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PGA Championship execs worried about ‘messy’ state of pro golf

PGA Championship execs worried about ‘messy’ state of pro golf

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — This week’s 2024 PGA Championship will most likely feature more LIV Golf players – 16, to be exact – than any other major championship this season as the professional game will briefly unite once again at Valhalla Golf Club.

Ahead of the 106th playing of the PGA of America’s flagship event, the organization’s President John Lindert, CEO Seth Waugh and Chief Championships Officer Kerry Haigh all gathered for a press conference and addressed the “messy” state of pro golf as the PGA Tour and LIV continue to battle for eyeballs and interest.

Waugh said he was “absolutely” worried about the game at the professional level, noting how “it seems to get messier every week.” As an optimist, however, he hopes this is the darkness before the dawn.

“I think the best thing for the game is a deal. And we’ve been very consistent on that front,” said Waugh. “What has been an unsustainable business model has put pressure on other places like the (PGA Tour) that creates some financial dynamics as well as other dynamics that are very hard, and quite frankly it puts some financial pressure on us, as well.”

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“I don’t think the game is big enough for two tours like that, and I think we are diluting the game in a way that is not healthy. We’ve said that, really, from the beginning,” he continued. “I hope there’s a deal. I think both sides are not only committed to trying to find a deal but really need a deal, and in my history of deal making, when both sides kind of need something to happen, it generally does.”

Waugh wouldn’t speak on the timing and noted while he has connections to those in the discussions, he doesn’t have any information the rest of us don’t already possess. Tiger Woods, who is on the subcommittee that will negotiate with Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, spoke on the status of the negotiations on Tuesday and echoed what’s been said for months: progress is being made. Jon Rahm, who made the move to LIV late last year, said he thinks a deal will be done but doesn’t want a rushed resolution.

“I hope there’s urgency because I do think it’s doing damage to the Tour, to the game,” added Waugh. “As I said earlier, I hope it’s short-term damage, as opposed to permanent damage, and so I hope there’s some urgency in the timing around it because I just don’t think it’s a healthy situation right…


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