Jon Rahm was at home preparing coffee with his children at his feet last Tuesday when he received a flood of text messages about the news. Colin Morikawa looked at Twitter and found the words there. During breakfast at Michael Jordan’s private club in Florida, Brooks Koepka looked into the TV and saw a headline.
Rahm, Morikawa and Koepka were listening in real time to a deal that was clear on Tuesday, a week after the PGA Tour announced its intention to partner with the Saudi wealthy fund that has split the sport by the LIV golf league. was the golf version. Flash Grenade: Amazing, Amazing, Disorienting.
And now, with the lingering repercussions, they need to qualify for the US Open, a major tournament that begins Thursday at the Los Angeles Country Club. Some people will run away, right?
“I think more players are confused about what the future holds,” Jason Day, who was one of the world’s top-ranked players shortly after winning the 2015 PGA Championship, said in an interview on the practice putting green. rice field.
Day, a regular on the PGA Tour who turned pro in 2006, added: “I think some players are emotional on both sides, and it’s very understandable.” Once you have some idea of where things are going, things are laid out on the table. “
With the third men’s major championship of the year just around the corner, the prospects are far from optimal. But it’s ubiquitous and would certainly help the USGA’s open-air orientation, which forces players to use their brains as much as their clubs.
Recent unremembered openings may require further compartmentalization from the field.
“There are a lot of unanswered questions,” said Rahm on Tuesday, who kicked off the 2023 major cycle with a victory at the Masters Tournament in April. “The week before a major is tough. I try not to think about it as much as possible.”
For many of the elite players who could be vying for the trophy in Los Angeles this weekend, professional life has historically been pretty turbulent outside of driving, chipping and putting.
The PGA Tour remained the world’s premier circuit for much of its inception during the Lyndon B. He performed well in events up to Sea Pines and was heavily rewarded.Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
Last year’s astounding rise of the LIV cast a fog over the world of professional golf as the toughest test for Tour hegemony. For the first time in generations, the PGA TOUR is no longer the unparalleled and representative show of American men’s golf.
Now, as the PGA Tour and LIV look to pile up money-making operations within one new company, headed by the Tour Commissioner and chaired by the Saudi Wealth Fund President, the professional golf dimension is a big name in the sport. but has become more ambiguous.
Will LIV exist in a year from now? How can a player defected to his LIV from the Tour be reinstated, and should a golfer who remains committed to the Tour be rewarded for his loyalty? And what will happen to the money that wealth funds have promised to LIV golfers, in some cases more than $100 million?
The agreement emerged from seven weeks of confidential negotiations that began with a WhatsApp message on April 18, followed in London, Venice and San Francisco, and culminated in an announcement in New York last Tuesday. But there are many uncertainties about the framework agreement, and bankers and lawyers are still scrambling to fill in the blanks on issues as important as asset valuation. Golf executives have suggested the deal could take months to complete, with some privately acknowledging that pre- and post-deal predicaments may not be easy. . (PGA Tour official Patrick Cantley said Tuesday that “we don’t yet have enough information to judge whether this deal is favorable or unfavorable.”)
Meanwhile, some players suggested that they would be satisfied with just the answers to the most important questions.
“We all want to know why,” Morikawa said. “We are very interested in why. But I think there are too many answers to boil down to one fundamental umbrella, with so many different actors involved.”
A real answer between now and Thursday’s first tee shot is unlikely, leaving players with questions and fears ahead of a tournament that could claim a historic spot.
“I don’t really have any doubts about my game at any major, let alone the US Open,” Rahm said. “To win a championship like this, you have to have access to all aspects of the game. You can never.”
Koepka, one of the greatest major tournament golfers of all time, tried to eliminate any talk of contracts while preparing the course he played years ago and recalled the existence of the Playboy Mansion, mainly on the back nine. suggested that
“There are four weeks in the year that I really cherish and this is one of them and I want to play well so I wasn’t going to waste time on the news that happened last week.” LIV star Koepka said. He finished second at the Masters in April and won the PGA Championship near Rochester, New York in May.
Last Tuesday, he recalled seeing the news and heading out to practice.
After all, the sport itself is set to take center stage on Thursday, and questions will remain and will not be answered this week, next week, or the week after that.
“It could be really, really good for golf,” Day said. “But I think it’s too early to say something like that, because you never know where things will go.”
“For now, my goal is to win the tournament,” he said.
On that point, the PGA TOUR and LIV golfers agree. Stop thinking about last week.