Dallas golfers square off in fight between LIV and PGA tours
Prominent North Texas golfers are taking sides in a contentious fight at the top of the sport.
Driving the news: Less than two weeks after saying it'd be a "risk" to leave the PGA Tour, Dallas-based, long-driving golf pro Bryson DeChambeau is now a member of the LIV Golf circuit, according to the Golf Channel.
Why it matters: Flush with cash, the new tour — which is backed by the Saudi Arabian government — is upending the men's professional golf world.
- Even for non-golfers, there's a lot to gnaw on. It's about loyalties, money, politics and power.
What's happening: The PGA Tour has threatened to ban golfers who compete in LIV events, and some players have responded by resigning from the Tour.
- LIV critics allege Saudi Arabia is using golf to boost its global image (aka "sportswashing").
- Terry Strada, head of 9/11 Families United, said LIV golfers should be "ashamed" to associate with the Saudis.
By the numbers: A huge part of LIV's appeal is money. The Saudis have pledged $400 million for this season, with $225 million going toward prize money.
- DeChambeau was reportedly offered more than $100 million to become one of the LIV faces.
What they're saying: "It was a business decision, first and foremost," DeChambeau said Monday at the U.S. Open, his first public comments since LIV announced he's joining.
- "That's all there was to it. It's given me a lot more opportunities outside of the game of golf and given me more time with my family and my future family. So for me, that was the decision."
Between the lines: Last week in Canada for a PGA Tour event, Highland Park grad (and current Masters champion) Scottie Scheffler threw shade on his LIV-playing colleagues.
- "I haven't really noticed anyone missing this week. Maybe outside of DJ," he said, referring to top-ranked golfer Dustin Johnson, who resigned from the Tour for the rival.
- Of note: Scheffler won $2.7 million for winning the Masters. The winner of each LIV Golf event will pull down $4 million.
Meanwhile, this week's U.S. Open provides a fascinating look at the divide in the golf world as PGA-ers and LIV-ers come together on the same course.
- Dallas' Jordan Spieth, usually one of the most congenial players, apparently ignored Kevin Na, one of the early defectors.
Yes, but: Spieth was circumspect earlier this year about the threat of LIV and how it might influence how much the PGA Tour pays its top golfers.
- "I think that it's been beneficial to the players to have competition, and I think the Tour would say that they probably feel that they're in a better position going forward by having to sit back and kind of take a look at things and make some changes."
What we're watching: DeChambeau will likely make his LIV debut later this month.
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