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19th Hole

The likely reason why some LIV players are resigning their PGA Tour membership and Mickelson has not



Despite CEO of LIV Golf Greg Norman saying that it was unnecessary, most of the golfers who have decided to join LIV have resigned their PGA Tour membership.

Kevin Na was the first to publicly announce his resignation from the PGA Tour, to which Norman told the Associated Press:

“I’m a bit surprised, actually. The players don’t have to resign from the Tour. That was Kevin’s decision for whatever reason he wanted to make it. I respect the man for making a bold decision. I respect the person for wanting to come on board with us, because he knows he has a great opportunity with LIV.”

“I’ll applaud him for it, but he didn’t have to, from our behalf, because LIV would be there (for him). Like I’ve always said, we’re going to back up the players. I’ll back up the players as much as I need to, to give them their rights to be able to do whatever they want to do as independent contractors.”

Na’s reasoning for resigning is seemingly to avoid any disciplinary action from the PGA Tour.

In the statement he made on Saturday, the 38-year-old used the words “rather than face potential discipline and/or legal action.” He also stated that he “wanted the ‘freedom to play wherever I want and exercising my right as a free agent gives me that opportunity.’”

In regard to Na’s resignation, Golf Digest’s Dan Rapaport said: “Word on the street is Kevin Na will keep his PGA Tour pension despite leaving for LIV. By “resigning” he takes away the possibility of punishment; basically a retirement from the tour, so normal that he’s still entitled to his post-career benefits. Strategic decision.”

Yesterday, more players resigned from the PGA Tour including Sergio Garcia, Louis Oosthuizen, Branden Grace, Charl Schwartzel and Graeme McDowell.

It’s likely that these players have the same reason for resigning from the PGA Tour as Na does, with the best way to avoid punishment from the PGA Tour seemingly to be by no longer being a member of the PGA Tour.

In another bombshell today, former world number one Dustin Johnson also resigned from the PGA Tour.

“It’s hard to speak on what the consequences might be but I’ve resigned my membership of the Tour and that’s the plan for now,'” Johnson said at his pre-tournament press conference at the Centurion Club, while outlining his intention to compete at golf’s four majors, which could be the primary motivator for DJ’s resignation.

Golfweek’s Eamon Lynch speculated that players giving up their Tour card was likely the best way to ensure that they can compete in the majors “That in turn removes the most likely basis on which the USGA might have prevented them playing the U.S. Open this month.”

While the majority of the golfers making the switch to LIV are resigning their Tour cards, there’s one who is adamant about keeping his: Phil Mickelson, who outlined his reason why to Sports Illustrated’s Bob Harig:

“I have not resigned my membership. I worked really hard to earn that lifetime membership. And I’m hopeful that I’ll have the ability to play wherever I want, where it’s the PGA Tour, LIV or wherever else I want.’’

Eamon Lynch also laid out the case for why Mickelson may be attempting to hold on to his Tour card, telling Golf Channel:

“This relationship with the USGA has always been combative, it’s a hostile relationship, and I probably think that he knows that the USGA would not necessarily be that keen on seeing Phil here. They don’t want the circus of what’s going to go on around it, and I think Phil would probably enjoy bringing that circus, and he’s also putting himself out there as the potential plaintiff in chief for the Saudis here. As to settle the question of what the status of LIV players will be in the majors.”

Should the PGA Tour discipline Mickelson the situation may well end up as a court case that could determine plenty.

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  1. Pecky

    Jun 12, 2022 at 2:57 pm

    Wait… I thought these guys were contractors. So how TF do they have a PGA Tour pension? That makes no sense to me. Independent contractors should have their own pension or 401K or whatever. What am I missing?

  2. GenoK

    Jun 8, 2022 at 7:09 pm

    I wonder if ANY of the people hating on these players, would change jobs for more money, input on their work and/or WHO they could CHOSE to work for or with??

    As far a Saudi money goes…AMERICA IS THE PRIMARY REASON THEY HAVE IT!! WE BUY OIL from them and have been FOR DECADES, except during Trump’s presidency. Germany BUYS FROM RUSSIA…don’t hear anything about banning Mercedes . HYPOCRITES ALL

  3. Bob

    Jun 8, 2022 at 2:27 pm

    The Saudis need to dump a boatload of ultimately-worthless Federal Reserve Note petrodollars on something. May as well be sellout monkeys chasing a little white ball.

  4. Bob Adams

    Jun 8, 2022 at 11:42 am

    Eamon Lynch has a huge conflict of interest- he works at Golf Channel who has a massive contract with the PGA Tour and it’s entire programming revolves around the Tour.

  5. Big Guy

    Jun 7, 2022 at 4:34 pm

    There is a good young player who has been scratching around on the Asian tour for the last couple of years – not sure he was able to cover his expenses?? But he came 2nd last week in the event in London and now has a start on the LIV tour where he is guaranteed to pick up a minim of $160k which is more than he has made the last 2 years.

    Big names aside, this is what the LIV Tour is about. Up and coming players should get the financial opportunities to develop their game.

    C’mon GofWRX! When are you going to start some objective reporting of this event? These stories need to be told!

  6. Lee Meade

    Jun 7, 2022 at 3:58 pm

    This is doing exactly what Norman and his Saudi butchers… er backers intended. Like a nuclear bomb right at the heart of the PGA Tour. The Tour cannot win this. The USGA cannot backstop the Tour. Why would they? Same for their counterparts in St. Andrews. The Masters controls it’s fate. Also cannot see them fighting the Tour’s battles. With no loss of entry to the Majors, many more Tour players are about to jump ship. The money’s far too good to see anything else happening. Revenge is a dish best served cold. There’s a Shark somewhere getting ready for a (cold) feast.

    • LIV 54

      Jun 8, 2022 at 6:11 pm

      Best comment of the week I love it Lee Meade. Tell em!

    • Jerry Loomis

      Jun 9, 2022 at 1:35 pm

      I do not like Greg Norman but I like Phil. The PGA did this to themselves. They also took away the tourneys at Trump owned properties. They took away Doral and Bedminster. I do not think the PGA will die. The good news is hopefully more promising players have a chance to make a living playing golf. The PGA could have helped out the feeder tours a bit more.

  7. P. Terry

    Jun 7, 2022 at 2:12 pm

    This Lynch dooshbag is filled with Hate and Jealousy period!! I stopped watching golf channel because of him and know many many people who’ve done the same. It must be nice to have never made a bad decision in your life (or so he thinks). The problem with sitting on such a high horse is the fall hurts when it happens, and it always happens…..
    As for Phil and the rest of the players; it’s none of anyone’s business! Their decision is there’s to make.
    Finally, the PGA started this whole thing by trying to control everyone else’s actions.

  8. cb

    Jun 7, 2022 at 11:07 am

    Why is everybody outraged at this? The Euro tour has been playing in Saudi for years and the ladies as well. Whats wrong with this picture??

    • PJ

      Jun 7, 2022 at 1:38 pm

      I’m with you I don’t see why this is an issue. I think the only people you hear crying are the PGA fan boys who sold their souls to the PGA a long time ago. The PGA said these guys are independent contractors and contractors always try to get the highest paying jobs. Plain and simple. For those that scream about the human rights abuses… us where and when you were outraged by China and what they do to people. What about Nike and the literal sweat shops their clothes are made in? You won’t ever heard a peep about China which makes anyone that criticizes the LIV a hypocrite of the highest order. Why is this idiot Eamon being quoted? Who is he? Who cares?

    • LIV 54

      Jun 8, 2022 at 6:12 pm

      cb thank you for the common sense.

  9. Garrett

    Jun 7, 2022 at 9:53 am

    I’m becoming more on the side of let the players play wherever they want. Phil has his huge glaring faults, but I wouldn’t take kindly to a tour taking away what I earned because I had a chance to make more money.

    I will not be a fan of LIV Golf, and i do not care for the Saudi government (or most governments for that matter), but I am also pretty sick of the same 72 hole Thursday-Sunday stroke play every week. It got old decades ago. I hope the added competition will make the tour ultimately better.

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19th Hole

Report: Major sponsor becomes first to urge PGA Tour to hold peace talks with LIV



According to The Telegraph, a major investor is urging both the PGA TOUR and DP World Tour to have “peace talks” with LIV Golf.

Johann Rupert, who is the chairman of Richemont, a Swiss luxury-goods maker, has invested over $100 million into the sport of golf.

South Africa’s richest man issued a statement to tournament spokespeople at St. Andrews for this weeks Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.

“This is the Home of Golf and we are all here to celebrate golf,” the spokesperson said from St. Andrews. “There needs to be a cessation of hostilities which are threatening the future of the game we all love. People need to talk to each other to find a solution.”

There doesn’t seem to be any type of negotiation imminent between the rival tours. According to LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman, Jay Monahan hasn’t returned any of his phone calls since the inception of LIV Golf. Commissioner of the DP World Tour Keith Pelley has also expressed he doesn’t have much desire to work with Norman.

Patrick Reed and Peter Uihlein got a sponsors invite from Rupert. Although Reed withdrew with a back injury, many believe that Rupert was sending a message with how he used his sponsors invite.

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19th Hole

Report: LIV Golf closing in on deal to PURCHASE airtime with major network



According to Golfweek, LIV Golf are closing in on a deal that will see the breakaway tour televised on Fox Sports 1.

The report indicates that LIV Golf will be paying Fox to air their product, which is unusual of television deals. Typically, the media company will pay a rights fee to the sports league to air the tournament.

Golfweek speculates that this move “will be widely interpreted as a failure to attract serious commercial interest in what it is offering.”

LIV Golf CEO had reportedly been shopping his product around to multiple media companies just as recently as a few weeks ago.

“We’re talking to four different networks, and live conversations where offers are being put on the table,” Norman told ESPN. “They can see what we’re delivering.”

LIV was still angling to receive a rights fee in the second year of the deal, but Fox reportedly declined to accept their proposal. Fox will be willing to renegotiate a rights fee at a later date.

The final two LIV events of the season, including a match play event at Trump Doral in Miami, Florida are planned to be shown on Fox once the deal is completed.

The arrangement is not yet finalized.

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19th Hole

Couple pull off insanely cool Masters-themed wedding



There are golf fans, and then there are golf super-fans.

Matt Ziance, a former marketer for NBC Sports and the Golf Channel, proved that he and his wife Kate were simply obsessed by the sport, by making their nuptials an homage to the greatest of the traditional tournaments – the Masters.


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A post shared by Matt Ziance (@mattziance)

The wedding, on July 3rd this year, involved not just a nod to Augusta, and a Masters-themed cake, but an entire exhibition!

Included in the day were:

  • The couple’s nephews dressed head-to-toe as ‘ring caddies,’ dressed in white Master’s overalls and carrying the rings in golf-ball shaped cases.
  • Kate’s flower girl carrying a bucket of tees, balls and rose petals.
  • Personalized signs at the First Presbyterian Church featuring the Masters logo, with tables carrying the traditional Masters flag.
  • The duo’s entrance involving an attempt at a long-range putt
  • 5000 cookies, baked by Kate’s mom and referencing golf themes
  • Matt wearing an Augusta green jacket for the service, and golf socks, tie and custom Nike clothing for the reception party

The couple started playing golf together since their first date in 2020, and estimate they played over 60 rounds together last year.

No matter how many times they may have played, or the dedication shown to the sport, neither Matt and Kate have ever been to Augusta, though continue their bid at each lottery raffle.

Oh, and Matt also managed to arrange former associate Jim Nantz to present a short introduction and welcome to the guests – using his famous phrase – “Hello friends!”

As Matt says, “It was a wedding unlike any other.”


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A post shared by Matt Ziance (@mattziance)

The challenge is set.

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