LIV Golfers are Missing the Most Important Golf Tournaments for What?

Missing the 2024 Genesis Invitational at the Riviera Country Club when Tiger Woods is playing in the field has to be gut-wrenching for the LIV Golf players, especially, last year’s winner Jon Rahm, the winner two years ago Joaquin Niemann, and other former winners now playing at LIV Golf:

  • Phil Mickelson won in 2008 and 2009
  • Dustin Johnson won in 2017
  • Charles Howell III won in 2007
  • Bubba Watson won in 2014, 2016, and 2018

This is one of the three player-hosted Signature Events the PGA Tour is holding this year. The other two are the Memorial with Jack Nicklaus and The Arnold Palmer Invitational.

The Genesis Invitational has a history going back to 1926 and has a list of Champions that resembles a Major; Hogan, Palmer, Snead, Nelson, Miller, Watson, Venturi, Casper, Faldo, Scott, and Irwin, to name a few. Two notable golfers not on the list are Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus — a tournament neither has won, yet Tiger still has a chance.

All three of these events and the Players Championship have to be hard for the LIV golfers to miss. The RBC Heritage is one of my favorite events and it is now a Signature Event as well, so include that one too.

While I respect the LIV Golf League and the players that went over, I would never jeopardize playing in these PGA Tour events. If I had enough money to live comfortably (doesn’t take much), then my priority would be to play in the events I felt were special and meaningful to the history of golf.

Say, I’m on the PGA Tour and never win a Major, yet I win the Genesis or Memorial (like Howell III), then I have done something significant that will go down in golfing history. If I won a LIV golf event with rave music playing in the background while only playing a measly 54 holes, it wouldn’t mean much in comparison.

I realize the competition is just as good on LIV as the PGA, yet the courses, the events, and the history aren’t there. The prestige and other intangibles aren’t there and maybe never will be. After 20 years or so, LIV Golf events may have some history and prestige, yet nothing close to Rivera Country Club, the Memorial, the Players Championship, etc.

Hopefully, the LIV golfers can come back and play on the PGA Tour again, so they can play in these special events that mean so much to golf and its history. It would be much more exciting if they were playing this week in the same field as Tiger Woods.

LIV golfers have essentially forfeited their chance to compete against one of the best golfers of all time in the few remaining competitive years he has left on the PGA Tour. That has to hurt considering how much Tiger Woods means to the game.

Yes, some of them can play against Tiger in the Majors, yet what about the rookies and young journeymen who have given up this opportunity? Puig, Ortiz, Lee, Gooch, and others whose names are harder to spell. Doesn’t Garcia miss playing against Tiger?

The opportunity to play against Mickelson is also a great honor, yet they are playing at courses and events without historical meaning with only 54 holes of competition.

I’ve been a defender of LIV Golf because I didn’t like the pompous way the PGA Tour dealt with the golfers leaving. They should be able to play and try to make the requirements like every other pro golfer.

On the other hand, the PGA Tour has all of the valuable cards because they have the meaning and history of professional golf. LIV Golf looks like an expensive sideshow with loud annoying music compared to the PGA Tour.

You can’t buy history and meaning. The intangibles that fans and golf lovers appreciate are with the PGA Tour and always will be. They should rest confident with this and allow the LIV golfers to play on the PGA Tour under the same requirements as everyone else.

As for the LIV Golfers taking the week off during the Genesis Invitational, I bet they wish they could play against the great Tiger Woods at such a special event. They surely are missing out on many of the most important golf tournaments in the world, and any victories on LIV will simply pale in comparison.

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