LIV Golf Threw a Sport Into Chaos. It Also Changed It.
The LIV has been thrown into chaos since last winter. (Photo by Peter Kjeldsen/Getty Images)
The long arm of Donald Trump and Mike Pence snaked out of the White House and into the LIV field in May. The event, originally known as the LPGA Tour Championship, was to be a single-exempt round featuring some of the biggest names in the game in competition, but now it’s been turned into a circus and a threat to cancel.
The LPGA Tour and the LIV are both owned by the PGA Tour, but with the former in dire straits and the latter in some form of turmoil for the past year, the LIV has become a source of chaos and an ongoing point of contention.
“I think they want the tour money,” said David Duval, an LPGA professional from North Carolina, who has seen both sides of the LIV and is now considering a move to the LPGA. “I think they want to protect people. They’ve made it seem like it’s a big thing, but it really isn’t. It’s just a show, a few people throwing a sport in chaos.”
The LPGA Tour has been reeling for the past year. It’s lost nine of its top 10 events and has spent countless hours, and even thousands of dollars, trying to find a path forward. In the end, the Tour went with the PGA Tour to hold the LPGA Championship instead, and has continued its quest for a championship that is not beholden to a single tour.
Meanwhile, the LIV is on life support. The PGA Tour is threatening to pull the event if it does not receive a major sponsor. Even though the LPGA canceled its event in 2018, the LIV is still running. In a way, it has been saved by Trump’s decision to let the PGA Tour host the event, a move that was made after a tour-owned event threatened to be canceled.
The LPGA and Tour now find themselves in the same position as they were this time last year, when the LPGA was threatened with cancellation. The LPGA had to cancel the event for the second year in