Professional golf seems to be at a crossroads. With the money on offer on the LIV Golf tour, many players are having to weigh the balance of money versus prestige at the moment.
Players can earn an incredible amount of cash on the new Saudi backed venture, with some big names being handed signing on bonuses that eclipse their entire earnings during their careers in the PGA Tour. There are plenty of moral issue to battle with in their decision to take that pay day, but an increasing number of golfers seem happy to make that trade off.
In saying that, the majority of the world's top players have resisted the advances of LIV Golf thus far. In fact, many have been outspoken on the ill effects that it is having on the sport.
Rory McIlroy has been chief amongst them. The Irishman has been one of the most vocal critics of the new tour, saying that the money on offer does not make up for the opportunity to win the biggest prizes in the sport on the PGA Tour.
Rory Mcilroy calls on golfers to earn their money
Having carded an -8 round to lead the Travellers Championship yesterday, he once again addressed the LIV Golf shaped elephant in the room. McIlroy admitted that his current run of form has given him more confidence to speak up on the matter, saying that his fellow pros had plenty of opportunity to earn cast sums of money in the traditional tours if they performed well.
I just think it so happens that the most protective of the PGA Tour are the best players in the world right now.
I’m not going out to try to prove anything to anyone. I’m in a good run of form. I’m playing well.
Whether that gives me a little more confidence to speak up on certain issues, maybe, but I’m just going out there trying to play my game and trying to win some more tournaments...
As he [Monahan] said, there's only one reason that the guys are going to the other side, and it’s because they have an opportunity to make more money.
Even though [world No 1 and Masters champion] Scottie Scheffler has made $13m this season and it’s only June.
There’s opportunities to make a lot of money out here but like everything always has been in golf, it has to be earned.
Some of these changes to the schedule and some of these increases in prize funds I’m sure [will cause] some guys that were thinking about it to think twice and maybe reconsider their decision.
Dustin Johnson was handed a $150million signing on bonus to play in LIV Golf, roughly twice the amount that he had earned during his entire PGA Tour career.
However, it seems the money is not the driving factor for many of the top players in the game at the moment. That will give the PGA Tour hope that they can see off this current threat and continue to thrive.