The Saudis Are Buying The PGA, An American Icon, Cheap!

By Donald A. Collins | 20 July 2023
Church and State

(Credit: YouTube / screengrab)

Is Big Golf Money Destroying Its Legitimacy?

Multiple tours are fine and the new locations provide golf new exposure and new participants as fans or players.

Great? Well not if my venerable beloved sport is controlled by Saudi dark money!

July 17th Sports section in the Washington Post lists 102 FEDEX CUP LEADERS. The last golfer on the list is Christian Bezuidenhout who so far this year has won $1,526,000! Then there are many those golfers who benefited from the expanded PGA purses as this list reveals.

Good for Christian, a name most golf fans never heard of.

But don’t tell me and local golf fans across the world the PGA couldn’t get along without Saudi money as proposed in the dark of night deal fashioned without PGA players’ consent!

In his excellent July 17th column Washington Post’s Barry Svrluga writes “PGA commissioner, Jay Monahan sidestepped his players. Good luck winning them back.”

You can read his scathing denouement here.

He also wrote another piece on 7/18 about Rory McIlroy, the top choice to win in this week’s British Open, being played after a long interval at the striking beautiful seaside Royal Liverpool Golf Club. Sadly since it is one of the year’s four Majors its publicity is undercut by this ongoing international controversy.

McIlroy has been the most outspoken of the non-knuckling to LIV pros. This past week after winning the Scottish Open in his hometown of Berwick, he said, “If LIV Golf was the last place to play golf on Earth, I would retire,” McIlroy told reporters after Thursday’s first round in Scotland. “That’s how I feel about it.”

McIlroy and Tiger Woods and many other Major golf winners refused to take the big LIV money when offered. But to the disgust of many fans, other major winners such as Phil Mickelson, Brooks Koepka, and Bubba Watson did.

My son and I went to Augusta to watch the first Master’s Bubba won in 2012 and were his devout fans. This was his first of two Masters wins. He is worth $49 million, but our respect for him has grown terminal, as he has taken the devil take the hindmost view of the PGA’s unique status in world golf.

Sally Jenkins, the highly respected sports columnist, called it right when she first heard about this PGA/PIF/LIV deal with the Saudis as a sellout based on PGA greed.

Obviously, the Saudis are offering multiple billions to take over this major American cultural icon.

How much Saudi red soaked blood money did it take to lure the PGA into this unconscionable traitorship. Not that much.

What will it take to make the greedy PGA realize that it isn’t money that makes this game so endlessly endearing to people around the world.

Please don’t whine like some apologists for this deal have said that “after all we all use Saudi oil to run our cars”. This deal is not related to international commerce but to the honor of a trusted institution whose priceless reputation is being bought cheap.

As a golf fan myself for decades, when the big championships—the Masters, the US and British Opens and the PGA, I am an all-in viewer. And, even for the other lesser PGA events which also have big purses.

Turns out there are over 600 US billionaires, many of them avid golfers.

The instigator of the Saudis effort which founded the LIV golf tour was golfer Greg Norman, who is only worth $500 million.

He was the guy who enticed several big PGA stars and a number of lesser names to take LIV money. “Yes”, one of the lesser pros admitted, “it is all about the money”.

Those who didn’t sell out were shocked at those who did who now want back on the PGA tour as the new deal promises.

Those who didn’t go must feel disappointed or like suckers not to take the Devil’s money.

Next time you watch a major like the Masters, will an image of the Saudi prince who allegedly ordered the killing of that Washington Post reporter appear in its promotional material or videos either as a positive or negative comment?

It’s so stinky it makes one stream with pain at their greed. And don’t expect the Senators who interrogated two lesser PGA officials to fix this. It has to be the players who with their reputations on the line should make the defectors pay something for their infidelity to get back on.

To me golf provides a special joy. If greed wins this confrontation, golf will never be the same for me again!

Former US Navy officer, banker and venture capitalist, Donald A. Collins, a free lance writer living in Washington, DC, has spent over 50 years working for women’s reproductive health as a board member and/or officer of numerous family planning organizations including Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Guttmacher Institute, Family Health International and Ipas. Yale under graduate, NYU MBA. He is the author of “From the Dissident Left: A Collection of Essays 2004-2013”, “Trump Becoming Macbeth: Will our democracy survive?”, “We Humans Overwhelm Our Earth: 11 or 2 Billion by 2100?”, “What Can Be Done Now to Save Habitable Life on Planet Earth?”, “Vote”, “Can Homo Sapiens Survive?”, “Will Choice and Democracy Win?”, “Can Our U.S. Survive 8 Plus Billion of Us” and “Economic Growth: A Cancer on all Earthly Life”.

How Saudi Arabia bought into golf – BBC New

Why Saudi Arabia Is Spending Billions To Fund A Hostile Takeover Of Professional Golf

Senators grill PGA Tour officials over deal with Saudi-backed LIV Golf

Details of the PGA Tour, LIV Golf merger are ‘very murky,’ says Sally Jenkins

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