LIV Golf will have no choice but to seek some sort of settlement with the PGA Tour as it does not have a survivable business model, according to PGA of America chief Seth Waugh.
With Waugh also on the board of the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR), he’s in a unique and powerful position within the sport – and warned that Greg Norman’s new tour may have to wait some time for an outcome over ranking points.
Despite over $2 billion of cash being pumped into LIV Golf by the Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund (PIF), it’s hardly a profitable enterprise as yet, with Norman pinning all his hopes of turning a profit on their franchise model.
That constitutes flawed logic though, according to Waugh, who can’t see how or why the Saudi backers would continue burning money, even with their vast wealth.
“Their logic about the team play being something significant that people can get behind I think is flawed,” Waugh told The Times. (opens in new tab) “I don’t think people really care about it. And I don’t see how it’s a survivable business model.
“They can fund it for as long as they want to, but no matter how much money you have, at some point burning it doesn’t feel very good. I don’t see they are accomplishing much.”
Waugh added that the only way he could see it going would be for the upstart new tour to find some sort of settlement with the PGA Tour to bring the game back as a whole.
“It seems logical to me, then, that you would work towards some sort of agreement. I hope the game comes back together in some form.”
One of the main sticking points for LIV Golf moving forward is the battle over ranking points, since it’s used for qualifying criteria into the Majors.
Waugh, though, says that it is a slow process, and OWGR is waiting for the latest LIV response in their case – but with obstacles still to fix there may well not be a decision even before the 2024 season.
“There are certain parts of their structure that can be solved by math, but there may be some pretty fundamental things that are harder,” Waugh added. “There’s the potential conflict with the team aspect and then access – how do you get relegated and promoted?
“They had our latest response weeks ago and we haven’t heard back. They have made a bad assumption that this will be a quick process. It never has been. Every application has taken a year-plus as far as I’m aware.
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