For most of 2022, Rory Mcllroy was hailed as the saviour of the PGA Tour after the Northern Irishman took a firm stance against the emerging LIV Golf Tour which was threatening to demolish the oldest institution in golf.
At the time, Mcllroy’s influence and scathing criticism of the new league were undoubtedly crucial in ensuring that there weren’t hundreds of defectors to the LIV Tour.
Although this isn't altogether surprising when you consider that this is a man whom people listen to when he speaks given that the 33-year-old is one of the most talented players on the planet. You only need to look at the latest golf bets on the upcoming Masters to get a better appreciation of Mcllroy's standing in the game given that he is one of the favourites to win the green jacket in April at a price of just 15/2. It would be a historic win that put him among the most elite company in golf.
Indeed, should Mcllroy finish the week at Augusta National as the winner, then he would have completed the career grand slam. Tellingly, only five other golfers in the history of the game have been able to achieve this feat.
The wider point here is that Mcllroy is one of the most influential golfers of the 21st century and owing to his ability to dictate the narrative around professional golf, the PGA Tour has, for all intents and purposes, stayed in business.Tweet
This is ultimately why a grateful PGA Tour is now taking its lead from Mcllroy and those who resisted the millions that LIV Golf offered them to become members. In particular, Tiger Woods is also one of the key figures who swerved LIV’s advances which is why the PGA Tour has, in effect, made these players the organisation's new think tank.
Specifically, over the last 12 months, PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan has held numerous emergency meetings with Mcllroy and Woods in an attempt to find a way to keep the tour relevant.
If it looks like LIV and sounds like LIV, then it probably is…
The results and brainstorming of these meetings were finally revealed in March 2023 when the PGA Tour announced radical changes to the present schedule. The most significant alteration to the current setup is smaller fields and no cuts which is a familiar format to the newly-launched LIV Golf.
Essentially, the PGA Tour is trying to mirror its new adversary's way of operating after being recommended to do so by the likes of Mcllroy and Woods.Tweet
It is an astonishing turn of events and for the most part, obliterates the argument that Mcllroy made so passionately back in 2022 when he cited that the lack of genuine competition in LIV Golf would be its eventual downfall.
Yet here we are, not even a year later with the same chief critics ready to commit their futures to the PGA Tour so long as the organisation offers the same guarantees as LIV Golf when it comes to earning power and no cuts after 36 holes.
It is such a dramatic turnaround in position that you can’t help but feel entirely disillusioned over whether any player in the world of professional golf still has the hunger to compete in a field where only playing better than your fellow competitors will earn rewards.
Instead of promoting the values that make up the integrity of authentic competition, the world’s best players have seemingly looked after their own interests. All of a sudden, it now seems like handing absolute power over to them wasn't the wise decision everyone initially thought it was.