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In lieu of the showstopping news drop that blindsided pro golf, its players and its fans, it’s only natural to be left with a lot of emotions.
The merger that NO ONE saw coming is professional golf’s new reality, and the news dropped in the heat of major championship season. Just as we concluded the major championship that truly is ‘Open’ and belongs to everyone, I got the inside scoop from a player that qualified for LACC and played the weekend, finishing T-32.
PGA Tour pro Dylan Wu is into the depths of his second season on the PGA Tour, but as he searches for his first win on Tour not everything is given to him.
Without a proper exemption status, he found himself in the U.S. Open sectional qualifying and managed to get through the 36 hole grind just to reserve his place in the field.
“I had been through a lot on that (36 hole) day, and just let out more emotion than normal cause I had been playing well and knew what the opportunity meant”.
The next morning, the news came down of the PGA Tour + PIF merger that rocked the game. Let’s walk through the range of emotions from a tour pro that was in the players only meeting at the Canadian Open:
If there was a word to describe the tenor of the infamous players only meeting hours after the news broke, it’s undoubtedly anger.
“It was the biggest player meeting I’ve ever been to…over 120 players and a lot of very very angry players, I don’t think anybody was happy in the room.”
As it’s been hinted at in recent weeks, the players on the PGA Tour that stayed loyal feel like they just got played. Lack of faith in their leader seemed to resonate with Wu as he left the meeting.
“Players have lost a lot of trust not only in Jay (Monahan) but the higher ups of the PGA Tour. They say we’re a player-run organization but it doesn’t feel like the players have a say at all…They say ‘we give players a say’ and that they have a player advisory council…that’s the biggest crap ever.”
After the initial onslaught of anger subsided, confusion set in as the merger went directly against everything the PGA Tour said and did in the face of LIV Golf and its higher ups.
As for Wu’s first thought on the reversal, “Surprising is an understatement…mainly because the Tour has had such a strong stance against LIV the past two years, and both tours seemed to be co-existing as best as they could recently.”
Now, players are left with more questions than ever, most of which cannot be answered by any member of the merger deal.
“There’s lots of questions not answered…(like) how much is the Public Investment Fund going to invest in PGA Tour?”
Wu also spun a famous line from Jay Monahan the other way now that the Tour was accepting the Saudi money they denied taking so vehemently.
“Should we now be apologizing for playing on the PGA Tour?”
Indeed, life and the PGA Tour schedule does go on despite the shock of the news.
Wu reiterated that the current framework of the partnership is very basic and up for interpretation. From here, tour players are simply left to speculate and accept the new reality in the game.
Wu’s honest opinion on why we are where we are now, “Some of the litigation might not have been going the way the PGA Tour wanted, it was going to be dragged out for a long time and cost them a lot of money.”
He does end by tipping his cap to a controversial figure in all of this mess, Phil Mickelson.
“Phil (Mickelson) may not have said things in the right manner but everything he said was right…without the threat of LIV the PGA Tour probably never would have changed. The tour was very comfortable having hundreds of millions in reserves just sitting there instead of growing the purses and the viewership of the game.”
My full conversation with Dylan Wu can be found here.
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