Curtis Strange was talking about the PGA Tour and LIV Golf and LIV Golf lawsuit against the PGA Tour when Tiger Woods came along. An idea of the main hero 15 times summed up most of Strange’s ideas on the subject du jour effectively.
Strange, who himself was a two-time major winner and is now an analyst, watched Woods earlier this year at the Masters. I have also listened. Strange said he heard Woods talk about his legacy. He said he heard Woods say he was grateful to be able to play in his first event since his car accident.
And Lev players?
String said Friday in an interview about Starting with Taylor Starling Shown on SiriusXM Radio.
“It’s just annoying that a game that I don’t respect and love so much, are the players who came before me who paved the way. I just think we owe them more than this.”
Strange’s comments come days after 11 LIV golfers filed an antitrust lawsuit this week against the Tour, alleging it was acting illegally in its suspensions against its members who quit playing in the emerging league. The group of 11 players is seeking to have their suspension revoked and their playing privileges reinstated, while a smaller group of three players — Taylor Gooch, Hudson Swafford and Matt Jones — have petitioned the court for a temporary restraining order allowing their participation in the FedEx Cup. Qualifiers start next week.
The reaction to the moves from those who have played or continued to play in the round has been disappointing, unsurprisingly. 1 day ago on Starting with Taylor Starling Show, longtime professional Rocco Mediate thought he was good with players leaving for LIV, but not with the idea of them coming back, an idea he shares Joel Dahmin, Kevin Kesner, Davis Love III et al. Strange said the same in the show.
But also worth noting—and thanks to starling for asking it (and you can listen to the entire show here with a subscription)—were Strange’s thoughts on what the “ultimate game” for LIV and its CEO, Greg Norman, might be, and whether the competing tours could Increase the game. Both answers relate to his comment on Woods, who, according to Norman, turned down $700 million to $800 million to join LIV.
On the endgame question, Strange said he doesn’t know for sure what it could look like, which is actually saying a lot.
“I think the end game is going to be creating an atmosphere that makes them good people,” Strange said on the show. Let’s not forget the bottom line about who the Saudis really are, what they do, and how they run their country. But be that as it may, Norman comes from a vengeful emotional attitude and history with the Tour. We know that. That’s all I really want to say about it.
“The end game, when you don’t need a return on your investment, which will be close to a billion dollars this year in the Saudi Tour – when there’s no return on your investment, there’s just some big circus, eight or 10 times this year – I don’t know how many tournaments they have Really – let me say this: If they had such a great product and a tour, without paying the attendance fee, would those guys go? No, because they don’t have the product. Fifty-four holes, starting the gun, three days, come on, give me a break. I want to play Same games as Hogan, Snead, Nicholas and Palmer. I want to play the same tournaments. I want to play the same way. I want to play in the same tournaments to compare myself at the end of the day.
“So it’s all about the money and we know that and that’s fair enough. But the end game for me is to be able to compare my game at the end of my life knowing full well that I did my best. I can’t answer your question. I can’t answer for Your question. But I know the final match of the PGA Tour is.”
But can that continue with rounds splitting the world’s best players? Starlings asked this question: “You have some of the best players playing in one league, and some of the best players playing in the LIV Golf Series. Are you concerned about the evolution of the game as all of this goes on?”
It was strange. In the near future, the hearing for the temporary restraining order will be next Tuesday, the playoffs for the round will begin next Thursday, while LIV won’t play again until Labor Day weekend. But then it is largely unknown.
“I worry about all of that, Taylor,” he said on the show. “If it becomes the Wild West, if it goes to court, and they win, there will be no rules and regulations about where and when to play. And then the tour will become the Wild West. Everything will be run with money, all appearance fees, and you know who suffers – the fans. The fans will suffer. And charities will suffer. And if that is what Greg Norman’s companions want, I hope they are happy. I can’t imagine what will happen next. …
“And I only hate in my wildest dreams to imagine what could happen here in the next year or so. I just can’t imagine. But anyway, the Tour might have to make some changes. We’ve already made changes to the portfolios and some tournaments. Notable for the big players. It also pisses me off because we’re growing and we keep growing and we keep growing into smaller neighborhoods and more access to kids to play the game and we have the youngest heroes ever, great kids and there’s a lot of good things in the game. And we’ve just come out of covid. And now we have to face this.”
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