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LPGA Champion: LIV-PGA Tour Merger Can Be a Good Thing for Golf

The PGA Tour’s controversial decision to partner with rival LIV Golfearlier this month stunned fans and blindsided players, leaving many furious.

But there’s reason to view the agreement and LIV Golf’s influence as a positive for the game of golf.

LPGA major champion Stacy Lewis told Yahoo Finance that the upstart league — which is financially backed by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund — has already made the Tour “better.”

“It’s created some competition, and competition is good,” Lewis told Yahoo Finance at the KPMG Women’s Leadership Summit on Wednesday (video above).

LIV Golf set out to differentiate itself from the start with tournaments featuring team competition, shorter rounds, and fewer players. It also lured stars with lucrative contracts.

That pressure is likely to have played a part in some of the changes made by the PGA Tour ahead of the recent agreement, including the PGA’s decision to reduce fields, eliminate cuts, and increase prize purses for designated events beginning in 2024.

“We can’t just sit here and stay where we are,” Lewis said. “I’m open to evolving and continuing to get better.”

ARCHIVO - En foto del 28 de julio del 2022, el logotipo de LIV Golf durante el pro-am en Bedminster Invitational LIV Golf. El viernes 16 de junio del 2023, LIV y la PGA presentan una moción para desestimar la demanda y contrademanda que presentaron, con lo que lleva a su fin la disputa. (AP Foto/Seth Wenig, Archivo)
The LIV Golf logo. (Associated Press)

While it’s still unknown how the new partnership between LIV and the PGA Tour is going to affect the LPGA, if at all, commissioner Mollie Marcoux Samaan didn’t take any future potential partnership opportunities off the table, reiterating the tour remains focused on growth.

In a statement, the LPGA commissioner said: “We remain focused on growing the LPGA, continuing to work with the top partners in the world to provide the best opportunity for our membership and to make sure that everything we do continues to allow us to inspire, elevate and advance opportunities for girls and women, on and off the golf course.”

Source: Yahoo Finance