters. The native of Cypress went to the BMW Championship last week on a private flight and called the heavyweights of the tournament to a meeting.
This media was able to confirm that Joaquín Niemann was present at the conversation behind closed doors that the winner of 15 majors had with the current exponents of the PGA and that at the meeting, which took place at the Wilmington Country Club, he asked for their support in this difficult moment.
The idea was to be able to create an alliance between the big names on the circuit and thus be strong in the face of the constant offers that LIV launches to new players. With a powerful and faithful block, the PGA could breathe easy. That is why the organizers requested a face as strong as Tiger, who was even criticized for his role as public relations officer for the North American tour, since not everyone is against a tour that does not work exclusively and that allows greater freedoms to the protagonists.
With 46 years, 15 majors, an accident that almost cost him his life and a difficult recovery, today Tiger is further away than on the courts. That is why he has looked for a way to promote the PGA from another path. He is no longer that machine to win events and attract even the most curious to watch a four-hour game, today his main objective is that the organization that transformed him into a legend does not lose the weight it has.
That’s why he wasn’t left alone with his express trip to Delaware. He also announced that they will be, together with Rory McIlroy, the ambassadors of the The Golf League, an initiative promoted by the PGA to make the discipline more dynamic and attractive. In short, a version similar to what the LIV was looking for.
The competition will feature six teams of three players that will compete for two-hour matches and that will take place during 15 weeks of the year, always on Monday nights. In this way, it will seek to attract more spectators and bring the sport closer to the latest technology. In fact, one of the most striking elements is that it will take place on smaller stages, with large stands and many giant screens. An image very contrary to the postcards that golf currently delivers.
“Leveraging technology to create this unique environment gives us the ability to consistently bring our sport into prime time alongside many other major sporting events. As a huge sports fan, I am excited to bring golf together with the technology and equipment items common in other sports,” said Tiger.
But neither the presence of Woods, nor the new format could stop the Chilean’s intentions. Niemann is still closer to the LIV than the PGA and his signing could happen in the next few days, even before the Presidents Cups start. No minor detail is that the talagantino has not yet made any mention of the team event that is organized by the North American tour.
Also, yesterday the official LIV Golf website offered a 25% discount on tickets for the next league tournament if the national’s last name was used as a promotional code. An option that was on the web for a couple of hours and was later withdrawn.
Signs that suggest that the team change is getting closer. The Tour Championship may, in fact, be the 23-year-old’s last singles event on the PGA, as commissioner Jay Monahan was clear in stating that no player making it to LIV will be able to return to the North American tour. Iron law in the face of a situation that has made them lose their nerve.