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Seth Waugh says OWGR isn’t slow-playing LIV Golf process

Seth Waugh says OWGR isn’t slow-playing LIV Golf process

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Not much disturbs the perma-tanned panache of Seth Waugh, the Wall Street banker-turned-CEO of the PGA of America. He strolls through the buttoned-up golf world in white britches and boat shoes, projecting the insouciant air of someone bound for a dockside jamboree in Palm Beach. So when he was asked on Tuesday at Oak Hill Country Club if it was stressful being on the board of the Official World Golf Ranking as it processes the application of LIV Golf, Waugh was sanguine in his dismissal.

“I’m just one board member, and I’ve lived through 9/11 and a financial crisis or two,” he said. “No, I think we can handle it.”

The only furrow on Waugh’s brow came later when a questioner asked if the OWGR is slow-playing LIV’s application by clinging to a 12-month timeline for the review process when the circuit — unlike many developmental tours — has stout resources behind it. The inquiry assumed the ready availability of financing, but also a willingness to spend it. And it overlooked a pertinent reality: a tour that owes its existence to the whim of one mercurial man has a dubious future if those whims change. Stability can be fleeting if one’s sole anchor is a Saudi oligarch facing legal jeopardy.

“That’s a total mischaracterization,” Waugh responded, the words carrying more bite than his tone or manner of delivery. “What I’ve said and what I’ll say now is there has been healthy back and forth. It has not been acrimonious.”

There may well be a patina of harmony in the top-level interactions between the OWGR’s board and LIV executives, but that comity is not shared by LIV’s surrogates, who are eagerly engaged in an effort to short-circuit the approval process and undermine the very credibility of the rankings. Last month, Bryson DeChambeau declared the ranking “obsolete,” while insisting that LIV needed to be included in a system that is, um, obsolete.

Phil Mickelson has accused most every entity in the game — the PGA of America, the USGA, the OWGR, the PGA Tour and Augusta National Golf Golf Club — of “colluding” against LIV and its players, not least by denying ranking points that would eventually help exclude many LIV competitors from major championships. It’s the kind of conspiracy seed that Mickelson knows will be ardently watered in the social media jungle by the MAGA trolls and manufactured bots that comprise so much of the LIV support network. He has not yet accused LIV’s…


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