Money is apparently thicker than blood in the ongoing battle for golf supremacy between the PGA Tour and LIV Golf.
One top player said those who attended a players-only meeting Tuesday, which was helmed by Tiger Woods at the Hotel Du Pont ahead of this week’s BMW Championship in Wilmington, Del., took a “blood oath” when it came to keeping details of the meeting secret. Those details, however, began to emerge on Saturday. Chief among them: A plan in which the Tour would hold 18 tournaments with 60 players and $20 million purses, according to Sports Illustrated and The Firepit Collective.
A source also confirmed the details of the meeting with The Post on Saturday.
It is just one step among many being discussed as the PGA Tour tries to thwart LIV Golf. The controversial Saudi-backed rival league features $25 million purses and has already poached Phil Mickelson, Bryson DeChambeau and Brooks Koepka for huge, reported nine-figure deals that are guaranteed just for joining.
Another detail that was revealed was talk of the PGA Tour giving up its nonprofit status, which, according to The Firepit Collective, Woods and Rory McIlroy, who was also at the meeting, would support. Doing so would cost the Tour roughly $20 million to $50 million annually, the report said, but would also provide a financial freedom that it currently doesn’t have.
While the PGA Tour can’t compete with the endlessly deep pockets of LIV, which is backed by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund (valued at more than $600 billion), privatizing would allow top players to be paid handsomely, as they have been with LIV.
Other ideas discussed at the meeting, which lasted more than three hours, included an annual stipend for players and whether the Tour should meet with LIV.
“Everyone in the room left in a better spot and excited about what’s potentially to come,” one player who was at the meeting told The Post earlier in the week. “Any time you can get a group of guys like that together [in the same room], that doesn’t happen often. Maybe it should’ve happened a while ago.”
Woods’ presence — he flew up specifically for the meeting from his home in South Florida, bringing Rickie Fowler with him — also went a long way with those in the room, which totaled more than 20 players in all.
According to a source at the meeting, “The Tour has been maybe trying [with players] more than in the past, too, which is good to see.”
Meanwhile, the Tour’s postseason will conclude next week with the Tour Championship at East Lake in Atlanta. The FedEx Champion will be crowned at the end of that event, and will earn $18 million.
After that, however, at least a handful of players are expected to bolt for LIV Golf to tee it up in that circuit’s next event, the following week outside Boston. Reportedly among them is reigning British Open champ Cameron Smith.
Source : New York Post