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19th Hole

Michael Jordan convinced PGA Tour pro to reject LIV Golf



Rumors abound that more PGA Tour players are going to jump ship to the LIV Golf Series after the US Open, including reports claiming that Abraham Ancer is 100% gone to the Saudi-backed tour, but Harold Varner III will not be one of them.

The New York Post reported on Saturday that, in an email received on June 10, Varner’s agent confirmed their charge would not be leaving the PGA Tour.

Varner’s agent, Preston Lyon, wrote, “He is a PGA Tour player and constantly working towards being one of the best golfers in the world. It is our full intention to make a run at the FedEx Cup championship in August.”

According to the Sports Business Journal, Varner reached the decision after a conversation with basketball superstar Michael Jordan, with whom he has struck up a “business relationship”, wearing the Jordan logo on his apparel. However, the relationship has “extended to a friendship as well.”

The 31-year-old, winner of the Saudi International in February, sought advice from a few but name checked Jordan as, “I’m sure he’s had decisions like this long before I was even born.”

Currently inside the world’s top-50, Varner has access to all the majors and, having spoken frankly with PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan, concluded that, “I’m obviously not going. I’ve spoken with Jay. I’ve spoken with a lot of people I look up to and it just wasn’t worth it to me for what it was worth.”

Whilst strong chit-chat suggests the likes of Rickie Fowler and Viktor Hovland are still in the frame for an approach, the Norwegian told his home newspaper that he has no plans to join LIV, whilst 33-year-old Fowler was clear that he would like to see the two tours “co-exist” and that there has been a lot of false accusations.

Those accusations slowed down over the weekend of the US Open but are expected to continue apace as we approach the Travelers Championship this weekend.

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  1. Rob

    Jun 21, 2022 at 10:29 am

    Manohan jumped the shark when he removed tournaments from Trump owned courses.

    Didn’t that pea-brain understand some players might not appreciate being used as political pawns?

    • Thomas Woodward

      Jul 5, 2022 at 7:10 pm

      SO TRUE!! Btw, Varner hasn’t done much on the PGA Tour so his stock is kinda low at this moment and there are BIGGER fish to land on the LIV Golf Tour that currently has 20 Major wins playing in that 48 man filed. Will the filed grow? ABSOLUTELY, and will more major winners sign UP? YOU BETCHA!

  2. David Shipley

    Jun 21, 2022 at 9:41 am

    Any sensible human without generational $ would take it if offered. Those being critical either have generational wealth or stand to gain (or lose) based on players living. IMO it’s a PR nightmare for the tour and Manohan (sp?) overplayed his hand and the tour he’s paid 30+million to run and protect is at risk as it should be. If they aren’t careful they run real risk of losing the 501 (tax free) status.

  3. Get Real

    Jun 20, 2022 at 12:53 pm

    WTF?! HVIII, you needed convincing that this was a bad idea? Seriously? C’mon man!

    • Livininparadise

      Jun 20, 2022 at 11:29 pm

      Are you saying that turning down millions in guaranteed money is a bad idea? HVIII doesn’t look like he will be winning anytime soon. Why not take the money?

      • Mike

        Aug 29, 2022 at 11:43 pm

        Agree. But I bet MJ sweetened the pot enough to make him stay. Would look bad also if the tour’s only other African-American golfer jumped ship.

  4. Pingback: ‘Hard to root for Sergio, the man’ – Pro delivers damning verdict on Garcia and other LIV stars – GolfWRX

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19th Hole

Cam Smith enjoys meme poking fun at Rory McIlroy at latest LIV event



The LIV Golf Series continues this week in Chicago, where the Champion Golfer of the Year Cam Smith will make his second start.

The Australian’s move to LIV has been one of the biggest stories of 2022, with Smith reportedly signing a deal worth north of $100 million with the breakaway tour.

Ahead of this week’s event in Chicago, Smith was shown a meme by the DrunkByTheTurn team, with the Aussie seemingly entertained, laughing at its content alongside fellow pro Pat Perez.

As revealed by the DrunkByTheTurn Twitter account, the meme in question was poking fun at LIV’s biggest critic Rory McIlroy.

McIlroy has continuously criticized both the LIV Golf Series and its defectors, just this week saying that he believes no LIV player should be a part of the 2023 Ryder Cup.

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19th Hole

Report: Major TV network the leading contender to strike deal for LIV Golf media rights



The latest LIV Golf event gets underway in Chicago this week, with those looking to tune in once again having to fire up YouTube to watch the 48 professionals do battle.

LIV has yet to strike a media deal that would allow a network or streaming service to broadcast their events, and while rumors surrounding a deal with Apple were circulating, Barstool’s Dan Rapaport reported this week that they deemed LIV to be “too toxic.”

According to a report from Front Office Sports, Fox Sports is now the leading contender to acquire LIV’s U.S. media rights.

While not going into specifics on whether a deal was close to being struck with Fox, Will Staeger, LIV’s chief media officer, told FOS that they are currently in discussions with “virtually every major media company.”

“We want exposure. We want broad viewership. We want to be on a platform where viewers are accustomed to watching sports.” he added. “Golf needs it, actually. Quite honestly, listening to golf on TV gets rather boring. Because everybody says the same thing every time about everybody.”

Interestingly, Fox Sports fired Greg Norman from his announcing role back in 2016, just a year after being in the job, with the Aussie telling FOS last year that he felt that he got “rolled under the bus.”

Earlier this week, Norman revealed to Kap & J. Hood on ESPN 1000 that they were in discussion with four different networks, and it appears that Fox lead the race to land a deal that should be a game-changer for LIV.

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19th Hole

Bryson DeChambeau thanks Tiger for creating LIV Golf



Bryson DeChambeau was one of the biggest names to jump ship in golf’s civil war, with the 29-year-old reportedly earning over $100 million to sign with LIV Golf.

The Golf Scientist will tee it up in Chicago this week for the latest LIV Golf Series event, and ahead of the 54-hole tournament, Bryson opened up on his decision to leave the PGA Tour.

“This is the biggest decision besides choosing my agent that I’ve ever made in my entire life, and I couldn’t be happier to be over here.

“I have no buyer’s remorse. I have ultimate respect for the PGA Tour and what they’ve done for my career, as I’ve said from day one, and they’ve allowed me this opportunity.”

Then, Bryson revealed that he must thank Tiger for creating the opportunity.

“I have to look back and thank Tiger for this opportunity because he’s the one that’s ultimately created this.”

Bryson didn’t go into specifics on the latter comment, however, it echoes the sentiment he shared two months ago when the Californian told media: “I have high regard for Tiger; look, this wouldn’t be existing if it weren’t for Tiger. So I have the utmost respect for what he did for the game of golf, what he did for the PGA Tour that allowed us to have this opportunity.’’

Back in July, DeChambeau also revealed that a once close relationship with Tiger had now gone cold since the PGA Tour/LIV Golf divide.

“We have been fairly close and unfortunately, we have not spoken, one day we will again, and I am always open for a conversation with anybody. I have no problem with it and I hope we can come see eye to eye on it.’’

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