LARGO, Fla. (WFLA) — Golf lovers around the world, and locally, are reacting to news that two bitter rivals – the PGA Tour and LIV Golf – are merging into a single company.
It has left everyone with a lot of questions, wondering what it means for the future of the game.
“I was very surprised,” said Largo golfer Ian Piersall. “I think the PGA is going to have a lot of questions to answer.”
At the Largo Golf Course, local players reacted to the news that sent shockwaves throughout the golf world.
“It’s very surprising after about only a year of LIV being around. I didn’t think they would do something like that so soon,” said golfer River Wells.
After a year filled with drama – from the players, to the pay, end even litigation – local golf enthusiasts wonder what the future looks like.
“A lot of controversy for sure, a lot of words exchanged on both sides, because a lot of people thought about the morality of Saudi money and some of them thought about staying with the PGA Tour, so definitely a lot of stuff going on on both sides,” said Wells.
“You’re going to see a lot of tension on the golf course now, obviously, because there’s people who don’t like each other now because of this. I don’t see how it’s going to work,” said golfer Jeff Jezirski.
Fans hope the two leagues can mend their relationship and focus on the future of the game.
“In the short term it’s going to be a mess. In the long term, maybe people will forget about it. Let’s hope so,” said Jezirski.
Organizers of the Valspar Championship, held each spring at Innisbrook in Palm Harbor, said they are still working out the details for the upcoming tournament.
Tournament Director Tracy West wrote the following in a statement to WFLA:
“While there are many details to work out in the coming months based upon the recent news from the PGA TOUR, LIV Golf and the DP World Tour, we are confident that the Valspar Championship, as part of the PGA TOUR, will continue to conduct a professional golf tournament that enhances the fabric of our community. We are full speed ahead with planning our 2024 tournament, March 18-24. Nothing has changed on that front – we are focused on providing a premium fan experience and making a positive economic and charitable impact in our community like we do every year.”
Tracy West, Valspar Championship Tournament Director