UCO golf responds to new PGA/LIV alliance

Joseph Ross

Contributing Writer

Golf’s organization and structure looks to have been changed forever. Whether that change was for a good cause is still open to debate. 

Evan Griffith, a junior at UCO, is one of many golfers that may be affected by the recently completed deal. (UCO Sports/Provided)

A deal has been completed between the PGA Tour, LIV World Tour, and Saudi Public Investment Fund which will allow them to operate together in a partnership.

The announcement was made June 6 that these companies, considered and viewed as rivals, will be united. 

According to the Financial Times, the framework agreement was brokered over a couple of months between the DIV and PGA that were held in the United States, Europe, and the Middle East.

Golf experts and players were surprised by the timing and scope of the deal. Derrick Thompson, UCO’s head golf coach, said a “merger” is what everyone thinks it is and the way to describe this new idea, but it is a partnership to create a new business for golf and help evolve the sport. 

The purpose and hope for this partnership, Thompson said, are to unify the sport and drain whatever division exists. One reason for the partnership is to bring fairness to the players upon the time to reapply for the PGA Tour or the LIV World Tour membership after the season of 2023. 

This is being viewed as a historic day upon the creation of this partnership between these companies and the sport of golf.

“I’m taking a wait-and-see approach with my feelings on this. There are so many details missing and I am curious to see what the end product is,” Coach Thompson stated his thoughts on the recent partnership.

Before the completion of this partnership, players from LIV Golf were banned from competing in the PGA Tour events. 

Much of the contentiousness surrounding the deal centers on the Saudi Arabian citizens who attacked the U.S. on Sept. 11, 2001.

“I don’t think this will have much effect on golfers turning pro. From the way it sounds the PGA Tour, and all of their developmental tours will still exist. Q Schools [qualifying schools] will still exist. I think this affects players that are pretty well-established and further along in their golf careers,” Thompson said.

Phil Mickelson, who left the PGA for LIV in 2022, tweeted, “Awesome day today.”

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