This is something I’ve been watching develop with great interest. I love golf, I have played daily fantasy golf most weeks for the last 7 years. What this is doing to the sport is very unfortunate because as a fan you want to see the best playing in the same tournaments for as many weeks as you can get them. Let’s take a quick look at some notable names that have joined the LIV Tour at this point.
|Charles Howell III|
|Harold Varner III|
If you know golf you understand how big of a deal it is to lose these names. Many of these players are indeed past their prime, but the thing about golf is the old guys are always dangerous to put it together for 4 days and have a high finish. My biggest strategy has always been on draft kings to just play the guys that have been consistently ranked in the top 15 throughout their career even if they are ranked 50th currently and not playing as well. If they show any recent form all the better. I believe once you have made it to that level and stayed there over years, that level still exists in you readily. Phil Mickelson showed that at the PGA and Tom Watson, and Jack Nicklaus before him with high finishes in their late 50s at majors. It’s no different week to week. While it’s true many of these players were not ranked in the top 50 when they walked, as a fan, it’s devastating to lose the name value and the potential high finish equity in golf that matters.
I can’t blame the players on this, if someone offered me the kind of guaranteed money they are getting, I believe I would take it as well. I was listening to an interview with Pat Perez where he said he had to miss the birth of his child because it fell during the FedEx Cup and it was a year where he was about to lose his card and had to play. Patrick Reed was one of the biggest grinders on tour playing 30+ tournaments a year, the point he made was now he could play a few times and be home with his family more. I see great value in that as well. That’s not even mentioning the wear and tear on your body, and the fact if you do get injured or slump you aren’t making money. You are just an independent contractor that has to play to survive. I’d take the guaranteed money, which required less work and protected me too. There is no way a player like Dustin Johnson could have made what he was given the next decade in his 40s. His game was already starting to slip some from what it had been. There are many examples like that. They play as teams for part of the tournaments which has to be pretty fun in a solo sport. You can make some pretty good LIV golf teams out of that roster.
I do believe that eventually there will be a resolution, and I certainly hope so. LIV needs official world golf ranking points long-term I believe for this to last beyond 5 years. Some of the main players have major exemptions for a few more years which is why for some of the big names it was likely easier. For many, the sting of not being able to play in Majors will hurt them as much as it hurts the sport. I think most are betting on waivers or some resolution though and if it doesn’t come it will factor into the long-term sustainability for at least some. The money and security still will be hard to pass up. I don’t see LIV completely going away though so at some point the Majors, PGA, and European tour are going to have to come to an understanding if not an acceptance. There are so many good players and big names not to have in the majors and that is what is so bad for the sport.