Professional golf is currently in the midst of a major overhaul.
Not only have LIV Golf upset the established order at the top of the sport, but the PGA Tour itself is now set undergo some fairly radical changes.
The top 60 players will now feature in 20 events every season, with changes to purses meaning that even those who miss the cut will not go home empty-handed. As well as this, Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy are set to form a new indoor golf league that will see 14 virtual team play events take place each season.
It is a fairly drastic switch in direction from an organisation that has traditionally been hesitant to change the structures within the sport. Of course, many feel this is a clear reaction to the threat posed by their Saudi-backed competitor.
Lee Westwood accuses PGA Tour of copying LIV Golf
Lee Westwood has been one of the more vocal players since making the switch to LIV Golf, even if he has been rather hesitant to comment on the sportswashing element that is involved.
He has gone on the attack once again in recent days, tearing into the established order. Speaking to Golf Digest, he said it was clear that these latest changes in the PGA Tour were copied from LIV Golf.
I laugh at what the PGA Tour players have come up with. It’s just a copy of what LIV is doing. There are a lot of hypocrites out there. They all say LIV is ‘not competitive.’ They all point at the no-cut aspect of LIV and the short fields.
Now, funnily enough, they are proposing 20 events that look a lot like LIV. Hopefully, at some point they will all choke on their words. And hopefully, they will be held to account as we were in the early days.
Westwood has always been hesitant to associate himself with the PGA Tour. Even at the height of his career, he always seemed more comfortable aligning his name with the European Tour.
His dislike of the American organisation seems only to have grown since he had to give up his membership.
The Englishman would label the PGA Tour as 'bullies', believing they had purposely diminished the value of the European Tour and have used some underhanded tactics in order to establish themselves as the top dogs in the sport.
They have always been bullies and now they are getting their comeuppance. All the PGA Tour has done since Tiger came on tour is up the prize purses.
In turn, that has taken all the best players from Europe away from the European Tour. They’ve had to play in the States, taking all their world ranking points with them. That was their strategy: ‘Put up the money. Get all the players. Hog all the world ranking points.’ Which becomes self-perpetuating.
What we have seen over the last few months is just LIV doing what the PGA Tour has done for the last 25 years...
Back in 2000 it was mooted that there should be more WGC events around the world. So what did they do with the World Match Play? They stuck it early in the new year in Australia.
Who was going to go then? Not many Americans. So then they turned around and said they just couldn’t get a field. But that was by design. If you hold an event in Australia at that time of year you are never going to get much of a field.
They have used tactics like that all along. Some may say I am cynical, but all I am doing is seeing through all the bullshit.
It's fair to say that there is no love lost between Lee Westwood and the PGA Tour.
It will be interesting to see if their latest changes can stave off the looming threat posed by LIV Golf.