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LIV Golf (Saudi PIF), "Mergers," and More


iacas

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19 minutes ago, RFKFREAK said:

Ahh.  Learn something new every day.  

LIV=54. Isn’t that what the players from LIV were over par combined at the US OPEN? 🤣

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Can someone explain to me how LIV Tour and PGAT can coexist? 
 

It seems to me that if enough of the better/more popular players play on LIV Tour, the PGAT has no product to sell to sponsors or to venues.  Is FedEx, Buick, etc. going to shell out huge dollars to sponsor the weekly “Barbarsol Open”.  Are the networks going to want to carry events with the “okay” players? Golf is a niche sport, with low ratings as it is, how does it survive.

On the other side of the coin, where does the LIV Tour get future players 10 years down the road? With, at best, a hugely diminished PGAT, from where do the new 48 players come from? And without the significant tv exposure and money that the PGAT provides, who is going to are about the LIV Tour when no one but the most hard core fans know who they are, and that applies to the majors as well.

Maybe the Saudis can buy the PGAT and European Tour and with their infinite wealth use them as feeder tours, like the current Korn Ferry Tour?

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3 hours ago, hunterdog said:

Can someone explain to me how LIV Tour and PGAT can coexist? 
 

It seems to me that if enough of the better/more popular players play on LIV Tour, the PGAT has no product to sell to sponsors or to venues.  Is FedEx, Buick, etc. going to shell out huge dollars to sponsor the weekly “Barbarsol Open”.  Are the networks going to want to carry events with the “okay” players? Golf is a niche sport, with low ratings as it is, how does it survive.

On the other side of the coin, where does the LIV Tour get future players 10 years down the road? With, at best, a hugely diminished PGAT, from where do the new 48 players come from? And without the significant tv exposure and money that the PGAT provides, who is going to are about the LIV Tour when no one but the most hard core fans know who they are, and that applies to the majors as well.

Maybe the Saudis can buy the PGAT and European Tour and with their infinite wealth use them as feeder tours, like the current Korn Ferry Tour?

For starters, there are more than 48 really good and popular players.  They aren't all in the "we use only one name for them" category like Sergio, Phil, Tiger, Rory, or Vijay, but there are plenty who are popular, and more showing up all the time (and as of current, three of those five aren't on LIV and I don't think will be).  Look at how many people became a fan of Mito Periera a month ago -- now, he's not Tiger popular, but there are a lot of people who would like to see him succeed further.  

Next, some players are more interested in the established history.   Even though the Tour has evolved in management and the like, it's still a clear descendant of that which was played by Hogan and Nelson.  That means something to some top players. 

There's also the domestic convenience.  The LIV is international and that's a lot of travel, and it seems they're expecting every player to play every event.  The PGA Tour is primarily within three time zones (Korn Ferry has a few more), with rare events overseas.  That also helps curate an audience -- think about how much easier it is to watch the US Open or the Masters than the British.  I'm in awe of the dedication of some sports fans overseas who are able to watch the Masters or Super Bowl or the like live.  I barely have that dedication when my two favorite sports have an occasional event in England.

It also isn't like stars are one-time things.  Sure, someone like the single-name players are few in a generation, but how many big names are you rooting for that you hadn't heard of three years ago?  I don't think I knew who Xander was five years ago, now he's one of my favorite players.  I didn't know who Will Zalatoris was three years ago, I'm rooting for him, too.

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1 hour ago, iacas said:

 

How do they have time?  I thought they all wanted more time with their family....

So far sounds like this is a one tournament decision....TBD what happens after next week

7e4c2b93da6b7aa736a2dd64fceae5f2

Players who played in the inaugural LIV Golf Invitational Series event in London will be allowed to tee it...

 

 

Edited by Friz

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On 6/18/2022 at 12:18 PM, iacas said:

 

 

Not surprising. Euros don't care about the Saudi problem. 9/11 didn't happen on their soil. They already have a bunch of Saudi money in Euro sports, including Euro Tour golf. 

On 6/17/2022 at 2:22 PM, Friz said:

And these poor guys left the PGA Tour because they didn't have the flexibility they wanted and the 15 event minimum was too much....and no other more selfish reason

 

Funny thing is the 15-event minimum on the PGA Tour includes the majors and the Ryder Cup or Presidents Cup. So in reality it's a 10-event minimum for regular Tour events if you are good enough to make the "Cup" teams.

So they are looking at a heavier schedule with the Saudi league. And make no mistake, the Saudis own them with these large guaranteed contracts. 5 years down the road, they could amp up the Saudi league schedule to 40 events and force these guys to play every week. If a player quits, what is to stop the Saudis from attacking them or their family? It's a government that answers to NOBODY.  

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1 hour ago, Dr. Manhattan said:

 

Not surprising. Euros don't care about the Saudi problem. 9/11 didn't happen on their soil. They already have a bunch of Saudi money in Euro sports, including Euro Tour golf. 

 

Funny thing is the 15-event minimum on the PGA Tour includes the majors and the Ryder Cup or Presidents Cup. So in reality it's a 10-event minimum for regular Tour events if you are good enough to make the "Cup" teams.

So they are looking at a heavier schedule with the Saudi league. And make no mistake, the Saudis own them with these large guaranteed contracts. 5 years down the road, they could amp up the Saudi league schedule to 40 events and force these guys to play every week. If a player quits, what is to stop the Saudis from attacking them or their family? It's a government that answers to NOBODY.  

Yeah I didn’t understand the ‘ more time with my family’ stuff some of the guys were saying. 

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1 minute ago, Vinsk said:

Yeah I didn’t understand the ‘ more time with my family’ stuff some of the guys were saying. 

 

It sounds like a decent excuse at the moment, but that will change when the LIV Tour goes to 14 events plus 4 majors. It will change even more if the Saudi government pulls a Darth Vader (to Lando Calrissian) and changes the season from 14 events to 30 events or 40 events or even 50 events.

Saudi government owns these players, whether the players realize it or not. Mickelson said it months ago: "Scary dudes to get involved with." There is no punishment for the Saudi government if they decide to abuse the players in some way, whether it's a 50-week schedule or refusing to pay them or whatever. 

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Just now, Dr. Manhattan said:

It sounds like a decent excuse at the moment,

Yeah, it's definitely just their bullshit message to the media/public, that maybe casual fans will buy into. I know professional sports is demanding, but I am pretty sure these players have the means to see their families (or future families, in Bryson's case) as much as they want. I suspect most of these LIV player's families are just fine, and some of the bigger names were already financial secure for multiple generations/lifetimes. I think the closest we'll get to "I joined LIV because I am a selfish, greedy twat" is Bryson's "business decision" statement.

15 minutes ago, Dr. Manhattan said:

Saudi government owns these players

In spite of how terrible the Saudi regime is, I assume the relationship between the LIV Tour and its players is bound by contracts, which I hope the players, or at least their agents understand. I doubt the Saudi regime would murder a LIV Tour player or a family member if one of them decided to back out (that would certainly discourage others from joining), and I am sure the contracts have details that would cover these sort of situations. But then again, it is a totalitarian regime, and like Phil said, "scary motherf***ers".

I still have not come to understand how the LIV Tour is growing the game, or "doing good through golf". Are they investing money in golf programs for disadvantaged youth, or in areas of the world without access to the game? Are they giving to charities to help lift people out of poverty or effect social change? Are they using golf to improve the lives of marginalized people/communities? Are past-their-prime, rich, golfers playing in 54 hole semi-exhibition matches supposed to inspire more casual golf/sports fans to invest themselves into the game of golf? I'm surprised that I haven't heard more about this considering how often I hear talk about of grow the game/do good through golf.

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23 minutes ago, Dr. Manhattan said:

Saudi government owns these players, whether the players realize it or not. Mickelson said it months ago: "Scary dudes to get involved with." There is no punishment for the Saudi government if they decide to abuse the players in some way, whether it's a 50-week schedule or refusing to pay them or whatever. 

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15 minutes ago, Darkfrog said:

I think the closest we'll get to "I joined LIV because I am a selfish, greedy twat" is Bryson's "business decision" statement.

I miss the good old days when an athlete making a "business decision" involved not catching a ball.  The one I'm thinking of, I can't remember his name, a former Bucs' CB who was playing with, I think, the Chiefs and didn't make an interception late in the season (batted the ball down instead), knowing he'd get hit if he came down with the ball and had already made up his mind he was done playing professionally.   That was much more admirable than Bryson's business decision.

13 minutes ago, mcanadiens said:

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Has it been stated anywhere that these guys are REQUIRED to play all events?  LIV has talked about the fields changing, and has made a pretty big public image stance of how golfers should be allowed to play "when they want, where they want."  If they ever forced someone to play an event they didn't want, all of that comes crashing down.

The teams thing, as pointless as it currently is, only starts to make sense if there is some consistency in fields and teams could stay the same across an entire season, so I could understand if thats what they're trying to get to, but I'd still be pretty shocked, even thinking the worst about LIV, if guys were forced to play in events against their will.

 

All that said, the whole lie about guys going over there to have a "more flexible schedule" and "more time with their families"....the PGA Tour is pretty cushy for guys at the top.  There are over 40 weeks a year that tournaments are being held, they can already choose just about any schedule they want.  Unless its getting into summer and you're concerned about making the top 125, there are nearly no requirements for playing when you don't want.

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While there is some sport washing, I think the real motivation is to control a major sport, and make money from it.

There are probably only a couple major individual sports and golf is the most prestigious.

Owning the league and negotiating with individuals, not player’s associations and team owners, makes it easier to establish the “golden rule”.

There is no way any of the players are in jeopardy of any violence, especially at the point, but the players are owned, in a sense, by the Saudis.

But this is their moment to establish their tour, and in the near future, they will do what it takes for it to succeed.  There is no way of knowing if it will, but it is not a charity organizations trying to establish peace on earth and goodwill to men.  This is ultimately a business venture for them.

John

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But the PGA Tour does have an ace to play if and when it needs to… Tiger Woods.

LIV might chip away at the European Tour, but if Tiger becomes commissioner of the PGA Tour one day, it might be tough as an American player to have the Big Cat breathing down your neck.

There will be interesting times ahead.

John

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9 minutes ago, 70sSanO said:

But the PGA Tour does have an ace to play if and when it needs to… Tiger Woods.

LIV might chip away at the European Tour, but if Tiger becomes commissioner of the PGA Tour one day, it might be tough as an American player to have the Big Cat breathing down your neck.

There will be interesting times ahead.

John

 

Tiger will not want to spend his time doing that. He has a million other things to worry about in his life. 

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7 hours ago, Dr. Manhattan said:

Funny thing is the 15-event minimum on the PGA Tour includes the majors and the Ryder Cup or Presidents Cup. So in reality it's a 10-event minimum for regular Tour events if you are good enough to make the "Cup" teams.

They probably don't get to play the Cups if they are on LIV, and they may not be able to play many majors unless the OWGR stuff holds up.

4 hours ago, Friz said:

Has it been stated anywhere that these guys are REQUIRED to play all events?

I think that's understood for the contracted players. Not all of them — the fill-ins toward the bottom of the list — are going to be replaced.

4 hours ago, Friz said:

If they ever forced someone to play an event they didn't want, all of that comes crashing down.

I don't think they're worried about that.

4 hours ago, 70sSanO said:

While there is some sport washing, I think the real motivation is to control a major sport, and make money from it.

What makes you think that? I don't think so.

Erik J. Barzeski —  I knock a ball. It goes in a gopher hole. 🏌🏼‍♂️
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Just a few of my current thoughts…

I didn’t really enjoy the streaming of the first LIV match.  That ping and pop up every time they showed a new player was pretty annoying.  Beyond the initial curiosity, at this point I think I’ll enjoy watching the PGA and LPGA more.

 I do get the appeal of LIV for a lot of the guys.  A lot of them (not all of them) are starting to fade out and it’s one of their last opportunities for a big pay day in their profession.  And I get it for some of the younger dudes as well who don’t have much of a shot at making much money on the PGA tour (e.g. the Koepka brother).  DJ is the one I don’t get… but it’s his call, not mine.

I don’t expect that LIV will really hurt the PGA tour much.  The guys who have that drive to be the best in the world will want to make the PGA tour and share the history of Hagen, Hogan, Palmer, Nicklaus, Tiger (including quite a few others).  You can’t be the best if you don’t play against and beat the best.

One narrative I saw that was annoying were the people asking “how is this good for the game?”, “how will this grow the game?”.  Well, from a business perspective, I expect LIV will grow the game.  The more people are exposed to the game of golf, regardless of the league… the more equipment, tee times, clothing, lessons, etc. will be sold.

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