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    LIV golfers at BMW PGA, Tour’s new season, Presidents Cup

    Patrick Reed, left, and Lee Westwood on Sunday throughout the last spherical of the BMW PGA Championship.

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    Verify in each week for the unfiltered opinions of our writers and editors as they break down the most popular matters within the sport, and be a part of the dialog by tweeting us @golf_com. This week, we talk about LIV Golf gamers on the BMW PGA Championship, the PGA Tour’s new season, the Presidents Cup and extra.  

    1. Within the newest chapter of LIV Golf vs. PGA Tour drama, Jon Rahm, Billy Horschel and Rory McIlroy had been among the many PGA Tour gamers who spoke out about LIV gamers competing within the BMW PGA Championship, which knocked some DP World Tour gamers out of the sector and helped LIV gamers obtain beneficial World Rating factors. Do Horschel and Co. have the appropriate to be offended with these LIV gamers?

    billy horschel speaks to media

    ‘Why are you right here?’: Billy Horschel rips LIV gamers in BMW PGA area

    Zephyr Melton

    Josh Sens, senior author (@joshsens): I perceive why Horschel and Co. could be irked. These are heated instances. LIV guys had been technically inside their rights to play. Have been they honoring the sport within the purest style? Hardly. But in addition exhausting to vilify them with out operating into some mental contradictions. On the emotional entrance, I’d in all probability save the anger for what Sergio Garcia did, taking somebody’s spot, taking pictures a foul first-round rating after which withdrawing with no fast rationalization. Lame. 

    Jack Hirsh, assistant editor (@JR_HIRSHey): I perceive Horschel spoke to a number of common DP World Tour members earlier than making his feedback throughout the week. He undoubtedly has a degree and is certified to speak about that because the occasion’s defending champion. Nevertheless, I’d have liked to see extra of the common DP World Tour execs, i.e., the blokes who aren’t additionally repeatedly taking part in on the PGA Tour, converse up. I additionally suppose the larger subject is how the suspensions of LIV execs on the Euro Tour isn’t resolved but. It’s exhausting to fault the LIV guys for benefiting from that scenario because it was nonetheless accessible to them. Then once more, like Bubba stated final week about Augusta, why would they need to play in an occasion the place they had been clearly undesirable?

    Josh Berhow, managing editor (@Josh_Berhow): Completely, however on the similar time, in case you are one among these LIV gamers and earned a spot within the area, it’s your proper to be there. The LIV guys know they want World Rating factors so it is smart to be there and so they earned a spot. However you may as well be Jon Rahm and Billy Horschel and be irritated at them. Each issues might be true. As for Sergio, what a foul WD (even displaying up at a university soccer sport on Saturday), however I’m certain he’s not dropping sleep over it.

    Sean Zak, senior editor (@sean_zak): I’m undecided Billy Horschel will get to be the bulk chief, however his opinion is shared by quite a few others. I’m most occupied with what G-Mac stated throughout the week: that there needs to be a membership vote on if LIV gamers needs to be allowed to compete. Whereas probably not sensible, it could certain be fascinating to see the outcomes. 

    2. As a result of ongoing riff, the state of golf has made main headlines over the previous yr, however ought to the game be frightened that the fixed bickering and jabs may harm the sport and switch off fed up and uninterested viewers?

    Ian Poulter, Billy Horschel

    Ian Poulter, Billy Horschel confronted one another. Poulter shares his aspect.

    Nick Piastowski

    Sens: I feel it cuts each methods. Within the ‘any publicity is nice publicity’ sense, this has drawn a ton of latest eyeballs, greater than any non-Tiger-related story in reminiscence. However there’s little doubt it has additionally turned off plenty of longtime golf followers. Too unhealthy professional golf is such an essential financial engine for golf. As a result of it’s undoubtedly not the very best or most fascinating a part of the sport. The most effective elements of the sport are the locations it takes you and the individuals you meet. This previous yr has underscored that for me and plenty of golfers I do know.

    Hirsh: Completely not. Viewers love rivalry and controversy. Take into consideration the rankings a few of these Warmth-Pacers video games obtained within the early 2010s as a result of LeBron and Lance Stephenson had such an intense rivalry. Now this isn’t the fabricated Brooks-Bryson rivalry. That is precise controversy, which it appears followers can’t get sufficient of. We didn’t get it this week, however it’s going to little doubt occur quickly sufficient the place we see a LIV participant in rivalry for a serious, or probably with a major lead. Scores shall be by the roof.

    Berhow: It may well work each methods. I do know individuals who hated watching golf 4-5 years in the past when Tiger was struggling as a result of the telecasts would present all of his photographs it doesn’t matter what, even when he was certain for a missed lower. That turned them off. Nevertheless it additionally generated rankings as a result of, properly, it was Tiger. For each fan who’s irritated at golf’s fixed bickering — and there are numerous — there are extra who’re intrigued by the fixed consternation of the present state of the sport. A part of me thinks majors, if LIV guys are nonetheless allowed to play (I feel they are going to be), shall be much more entertaining now because the two leagues will be a part of collectively these weeks for some fascinating sub-plots.

    Zak: There received’t be sufficient bickering to make this a difficulty. As a result of there received’t be sufficient alternatives to bicker. This was an enormous deal this week, however I don’t anticipate on-site event interviews to be as very important as they had been this week. Gamers are about to settle in for the foolish season. 

    3. The 2022-23 PGA Tour season begins on Thursday with the Fortinet Championship in Napa, Calif. As we flip the web page to the subsequent season, look into your crystal ball and predict the way you see the LIV vs. PGA Tour battle taking part in out within the subsequent yr?

    Lee Westwood

    Lee Westwood talks fan reception, LIV participant court docket case — and ‘fantasy world’

    Nick Piastowski

    Sens: Not as a lot of a tug-of-war over expertise. Looks like that battle has settled down, not less than for the most important names. I anticipate a smaller, underground skirmish over the novice pipeline. However crucial battle (on condition that the antitrust stuff received’t possible be settled subsequent yr) shall be over OWGR and entry to the majors. If I had Fred Ridley on velocity dial, I’d be prepared to foretell extra.

    Hirsh: Josh is true, it’s unlikely we see many extra established execs not named Mito make the bounce earlier than the start of the subsequent LIV season. I don’t see a lot altering from the tip of this season till the court docket case lastly will get settled. We’re going to proceed seeing pettiness from each side, particularly on the majors, which I feel it’s unlikely we see LIV gamers barred from. The principle distinction (and we’ll get a style of it this weekend) shall be seeing extra PGA Tour and LIV going face to face in the identical weekend. However even that received’t make that large of waves, until LIV secures a TV deal.

    Berhow: Just a few extra gamers will bounce — I feel the final batch has form of solidified groups for a bit — however I see LIV gamers being allowed in majors and World Rating factors granted for the brand new league. It even may all begin to appear extra … regular?

    Zak: LIV gamers who’re already certified for majors won’t be banned. Nevertheless, the USGA AND R&A will alter their qualification guidelines for the subsequent yr of championships in slight methods to make the OWGR much less crucial, making the LIV battle for OWGR factors much less crucial as properly. 

    4. The Presidents Cup rosters are set, as each groups made their captain’s picks final week. Whereas each squads misplaced gamers to LIV Golf, the U.S. roster, on paper, nonetheless seems to have a serious benefit over the Internationals. A lot has been talked about how the brand new state of golf may harm the Ryder Cup, however might it trigger much more harm to the Presidents Cup, which has been much more lopsided and has a lot much less historical past than the Ryder Cup?

    Jordan Spieth watches a tee shot.

    Davis Love III finalizes loaded U.S. Presidents Cup roster with six captain’s picks

    Josh Berhow

    Sens: It’s an even bigger menace to the Ryder Cup as a result of the Ryder Cup has extra to lose. Perhaps a bunch of latest names is precisely what the Internationals want? I’m reaching right here, however underdogs make higher tales.

    Hirsh: The Presidents Cup was simply beginning to get aggressive and the Internationals had plenty of stars earlier than LIV took away a bunch of them. I feel this units again the Worldwide workforce a number of years, and thus the legitimacy of the Presidents Cup with it.

    Berhow: I feel the Presidents Cup takes an even bigger hit, particularly because it was in want of rising and gaining recognition and as a substitute goes from a U.S. workforce that was captained by Tiger Woods to 2 groups that each misplaced some firepower. You possibly can additionally argue it hurts the Ryder Cup extra, since some golf followers won’t have been within the lopsided Presidents Cup to start with. To ramble much more: The European Ryder Cup workforce wanted new blood anyway, and whereas a few of these veterans had been prone to lastly miss out on that workforce subsequent yr regardless, this may simply expedite the entire course of. The Ryder Cup shall be simply nice.

    Zak: In two weeks, we’ll have our reply. We additionally may need the form of end result that reminds us that Prime 100 golfers are all able to successful matches stuffed with theoretical randomness. What I’m saying is the Individuals aren’t simply assured to beat two prime 100 gamers simply because they’re OFTEN higher throughout stroke play occasions. I’m anticipating it to be nearer than everybody thinks. 

    5. Rickie Fowler lately modified his caddie and now his coach, as he cut up with John Tillery, whom he spent greater than three years with, and can as a substitute work extra with former coach Butch Harmon. Fowler’s completed 133rd and 134th within the FedEx Cup standings the previous two years. With these two latest adjustments, does Fowler end higher or worse within the standings subsequent season?

    Sens: Higher. Butch Harmon has that impact on just about everybody.

    Hirsh: Higher. He was among the best gamers on this planet for the higher a part of the previous decade with Harmon in his nook. To look at the swing adjustments they created from his amatuer days to when he completed top-5 in all of the 2014 majors was fairly outstanding. No purpose to consider he can’t regain a few of that kind.

    Berhow: Purchase! He nonetheless desires it. Like to see it. I like him having his finest season in a number of years.

    Zak: Positive, rely me in. It’s not a excessive bar to clear. 

    Patrick Reed

    ‘The media have painted me as this black hat’: Patrick Reed opens up on lawsuit, LIV

    Nick Piastowski

    6. Talking of the brand new PGA Tour season about to begin, give us one daring prediction for the upcoming 2022-23 marketing campaign.

    Sens: Cameron Smith not solely performs within the Masters — he wins.

    Hirsh: Tiger Woods performs in a non-major.

    Berhow: Some LIV gamers endure from purchaser’s regret come 2023 Ryder Cup week.

    Zak: I feel feeling purchaser’s regret is in opposition to the foundations for LIV gamers, and written into their contracts. My prediction is that the PIP turns into sponsored. 

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