The ongoing saga between the PGA Tour and LIV Golf had a new chapter added this week, and the former’s two faces, Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy, are the central characters. And, no, it’s got nothing to do with Tiger and Rory’s new technology company.
Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy led a players-only meeting that resulted in significant changes to the PGA Tour
Last week, ahead of the BMW Championship at Wilmington Country Club, Woods flew to Delaware to participate in a players-only meeting to discuss the future of the PGA Tour, a forum where LIV Golf was undoubtedly one of the primary topics.
While all participants were united in not disclosing the specifics of the summit, it obviously went well as the PGA Tour unveiled several changes on Wednesday that will completely change the landscape of golf’s top series.
Already having committed to eight “elevated” events in 2023 where prize money will be between $15 and $20 million, four more were added to the schedule. The tour’s top players will also commit to playing 20 tournaments, up to 17 of which will be the same to ensure the game’s biggest stars regularly compete with one another on a more consistent basis.
The Player Impact Program pool has been raised from $50 million to $100 million, and 20 players will now receive payouts, up from 10.
An Earnings Assurance Program will also be established, guaranteeing players who participate in at least 15 tournaments a minimum of $500,000. Travel stipends have also been added.
Woods and McIlroy reportedly led the meeting last week, and their voices were clearly heard as the PGA Tour continues its attempt to keep its players from jumping to the Saudi-backed series, which essentially has unlimited funds at its disposal.
Woods and McIlroy have been subpoenaed to reveal details of the private meeting
LIV Golf obviously wasn’t going to just sit back while these changes occurred. And the lead attorney in a case against the PGA Tour, Larry Klayman, now wants to know exactly what was said in the private meeting in Delaware.
Klayman wants documents and any visual or audio recordings, saying in a press release that “it is believed that discussions occurred which are alleged … to be anticompetitive and violative of the antitrust laws vis a vis the LIV Golf Tour and its players.”
As leaders of the meeting, Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy have even been subpoenaed, as has PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan. Woods has been given notice of deposition for September 21. McIlroy has been given notice for September 22 and Monahan for September 27.
Klayman continued by saying it’s “not a personal thing against Woods, McIlroy, and Monahan,” but instead “about getting information about what occurred at the players’ meeting and generally with regard to allegations in our complaint that the PGA Tour, the DP World Tour and their commissioners Jay Monahan and Keith Pelley, are allegedly colluding in restraint of trade and the antitrust laws to harm the LIV Golf Tour and its players.”
The PGA Tour is being accused of copying LIV Golf, and Klayman went so far as to call it “LIV Light.” He says he looks “forward to Woods, McIlroy, and Monahan telling the truth, with sworn testimony, under oath,” and that “their testimony is not just relevant but also crucial.”
This war is getting nastier by the day, folks, and it’s only going to get worse as seven more players, including Cameron Smith, are expected to make the jump from the PGA Tour to LIV Golf once the Tour Championship at East Lake Golf Club ends.