The golfing world has been rocked by the introduction of the LIV Golf Tour, which has been slammed as “sport washing” by many critics.
Regardless of what the Saudis are doing with their money, it has created serious division among golfers, including some of the biggest names in the world.
The first LIV Golf Tour event is happening this week with Dustin Johnson heading the market, but we’re looking at the potential impact it has on the PGA Tour and what the future of golf looks like.
Money Speaks Volumes
We love the prestige of the PGA Tour but we don’t blame the players for taking the money available.
Dustin Johnson took a reportedly $125 million for eight LIV Golf Tour events, which is incredible money. It’s more than Tiger Woods earned on the course during his entire playing career, so it’s next-level cash.
LIV Golf betting has Johnson at +400 to win the inaugural event and it will be interesting to see how many viewers the London-based event gets.
It will also be interesting to see the betting numbers, but for the creators of this breakaway tour, it’s not necessarily about the numbers.
It’s fronted by Greg Norman but the Saudis couldn’t care less about what they need to pay players to come. Signing Johnson, who is no longer allowed to compete on the PGA Tour, was a huge scalp but it might have come at the wrong time.
If the LIV Golf Tour wanted to make a bigger impact, signing Johnson at the top of his game would have created more division. Johnson hasn’t played well for months, since winning The Masters in 2020.
Most of the signed golfers have been tight-lipped about their move, but players sticking with the PGA Tour have been forthright with their opinions, including Bryson DeChambeau.
We can only assume the offer DeChambeau was presented with, but he’s not turning his back on the PGA.
“I don’t think that at this point in time I’m in a place in my career where I can risk things like that,” Bryson DeChambeau said. “I’m loyal to my family that I’ve created around me with sponsors and everything. And the golf world is probably going to change in some capacity. I don’t know how that is, it is not my job to do so. I’m just going to keep playing professional golf and enjoy it wherever it takes me, play with the best players in the world.”
Will the LIV Golf Tour be a Success?
It doesn’t take a field of superstars to make a tour a success. The rebranded DP World Tour doesn’t have household names, but the European-based tour is a success.
We can’t see the LIV Golf Tour sustaining, especially with the absurd money involved. The LIV Golf Invitational London has Johnson at the top and then Taylor Gooch on the second line of betting at +800.
Gooch isn’t the star attraction they would have hoped for and the rest of the field could be classed as has-beens. The likes of Louis Oosthuizen, Sergio Garcia, Kevin Na, and Lee Westwood won’t turn heads, so the tour could be in strife from the get-go.
There is a danger that more PGA Tour talent could peel away and join the LIV Tour, however, given the opinions of the top players, we can’t see any of them shifting.
They already have substantial money and the prestige of the PGA Tour is currently holding sway.
We expect the sportsbooks to hold for the upcoming RBC Canadian Open – to trump that of the LIV Golf Tour and that acts as a good guide to its popularity.
Our answer is no; the LIV Golf Tour won’t be a success. Great sporting competition is made from its history and we don’t see much interest in watching washed-up players like Graeme McDowell, Ian Poulter, and Phil Mickelson, who should have more respect for their game and their sponsors, who have left in their droves.Follow us on Twitter