Under pressure from LIV Golf, the PGA Tour defends its perch.

CROMWELL, Conn. – Over the past month, as initially, the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Circuit has captured some of the most popular players on the established PGA Tour, leading to speculation that rival organizations may eventually You have to learn to live together. .

But an enthusiastic J. Mohan, commissioner of the PGA Tour, was not a mediator on Wednesday. Using strong language in his first news conference since mid-March, Monahan continued to emphasize the importance of the PGA Tour, announcing a significant increase in the prize money for future tours and “buying the game” on LIV Golf. Accused of trying

“If it’s an arms race, and if there’s only weapons here, the PGA Tour can’t compete,” Monahan told reporters at the Travelers’ Championships in Central Connecticut. “The PGA Tour, an American company, cannot compete with a foreign kingdom that is spending billions of dollars trying to buy the game of golf.

“We welcome good, healthy competition. The LIV Saudi Golf League is not like that. It is an unreasonable risk, not related to return on investment or real development of the game.

Monahan, who met with about 100 PGA Tour players on Tuesday, said he told the group that the tour “will ultimately be stronger than the current challenge because of our loyalty and the support of our players and fans.” “

However, the LIV Golf Series did not allow Monahan to visit on Wednesday. About two minutes after the Monahan news conference, LIV Golf announced that four-time major champion Brooks Kopka has officially left the PGA Tour to join the alternate tour. LIV Golf also announced the majority of the field for its first tournament in the United States, starting June 30 at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club in Portland, and outside.

There was other news in the game. As expected, next month’s British Open officials said they would not bar players associated with LIV golf from major tournaments. Many of these golfers, such as Kopka, have already qualified for the British Open because of their current world rankings or past major titles. That may change in the future, but as was the case with last week’s US Open outside of Boston, British Open officials were unwilling to exclude players who had already announced their eligibility for this year’s event. The standards were met.

And on the player front, several PGA Tour players at the Travelers Championships privately murmured about how just a week ago Copaca was openly supporting the expression of solidarity by a majority of top golfers. Who have been loyal to this tour. When asked about Kopka’s defection on Wednesday, Rory McElroy, who is ranked second in the men’s world golf rankings, said: And then they do something else. “

He added: “But this is a double standard on their part.”

Asked if he was talking about something Kopka said months ago or more recently, McLarey replied: “All the way, publicly and privately, all of this.”

In addition to announcing plans to increase payments to G 54 million in eight tour events of the PGA Tour next year, Monahan continued to pay tribute to the ethics of his tour as a qualification to compete with LIV Golf. Players are rewarded based on their performance. Series where several golfers have reportedly signed bail agreements worth hundreds of millions of dollars. LIV golf competitions also have no deductions, meaning each player is guaranteed a minimum salary of six.

“If you go back to the elements, the basis of this tour, the ability to play on the PGA Tour, how difficult it is to get out of here, how difficult it is to get to the top of the game,” said Monhan. . “Ultimately, this is going to be the factor that will make this tour the biggest in the world,” he added.

A memo for Tour players released on Wednesday outlined a significant increase in wallets in eight non-major tournaments, with players paying around ً 20 million per event. The current average prize money in the PGA Tour event is approximately .5 8.5 million.

Monahan said the players’ growing income would be funded by increased sponsor support and would be complemented by the tour’s operating reserves. The tour is also taking steps to reward top players with more opportunities to compete in the best-paying competitions, which seems to be a direct link to the LIV golf model that has a smaller field of the tournament. The answer is yes. The memo also details a new, three-event international series for top players with big wallets and events in Europe, Asia and the Middle East next fall.

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