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Call for unity rings hollow from people who divided golf for greed

Call for unity rings hollow from people who divided golf for greed

AUGUSTA, Ga. — Adlai Stevenson described Richard Nixon as the kind of man who would cut down a tree then mount the stump to deliver a speech on conservation, so one wonders what he’d say of Bryson DeChambeau, one of the arsonists who set golf’s house on fire and who is now complaining that others aren’t moving quickly enough to extinguish the blaze.

At last week’s LIV tournament in Miami, DeChambeau demanded reconciliation in a sport that’s been bitterly divided by things like the now-withdrawn antirust litigation filed by, um, Bryson DeChambeau. “We can’t keep going this direction,” he said. “It needs to happen fast. It’s not a two-year thing. Like, it needs to happen quicker rather than later just for the good of the sport. Too many people are losing interest.”

One assumes he means people are losing interest in the PGA Tour’s product, unless LIV’s turnstile numbers have plummeted from the hundreds to the tens.

DeChambeau was reacting to similar comments made by Rory McIlroy, who has been attempting to cajole competing interests toward a resolution. “There needs to be a correction,” McIlroy said. “I think what’s happening is not sustainable right now, so something needs to happen to try to bring it all back together so we can all move forward so we don’t have this division that’s sort of ongoing.”

A valid argument can be made that golf would benefit enormously from reunification, that the diffusion of star players between tours is bad for the competitive sport, bad for fans and bad for business. That’s eminently fair. Who has the credibility to make that argument is another matter.

McIlroy does. He’s spent the past few turbulent years advocating for unity, urging his peers to remain under one roof while acknowledging that significant repairs to that roof are necessary. DeChambeau didn’t do that, though. He made a decision to cleave the sport for the sole purpose of personal enrichment, and his new-found enthusiasm for a peace agreement is a shameless effort to have others insulate him from the consequences of that decision.

DeChambeau’s win at the 2020 U.S. Open earned him a 10-year exemption to that major and five years’ worth of free passes to the other three. His eligibility for the Masters, PGA Championship and the Open expires in 2025, so unless he earns a place in the field by other means – or the qualification criteria is rewritten – DeChambeau will be boxed out of three-quarters of the…


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