2022 PGA Tour

LoweTek

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This reminds me of the formation of the WHA and the original USFL. Arguably both caused wake-up calls for the established NHL and NFL and resulted in long term change for the better from a player's point of view.
 

BaseballJones

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So let's say that the PGA Tour makes the necessary changes within, say, the next four months. Meanwhile, the LIV tour keeps adding quality players and does a bunch of events, and the PGA Tour keeps making those guys ineligible to compete on the PGA Tour.

What happens if/when someone like Koepka or DJ decides, you know what, I want to return to the PGA Tour? Does the PGA Tour let them back in? (to say nothing of whether the Saudis allow them back in without a massive lawsuit)

Or are those bridges permanently burned?
 

kenneycb

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This reminds me of the formation of the WHA and the original USFL. Arguably both caused wake-up calls for the established NHL and NFL and resulted in long term change for the better from a player's point of view.
The main difference is the WHA and USFL (and ABA for added measure) were perpetually on shaky financial footing. That doesn't appear to be the case here, though that can change in an instant.
 

jercra

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So let's say that the PGA Tour makes the necessary changes within, say, the next four months. Meanwhile, the LIV tour keeps adding quality players and does a bunch of events, and the PGA Tour keeps making those guys ineligible to compete on the PGA Tour.

What happens if/when someone like Koepka or DJ decides, you know what, I want to return to the PGA Tour? Does the PGA Tour let them back in? (to say nothing of whether the Saudis allow them back in without a massive lawsuit)

Or are those bridges permanently burned?
I think those bridges are burned. The players are not going to accept those that left and tried to hurt their livelihoods back in.
 

Joe D Reid

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I thought that the PGA commissioner's last statement is the best angle for persuading guys not to leave. He didn't harp on the ethics; he emphasized that for that kind of money, what the Saudis are getting are bought-and-paid-for employees, not partners with a voice in governance. Feels like that has a better chance to resonate.
 

TFP

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I thought that the PGA commissioner's last statement is the best angle for persuading guys not to leave. He didn't harp on the ethics; he emphasized that for that kind of money, what the Saudis are getting are bought-and-paid-for employees, not partners with a voice in governance. Feels like that has a better chance to resonate.
This has always been my question for the guys jumping. What are you gonna do in year 3 when Norman cooks up some crazy idea and you have to go along with it? What about when they want 16 events next year? Do you really think you have any more “freedom” to do what you want now, when the people who sign your checks aren’t exactly used to being pushed back on? You are entirely bought and paid for, and by people who ultimately you can’t say no to.

Will be interesting to see how this plays out on that end. I have a hunch things will look different in year 3 for some of these guys. Obviously the money probably makes it worth it, but it definitely doesn’t come without strings.
 

snowmanny

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This reminds me of the formation of the WHA and the original USFL. Arguably both caused wake-up calls for the established NHL and NFL and resulted in long term change for the better from a player's point of view.
I wonder if guys like Jim Kelly and Herschel Walker are glad they played in the USFL
 

Dave Stapleton

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Also, the Tours latest response is to create an elite, big money, series throughout the year using existing tournaments.

View: https://twitter.com/dylan_dethier/status/1539649833593479168?s=20&t=5ecw37WKBeLMR9nxQGbEjA
This is what I was referencing when I said the current PGA players will ultimately be thanking Phil. If this money was available why did it take the actions of those departing to force the PGA's hand? I think it is possible to both knock LIV and the willingness of the players to accept the blood money and say Phil was right about the PGA.

Moynihan was hoping the bullying would work but when it became clear it wouldn't turned to what "mattered".
 

TheGazelle

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This is what I was referencing when I said the current PGA players will ultimately be thanking Phil. If this money was available why did it take the actions of those departing to force the PGA's hand? I think it is possible to both knock LIV and the willingness of the players to accept the blood money and say Phil was right about the PGA.

Moynihan was hoping the bullying would work but when it became clear it wouldn't turned to what "mattered".
I think a lot of this money is coming from the new TV deal that kicks in this year, so I'm not sure it was available beforehand. The article below suggests its a 60-70% increase on their past deal. That said, I do think you're right to say that LIV is playing a role in causing the PGA to re-allocate this money and create more big-money payout opportunities. (This is buttressed by the fact that the article is from 2020, so the PGA knew the money was coming in the door.)

https://www.golfdigest.com/story/pga-tour-announces-nine-year-media-deals-with-cbs-nbc-and-espn
 

cshea

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This is what I was referencing when I said the current PGA players will ultimately be thanking Phil. If this money was available why did it take the actions of those departing to force the PGA's hand? I think it is possible to both knock LIV and the willingness to accept the blood money and say Phil was right.
The money is not available. It's tied to a TV deal that begin in 2021, they don't have the cash on hand. Also, in these purses the Tour is accounting for having sold the new tournaments (sponsorships, etc.) and also dipping into the reserve fund which is used to get through things like a pandemic. The timing of the release of the increased purses in the future is quite obviously a response to LIV but they aren't sitting on piles of cash like Phil would have you believe. He's still full of shit.
 

cshea

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Also, the purse sizes is a red herring really. Phil didn't jump because he will play for a $20 million purse each event. He, and others, jumped because he got north of $100 million guaranteed in a contract with LIV. The Tour is just never going to be able to compete with that, Monahan said so yesterday.
 

Dave Stapleton

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Also, the purse sizes is a red herring really. Phil didn't jump because he will play for a $20 million purse each event. He, and others, jumped because he got north of $100 million guaranteed in a contract with LIV. The Tour is just never going to be able to compete with that, Monahan said so yesterday.
My point is not related to what ultimately drove them to leave. My theory is the PGA ignored the issue for years so ultimately left the door open for what happened. They don't need to match LIV dollar for dollar but defintely needed to move. As has been said, all of this will depend on World Golf Rankings and whether the majors eventually align.
 

FL4WL3SS

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Also, the purse sizes is a red herring really. Phil didn't jump because he will play for a $20 million purse each event. He, and others, jumped because he got north of $100 million guaranteed in a contract with LIV. The Tour is just never going to be able to compete with that, Monahan said so yesterday.
Do we know how long these contacts are for?
 

jercra

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This is what I was referencing when I said the current PGA players will ultimately be thanking Phil. If this money was available why did it take the actions of those departing to force the PGA's hand? I think it is possible to both knock LIV and the willingness of the players to accept the blood money and say Phil was right about the PGA.

Moynihan was hoping the bullying would work but when it became clear it wouldn't turned to what "mattered".
It didn't. The money is from the new TV deal. The TV deal started in 2022. As I said upthread, and as the commissioner said in his press conference, the money was always coming. The timing of the announcement and the specific ways it was driven to the players is influenced by the Saudis, sure, but the money was always coming. Phil was and is wrong about the TOUR.
 

cshea

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My point is not related to what ultimately drove them to leave. My theory is the PGA ignored the issue for years so ultimately left the door open for what happened. They don't need to match LIV dollar for dollar but defintely needed to move. As has been said, all of this will depend on World Golf Rankings and whether the majors eventually align.
I disagree. The Tour has has not ignored the issue. The WGC's were created as a direct response to external threats. They are elite, big money no-cut events. The FedEx Cup is a bonus system designed to funnel more money to the players, with the idea that the elite ones will get the most because they'll perform the best over the course of a season. They added the Wyndham Rewards which is basically the same thing but excludes the playoffs. PIP was introduced last season as a way to reward the players that move the needle the most. What more should they have done?
 

jercra

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My point is not related to what ultimately drove them to leave. My theory is the PGA ignored the issue for years so ultimately left the door open for what happened. They don't need to match LIV dollar for dollar but defintely needed to move. As has been said, all of this will depend on World Golf Rankings and whether the majors eventually align.
What issue was ignored for years?

The door was and always will be open to buy people. If the Saudi's decided to spend billions to spin up their own version of the NFL, do you really think they wouldn't attract bunches of top players? What league in what sport is so well run that an outside organization giving their players hundreds of millions of guaranteed dollars wouldn't lure the away?
 

johnmd20

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I thought they were five year contracts but I could be mistaken and I’m struggling to remember where I read that
I recall reading it was 4 years for DJ. I am not sure about the other guys, but I would assume they are close to the 4 years DJ is signed on for.
 

cshea

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Rory and Xander tied for the early lead in Hartford. Rory dunking on the LIV players during his pre-tournament press conferences (he called Brooks duplicitous yesterday) then winning each week is probably a dream scenario for the Tour during this crisis.
 

jercra

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The suggestion that the Tour is just sitting on piles of money that they're witholding from the players is flat out false.
Just using this as a jumping off point to make the point again that seems is not widely understood. There is no "Tour" vs "Players". There is literally no way to withhold money from the players. The players are the owners of the TOUR. If they vote that all of the money should be lit on fire and all tour management disbanded, that's exactly what would happen. There is certainly a bunch of governance in place that determines how money is spent and what budgets look like and such, but the players have representation and, ultimately, control of all of that.
 

Zomp

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I could do this after every episode but I promise this will be the last time.

No Laying Up’s podcast that dropped today is two hours devoted to LIV and the new PGA Tour tournament details. Max Homa is on the entire episode and it’s fantastic.
 
No Laying Up’s podcast that dropped today is two hours devoted to LIV and the new PGA Tour tournament details. Max Homa is on the entire episode and it’s fantastic.
Totally agree - listened to the whole thing on a long drive this afternoon.

The thing that particularly stood out to me from the podcast (not counting the many obvious points which were so well stated) was the quote that Rory had about the PGA Tour maybe pursuing an "ATP-like model", in such a way that the NLU guys implied that he wouldn't have referenced the ATP mindlessly like that without it meaning something. In professional tennis, you don't have a FedEx Cup in the US and a Race to Dubai in Europe; you also don't have a closed Korn Ferry Tour with its own system. Instead, you have one set of rankings, with points accumulated from events at different levels around the world. The differences are subtle in many ways, but in one or two ways they're massively important. Imagine a central ranking system which would allow players to enter events on any tour they wish, with precedence given simply to a player's current ranking. (Which is what happens in tennis.) Korn Ferry players could play in PGA Tour events without jeopardizing their Korn Ferry ranking and status - quite the opposite, as they'd be able to gain more points from doing well in PGA Tour events. Also, PGA Tour players could drop down to Korn Ferry events or go to Europe, much as tennis players in need of rehab spells or just looking to find a bit of form might do, and earn meaningful ranking points and money. Bringing all of the points systems under one umbrella would also encourage more cross-Atlantic pollination in both directions - good European (and Asian/African/South American) players could come to the USA sooner, American players could more easily try to pick up ranking points at European events, and so on.

Now, imagine that as a part of bringing everything under one umbrella, the PGA Tour convinces the majors not to use the OWGR as their qualification criteria going forward - and instead to use the new global rankings created by the Tour (and the European Tour, etc.). Boom - that cuts the legs out from under the LIV players who want to play in the majors. LIV can apply for and get OWGR points status, but what would that mean if the majors no longer care about OWGR points? This would almost certainly bring about antitrust suits from LIV, but a) can you sue a global organization for antitrust violations? and b) I suspect this new ranking system could be created in such a way that it can be easily demonstrated how lower-level players (Korn Ferry, etc.) will actually have significantly increased opportunities to excel because of it. Again, tennis: a hot young tennis player doesn't have to spend a whole season on the Korn Ferry Tour or get a "battlefield promotion" to play with the big boys. He or she just has to win enough points to reach ranking thresholds that get him or her into the next level of events - it's all based upon performance, not membership. And something akin to the "top 14" system on the ATP Tour, whereby only your best 14 results in a rolling 12-month calendar period count toward your world ranking, would absolutely appeal to top players who wouldn't feel compelled to chase ranking points all around the world, all the time. (That's something that Max talked about on the podcast a lot, particularly in the context of needing to play in the Fall Series to make sure you weren't way behind in FedEx points when January rolled around.)

This new PGA Tour model wouldn't and shouldn't look entirely like tennis, of course; I think there would still be separate Tours as such, and there wouldn't be clear lines so that the PGA Tour is the Premier League, the European Tour is the second division, the Korn Ferry Tour the third division and so on. Things would be more fluid than that. But this model feels sustainable to me. It would in theory get big players around the world together more often for big events. Some of those big events could be global - imagine the BMW at Wentworth or the Australian Open (etc.) attracting dozens of American stars, like the PGA Tour is trying to do with the Scottish Open now, because earning points in those events would totally count toward the (new version of the) FedEx Cup standings. And it does feel like the majors would want to play ball with this kind of model as well; the statements by the USGA and R&A about not changing their qualification requirements for this year's US and British Opens seem to be much more about not wanting to disenfranchise golfers who had already qualified in 2022 than making sure the requirements would be identical in 2023 and beyond. This model would I think make LIV suddenly look much, much less attractive to anyone not solely in it for the money.
 

jercra

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Isn't that just making OWGR (or its new equivalent) the qualification for every event? While it may seem interesting on the surface, it sure seems like the fields will be significantly weaker for all but the biggest events.
 
Isn't that just making OWGR (or its new equivalent) the qualification for every event?
Basically, yes. In the tennis model, entry lists are finalized a week or so before each event, and you go down the ranking list until you reach the cutoff, with a few spots reserved for tournament-nominated wild cards (independent of rankings) and also players who make it through a small qualifying tournament at the start of the week. I don't see why this couldn't work for golf, with the entry dates staggered so that anyone who doesn't get into the PGA Tour event in a given week could apply for the European or Korn Ferry events, etc., and with Monday qualifying incorporated into the tennis-style qualifying model.
While it may seem interesting on the surface, it sure seems like the fields will be significantly weaker for all but the biggest events.
Why do you think that would automatically be the case? Players will still need to accumulate ranking points, so they'll need to play. Maybe the "Top 14" model would reduce the number of times the biggest stars need to play, but that's more of a concession to them to keep them from defecting to LIV than something I'd automatically want to bake into the system. (You could of course change "14" to any number you wanted.) And most top tennis players enter plenty of events outside of the big ones, both to accumulate more points and to warm up for the majors.

What tennis gets right for me in this regard is the ATP 1000 model of "Masters Series" events, which basically guarantees that all of the best players in the world turn up for nine tournaments each year in addition to the four majors. They're kinda like the WGCs in golf, except that most of the tournaments have real histories that date back to the early days of professional tennis...which seems like where the PGA Tour is going anyway, in elevating events like the API, Genesis, Memorial etc. with big purses. For me, the biggest problem with the WGCs isn't the concept, but how they were layered on top of the existing tournament infrastructure (and how crappy most of the venues have been, Austin Country Club excepted); converting the biggest events already on the tour into the WGC-style events at marquee courses like Riviera and Muirfield Village turns that weakness into a strength. Heck, why not have a relatively small field of automatic entrants to these events - maybe the top 70 in the new ranking system - and open up another 20 places or so to a Tuesday afternoon qualifying event that you can show on The Golf Channel? 60 players, one round, 20 spots, with a playoff likely required at the end to break ties for the last couple of positions...that would be fun, wouldn't it?
 
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Oh, and by the way...those three big-money overseas exhibition events for the Top 70 that the PGA Tour announced it intends to hold after the FedEx Cup Playoffs are over? Those should *totally* be team events of some sort. Get funky with the formats: maybe one Ryder Cup-style (or Walker Cup-style) event, one NCAA Championship-style event, and one medal-matchplay event (in the style of the old Dunhill Cup). Hold a televised player draft to determine the teams before the three-tournament series, and keep those teams intact through the whole series - possibly with a view to keeping players in the same teams the following year as much as possible. If you really want people to watch and get interested, give us something we can't really get anywhere else; don't just give us meaningless individual stroke play exhibitions (which we can already get by watching LIV).
 

cshea

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These are fair ideas, but I think it's more from a fan standpoint. I don't think it moves the needle for the players. The core issue is the guaranteed money the LIV players are receiving. The Tours can change ranking systems, points, purse size, etc. but at the end of the day they'll never be able to offer a $100 million guaranteed to a player. The players going to LIV have decided that the guaranteed money is worth more to them than the legacy of playing on the PGA Tour, and are willing to potentially sacrifice major exemptions. The bullshit about formats and innovation is just window dressing to deflect from the guaranteed money,.
 
These are fair ideas, but I think it's more from a fan standpoint. I don't think it moves the needle for the players. The core issue is the guaranteed money the LIV players are receiving. The Tours can change ranking systems, points, purse size, etc. but at the end of the day they'll never be able to offer a $100 million guaranteed to a player. The players going to LIV have decided that the guaranteed money is worth more to them than the legacy of playing on the PGA Tour, and are willing to potentially sacrifice major exemptions. The bullshit about formats and innovation is just window dressing to deflect from the guaranteed money,.
I don't disagree with any of this, FWIW - I was simply trying to fit my ideas within the rough framework of what the (remaining) PGA Tour players seem to have signed off on, as relayed to us on Tuesday. That said...if you're trying to get players interested in a big money postseason exhibition series, wouldn't team events potentially be more exciting to them (as well as the fans) than yet more individual stroke play tournaments?
 

cshea

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Rory was cruising along, -5 through 11. -13 for the tournament and leading by a shot over Xander. Blows the tee shot OB on 12 and then re-loads and sends it way right into the deep fescue.

Edit: Appears the 2nd one came out of the fescue and is OK. Still, that was a rather sudden change of fortune.
 

Comfortably Lomb

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Rory was cruising along, -5 through 11. -13 for the tournament and leading by a shot over Xander. Blows the tee shot OB on 12 and then re-loads and sends it way right into the deep fescue.

Edit: Appears the 2nd one came out of the fescue and is OK. Still, that was a rather sudden change of fortune.
So, Fran Quinn was across the bar from me last Saturday watching the US Open 3rd round with a few friends. After Rory's hook on 18 he says to the bar "Rory is the best driver of the ball you will ever see who hits some of the worst drives you'll ever see."

Anyway, after Rory's crazy recovery shot around the grandstand everyone is cheering and Quinn is just grinning and shaking his head. I don't think he has that shot.
 

snowmanny

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That said...if you're trying to get players interested in a big money postseason exhibition series, wouldn't team events potentially be more exciting to them (as well as the fans) than yet more individual stroke play tournaments?
As a casual fan, why would I be interested in a team competition? You’d have to explain the rooting interest to me. Ryder Cup I get, but who are these teams and why would I care? I am probably totally missing something.
 

Comfortably Lomb

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As a casual fan, why would I be interested in a team competition? You’d have to explain the rooting interest to me. Ryder Cup I get, but who are these teams and why would I care? I am probably totally missing something.
People already don't give a shit about the President's Cup. The Ryder Cup fills the teams niche.
 

Senator Donut

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As a casual fan, why would I be interested in a team competition? You’d have to explain the rooting interest to me. Ryder Cup I get, but who are these teams and why would I care? I am probably totally missing something.
I think this is 100% correct. The Zurich Classic has been played as a team event since 2017 and I think it’s even less popular than an average tour stop.

What I would like to see is a mixed event with the LPGA. The DP World Tour already cohosts an event with the LET where men and women compete on the same course from separate tees, but I understand this runs contrary to the goal of increasing prize money for the top players.
 

Over Guapo Grande

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So, Fran Quinn was across the bar from me last Saturday watching the US Open 3rd round with a few friends. After Rory's hook on 18 he says to the bar "Rory is the best driver of the ball you will ever see who hits some of the worst drives you'll ever see."

Anyway, after Rory's crazy recovery shot around the grandstand everyone is cheering and Quinn is just grinning and shaking his head. I don't think he has that shot.
I love Fran. We were several years apart at SJHS (I think that he was in my eldest brother's class ) but I have always followed him like we were best buds.
 
People already don't give a shit about the President's Cup. The Ryder Cup fills the teams niche.
The President's Cup is a flawed competition for many reasons. The concept of an "International" team is totally artificial. There's nothing at stake, at all - no money, no rivalry between the teams, no competitive history. The matches themselves have been very one-sided. The venues have tended to suck, with a few exceptions (like Royal Melbourne). And because it's ostensibly a like-for-like version of the Ryder Cup, it pales very, very badly by comparison. But despite all of that, the players seem to really love it - e.g., Max Homa spoke of his real desire to make this year's President's Cup team in that NLU podcast the other day.

Would fans feel the same way about the sort of team competitions I'm talking about? Maybe, but a lot of the factors I'd just mentioned could be mitigated. The format could be different - I mentioned the NCAA Championship and Dunhill Cup concepts previously, in addition to the Ryder Cup/Walker Cup model, and that would certainly provide a novelty factor to potentially engage fans. The prize money would likely be sufficient enough to put some skin in the game. (The venues would probably still suck, but that sort of thing is always subjective...and it's not like the Ryder Cup has always been played at great courses, either.) And the teams could be very competitive, even if organized along national lines to some extent. For example, here's a list of nine potential eight-player teams, getting up to 72 players, based off of the current OWGR and excluding golfers who have already signed with LIV - I did a snake draft by world ranking to create the four American teams:
  • Team Australia: Cameron Smith, Adam Scott, Lucas Herbert, Marc Leishman, Min Woo Lee, Ryan Fox, Cameron Davis, Jason Day
  • Team GB&I: Rory McIlroy, Matt Fitzpatrick, Shane Lowry, Tyrrell Hatton, Paul Casey, Seamus Power, Tommy Fleetwood, Justin Rose
  • Team Continental Europe: Jon Rahm, Victor Hovland, Thomas Pieters, Sepp Straka, Adri Arnaus, Alex Noren, Pablo Larrazabal, Victor Perez
  • Team Int'l (Commonwealth + S. America): Joaquin Niemann, Corey Conners, Mito Pereira, Sebastian Munoz, Mackenzie Hughes, Christiaan Bezuidenhout, Erik van Rooyen, Adam Hadwin
  • Team Asia: Hideki Matsuyama, Sungjae Im, KH Lee, Siwoo Kim, Joohyung Kim, Rikuya Hoshino, Shugo Imahira, Kazuki Higa, Takumi Kanaya
  • Team USA1: Scottie Scheffler, Billy Horschel, Xander Schauffele, Harold Varner III, Tom Hoge, Webb Simpson, Luke List, Denny McCarthy
  • Team USA2: Collin Morikawa, Will Zalatoris, Tony Finau, Cameron Young, Keegan Bradley, Chris Kirk, Keith Mitchell, Gary Woodland
  • Team USA3: Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth, Max Homa, Kevin Kisner, Aaron Wise, Brian Harman, Matt Kuchar, Stewart Cink
  • Team USA4: Patrick Cantlay, Sam Burns, Daniel Berger, Harris English, Cameron Tringale, Russell Henley, Davis Riley, Maverick McNealy
That's purely illustrative - you'd probably want to have eight teams rather than nine for competitive purposes - but it shows the sort of thing that you could conceivably create. This sort of structure could even help ward off defections to LIV among non-Americans: e.g., wouldn't every Australian golfer desperately want to be part of his de facto national team at the end of every season (and feel extra pressure from Australian fans and media not to defect)?

I seem to be alone on this island, at least on SoSH, but I fail to see how a format like this wouldn't be more interesting than simply dumping all of those players I've just listed into another set of stroke-play exhibitions at the end of the season designed entirely to pad their wallets. Because the latter is exactly what is currently scheduled to happen, under the PGA Tour's stated plan of action. Adding big-money exhibitions is designed to keep players happy - and funnel them more money - as much as it is to create an appealing product for the fans. And the *players* ought to really enjoy this suggested team format more than boring old stroke play; if that is indeed the case, the concept is worth pursuing whether or not there is fan demand for it.
 
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snowmanny

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I think you are alone and I don’t really get it. Ryder Cup aside, golfers don’t really have a team sport mentality and there is no particular hook for the fans.
 

E5 Yaz

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So, Fran Quinn was across the bar from me last Saturday watching the US Open 3rd round with a few friends. After Rory's hook on 18 he says to the bar "Rory is the best driver of the ball you will ever see who hits some of the worst drives you'll ever see."
On No. 2 just now, he hit a tree ... 85 yards from the tee box ... as he was attempting to reach the 331-yard hole on his drive
 
Do yourself a favor and try to find a replay of the four shots Haotong Li just took to birdie the first playoff hole and win the BMW International in Germany just now (along with his reaction afterward):
  • Nearly drove the ball into the water (I think the ball hit a tree)
  • Went for the green and nearly pushed his second shot into the water, and it wasn't far from rolling into the water over the back of the green as well (after rolling not too far from the flag)
  • Bladed his chip 50 feet past the hole, down a tier
  • Holed the putt, which looked like it might race six feet past
Ridiculous stuff.