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Is It Sports activities? PGA Tour-LIV Golf feud offering loads of drama

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By Charlotte Wilder
FOX Sports activities Columnist

Welcome to a brand new version of “Is It Sports activities?,” the place I, Charlotte Wilder, determine if one thing is or isn’t Sports activities. In the event you’re confused, learn this. Thanks for taking part in. 

Golf likes to fake that it isn’t dramatic. 

The game has, for hundreds of years, thrived within the highest echelons of society, the place folks imagine they’re discreet, personal and above mess. These persons are, after all, not above something, however golf has lengthy existed within the old-money fantasy of superbly manicured grass, individuals who carry your stuff for you and conversations in hushed tones.

The PGA Tour has lengthy been the one skilled golf “league” on the earth that basically issues, so it hasn’t needed to take care of something purposefully loud or brash. Regardless of the best way the PGA presents itself, nevertheless, it has all the time been riddled with gossip. Bryson DeChambeau and Brooks Koepka had the dumbest ongoing feud of all time. Tiger Woods, whereas positively probably the most gifted golfer to ever reside, was not with out his share of scandal (you all know that one, and when you don’t, Google it). John Daly is … John Daly. And no person likes Patrick Reed. 

But the PGA saved up a facade of calm competence. Majors resembling The Masters smoothed ruffled feathers with pimento cheese and bans on know-how. All was properly. 

Then LIV Golf confirmed up. 

The Saudi-backed, scandal-plagued, unfathomably rich entity entered the world of golf like Rodney Dangerfield in “Caddyshack.” LIV took a speedboat proper to the wood hull of the PGA Tour. The crash has left gamers within the water, clinging to wood planks whereas the overlords of LIV toss down gold-plated ladders and say, “Climb onboard. We’ve obtained caviar within the fridge and champagne on faucet, and all it should price you is your soul.” 

So clearly, golf is a sport. However which facets of the LIV-PGA battle are Sports activities?

A reminder of the standards:

​​1. Does it contain competitors?
2. Does it require a big quantity of bodily exertion?
3. Are you able to write about it on a sports activities web site with out folks asking why you’re writing about it on a sports activities web site?
4. Are you able to select sides?
5. Would a majority of individuals be entertained by watching it?
6. Would you do it for enjoyable?
*7: Does it really feel like Sports activities? (Can override all different standards.) 

Let’s have a look.

The LIV slogan: “Golf, however louder”

It is a very dumb slogan, nevertheless it’s additionally very correct. Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund is backing LIV, and it plans to place a bunch of gold plating and marble onto the normal lacquered wooden of golf’s vibe. The brand new enterprise affords a lot larger paydays for profitable championships than the PGA does ($25 million per competitors) and much more cash for merely agreeing to play in tournaments (Tiger Woods was reportedly supplied $800 to $900 million, which he turned down). 

However this tagline doesn’t fulfill my standards for Sports activities, nor does it permit Rule No. 7 to override them. As a result of it’s decidedly lame.

Verdict: Not Sports activities

Making gamers put on LIV gear on a regular basis 

The Wall Avenue Journal not too long ago obtained its fingers on a few of the contracts for LIV golfers, and they’re fairly one thing. Golfers should put on LIV attire whereas {golfing}, they have to conform to recruit different golfers to LIV when requested, they have to get approval earlier than doing any interviews, and so they should get permission to make use of any emblem whereas competing. Additionally they win $1 million in the event that they win one of many PGA’s 4 main championships *eyeballs emoji*.

Verdict: It’s by no means Sports activities to inform folks find out how to gown. Even at weddings. Let your bridesmaids put on no matter they need.

Anyway, again to golf.

Leaving the PGA Tour for LIV 

Probably the least stunning facet of the LIV scenario is which gamers have defected from the PGA Tour to hitch it. They’re golf’s villains — or not less than the gamers who’ve contributed to probably the most drama (a few of it enjoyable, a few of it not): Phil Mickelson, Bryson DeChambeau, Brooks Koepka, Patrick Reed, Sergio Garcia and extra.

Look, earlier than I’m going additional: I get the attraction of making certain that your descendants have money till the world ends (except you may have a child who goes rogue and invests all of it in cryptocurrency). It’s tough to show down cash, and there’s little or no cash in sports activities (or the world) that’s “clear.” 

Some golfers additionally say they’re excited by LIV for alternatives to develop the sport, so as to add competitors to the game and to spend extra time with their households by way of LIV’s shorter schedule (which could not really be shorter than the PGA Tour’s). 

However many individuals have justifiably accused the Saudis of utilizing LIV Golf to “sportswash” their document on human rights. Some households of victims of 9/11 even wrote a letter to Mickelson, condemning him for working with the Saudis.

There’s soiled cash, after which there’s … this. 

Verdict: Not Sports activities

Strolling throughout somebody’s placing line to snub them

Scottie Scheffler, who, as of this writing, has not joined LIV, not too long ago walked throughout Cameron Smith’s placing line, thus breaking one of many unwritten guidelines of golf in an act of pleasant pettiness. 

Smith has been flirting with LIV, and it has been rumored for a while now that he’s becoming a member of.

I’m an enormous fan of public shows of disrespect that may very well be defended as accidents.  

Verdict: Positively Sports activities

Withdrawing from PGA occasions attributable to “hip discomfort”  

Smith, since Scheffler walked throughout his line, has withdrawn from the upcoming BMW Championship attributable to “hip discomfort.” Many within the golf world rolled their eyes on the information. 

Maybe this isn’t an harm however a goodbye to the PGA from the younger man with a mullet who simply received the British Open. 

Verdict: Weak cop-out, not Sports activities 

Banning golfers from enjoying within the PGA in the event that they signed with LIV

As soon as gamers began to defect, the PGA Tour was like, “Hey, you’ll be able to’t sit with us anymore.” The tour requires that members ask for permission earlier than taking part in occasions that battle with the tour’s schedule. 

So the tour straight-up banned them. 

Verdict: Daring transfer, seems like Sports activities

Suing the PGA Tour 

After the ban, the gamers had been like, “Uh, sure we can sit with you.” And to show it, a gaggle of LIV golfers sued the PGA, accusing it of antitrust violations.

As of now, a choose has denied their movement for a restraining order and received’t allow them to play in PGA occasions. 

Verdict: As a rule, lawsuits are usually not Sports activities, so this isn’t Sports activities.

Calling out Tiger Woods in a lawsuit

Within the lawsuit, the LIV golfers declare: “The [PGA] Tour additionally obtained Tiger Woods to do its bidding and publicly criticize golfers — notably youthful golfers — for becoming a member of LIV Golf by suggesting they’d by no means play in The Masters, The Open or different Majors and wouldn’t earn OWGR factors.”

Woods certainly did this, however presumably of his personal accord. He mentioned, “I disagree with those that have gone to LIV. I feel they’ve turned their again on what allowed them to get to this place.”

Woods says LIV gamers “turned their backs” on PGA

Tiger Woods supplied sharp criticism of the golfers who’ve left the PGA for the LIV tour. Colin Cowherd explains why that stance is likely to be hypocritical and why Woods stands to realize from gamers leaving the PGA.

Complaining concerning the GOAT’s opinion is silly.

Verdict: Not Sports activities

Suing the Golf Channel 

On Aug. 16, Reed sued the Golf Channel (not a sentence I assumed I’d sort anytime quickly!) and commentator Brandel Chamblee for defamation, “misreporting data with falsity and/or reckless disregard of the reality.” Reed claimed that they’ve been actively defaming him for 9 years, since he was 23 years outdated, to create “a hostile work surroundings” and “destroy his status.”

Reed was penalized two strokes for dishonest on the Hero World Problem in 2019 by bettering his place, although he claims it wasn’t intentional. Allegations of dishonest have adopted him since school. He’s arguing that the Golf Channel and Chamblee have stoked followers’ resentment by speaking about it, and he doesn’t appear to get pleasure from being criticized for leaving the PGA Tour to hitch LIV. 

He doesn’t, within the lawsuit, cease to think about whether or not he and his conduct — maybe! — had something to do together with his vibe. 

Verdict: You guessed it — not Sports activities

Turning down LIV to remain at TNT

Basketball nice {and professional} TV industrial appearer-inner Charles Barkley was considering becoming a member of LIV as a commentator. That seemingly would have meant giving up his job as a member of the “NBA on TNT” staff.

If Chuck had damaged up that crew to go play with LIV — when he already has what I assume is SO a lot cash — I’d have been very, very bummed. 

However he didn’t. At the least, not but. 

Verdict: Positively Sports activities

Giving us drama to comply with and shaking up the world of golf, even when the reasoning and folks behind it are fairly tousled 

Verdict: Sports activities

Charlotte Wilder is a common columnist and cohost of “The Individuals’s Sports activities Podcast” for FOX Sports activities. She’s honored to characterize the consistently uncared for Boston space in sports activities media, loves speaking to sports activities followers about their emotions and is happiest consuming a hotdog in a ballpark or nachos in a stadium. Observe her on Twitter @TheWilderThings.


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