SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — If the PGA Tour and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund end up going into business together, what will that mean for LIV defectors being admitted back to the Tour?
That remains to be determined, and while there have been many opinions on whether they should be punished or allowed back because they “strengthen the product,” few have suggested what would make for a fair punishment.
The most common player response has been to say some form of it being above their pay grade. But not Golf Channel’s Brandel Chamblee. He has been one of if not the most consistent and sharpest critics of LIV, and he responded to a question on social media on what he thought fair punishment for jumping to LIV might be. “They should have to sit out for a period of time, pay fines, and when they come back, support/play in only non-signature events for as long they played for LIV,” Chamblee wrote on X.
Last week, Rory McIlroy said he didn’t think LIV defectors should be punished. Rickie Fowler was first to publicly say he disagreed with McIlroy. He has had more company sharing his opinion this week, namely two-time major winner Justin Thomas and world No. 1 Scottie Scheffler.
“I would say that there’s a handful of players on LIV that would make the tour a better place, but I’m definitely not in the agreement that they should just be able to come back that easily,” Thomas said Tuesday, two days before the WM Phoenix Open gets underway at TPC Scottsdale. “I think there’s a lot of us that made sacrifices … I would have a hard time with it (welcoming back LIV players without penalty).”
On Wednesday, Golfweek’s Eamon Lynch asked world No. 1 Scottie Scheffler how he feels about the subject during “Golf Today” on Golf Channel.
They should have to sit out for a period of time, pay fines and when they come back, support/play in only non signature events for as long as they played for LIV. https://t.co/GLf9WNrJwn
— Brandel Chamblee (@chambleebrandel) February 8, 2024
“That’s definitely a complicated issue that I’m not sitting too far on one side of the fence with that,” Scheffler said. “I think there’s a different level of player that left – you had some guys that left our Tour and then sued our Tour, that wasn’t really in great taste; and then you had some other guys that just left and they wanted to do something different, and everybody made their decision, and I have no bad blood toward the guys that left….