March 12, 2024

LIV Golf stars ‘want to return to PGA Tour’ as ex-US Ryder Cup skipper makes big claim | Golf | Sport

Some LIV Golf players are reportedly keen to return to the PGA Tour, according to Steve Stricker. The golfing world has been divided since the creation of LIV in June 2022, with the PGA Tour banning any player who moves to the Saudi-backed league.

There were hopes for an end to the feud last summer when the Tour announced plans to work together with LIV backers, the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund (PIF). As part of a proposed deal between the two rivals, it is expected that LIV players will be offered a way back to the American-based circuit.

However, no deal has been finalised yet after their initial deadline of December 31 was missed at the end of 2023. Despite the uncertainty, former Ryder Cup captain Stricker believes those playing on the LIV circuit want to return to the PGA Tour.

“I know the guys, some of them on the LIV tour want to come back and play out on the regular Tour,” the former US Ryder Cup skipper said at last week’s Cologuard Classic. After a successful career on the PGA Tour, 57-year-old Stricker is now playing on the Champions Tour, but remains interested in the proposed deal with the Saudi-backed setup.

“It doesn’t impact us very much, but I’m still interested in the happenings and what’s going to happen and what’s going to come for us.”

Many of the PGA Tour’s top players chose to join the new league, including several members of Stricker’s victorious 2021 Ryder Cup team. A trio of his star players in Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau, are part of the LIV setup. Phil Mickelson, a former teammate and vice-captain, was one of the first to move to the Saudi-backed league nearly two years ago.

Following the initial agreement in June 2023, Mickelson disagreed with Stricker’s recent comments. He claimed that none of the LIV members wanted to return to their old Tour.

“Not a single player on LIV wants to play PGA Tour,” he tweeted last July. “It would require a public apology and restitution to LIV players for paying millions to clout media to disparage all of us. A better topic is future sanctions for the many players who now come to LIV.”

Johnson also supported Mickelson’s claims, saying he had no plans to play any extra golf after last year’s surprising announcement.

“I think with this agreement, the only thing that’s going to happen is LIV is going to get even better than what it is now, which it’s already great,” he said in June. “I’m happy exactly where I am, and I’m definitely not looking to play more golf than I’m playing now, that’s for sure.”


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