March 16, 2024

Jack Nicklaus feelings on PGA Tour crystal clear amid LIV Golf merger | Golf | Sport

Golf legend Jack Nicklaus shared his thoughts on the current split in men’s pro golf and talked about whether stars from LIV Golf should be allowed back on the PGA Tour. Nicklaus was at The Players Championship on Thursday, having a laugh with Justin Thomas and Scottie Scheffler before they started playing. He won the event 50 years ago at Atlanta Country Club in 1974.

Nicklaus, along with Arnold Palmer, helped start the PGA Tour in 1968 by leaving the PGA of America. But now, at 84 years old and with 73 Tour wins under his belt, he sees a big difference between his move and what’s happening with LIV Golf players leaving the PGA Tour.

“We tried to do it in the best interests of the game,” Nicklaus explained about the split in 1968. “The PGA of America is who we separated from, but when we formed the Policy Board we had three PGA of America executives on the board so they had a big say in things. We didn’t want to break away from them as the game, we just felt that players should control their own destiny, and they have been now for the last 56 years.”

PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan announced on Tuesday that talks about the “framework agreement” between the Tour and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund – the backers of LIV Golf – are speeding up. However, the heated disagreements between players on different sides don’t seem to be calming down.

Despite this, Nicklaus praised the PGA Tour amidst ongoing pressure from LIV Golf. “I think the PGA Tour’s schedule is fantastic,” he said. “Now being able to play the signature tournaments but also the tournament they’re building in between, they’re building new stars, giving new people the opportunity to move up in the rankings. I think the PGA structure is pretty darn good right now.

“We’ve got a few issues we’ve got to clean up right now… But I would always like to see the best players in the world play together. They do at the Major championships right now to a certain degree, a few of the LIV players go there but not very many as only the ones who’ve qualified for them get in.”

Nicklaus is one of the few golf stars praising the Tour as talks with the Saudi-backed league continue. With little-to-no updates and no end in sight, players are becoming impatient. Golf star Rory McIlroy expressed his eagerness to move forward, stating on Wednesday: “I want the train to speed up so we can get this thing over and done with. We all need to sort of move forward and try to bring the game back together.”


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