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The student news site of Pleasant Valley High School

Spartan Shield

The student news site of Pleasant Valley High School

Spartan Shield

Controversy arises as LIV swings into action

Pleasant+Valley+golf+head+coach+Mike+Nedelcoff+and+sophomore+Jack+Blackwell+talk+strategy+at+the+state+golf+meet.+Nedelcoff+believes+golfers+have+the+choice+to+switch+from+the+PGA+tour+to+LIV%2C+but+doing+so+comes+with+consequences.+
Matthew Murphy
Pleasant Valley golf head coach Mike Nedelcoff and sophomore Jack Blackwell talk strategy at the state golf meet. Nedelcoff believes golfers have the choice to switch from the PGA tour to LIV, but doing so comes with consequences.

Aren’t these golfers already rich enough? Is the PGA going to survive this new competition? These questions have emerged as a result of the PGA’s new competitor, LIV. 

In October of 2021, LIV golf was announced to the public, and Greg Norman, former PGA golfer, was named CEO. Backed by investments from the foreign nation of Saudi Arabia, LIV raises questions about the validity of the tour. 

LIV golf is backed by wealthy investors bringing in massive paychecks to its players. The 54 hole shotgun start style tournament was newly founded and has given the dominant tour, the PGA, real competition. 

Opinions on the matter seem to be strong for both fanbases. Many LIV supporters encourage the tour, as it is a completely different style of playing and has helped to grow the game of golf by appealing to a broader audience. At LIV events, music plays in the background, fans loudly express their support and golfers have a laid back attitude. 

LIV golfers have a much more casual attitude opposed to the PGA—and for good reason. LIV golfers receive a large sum of money regardless of how they perform at tournaments, and all they have to do is play.

Some golf fans do not share the same casual attitude towards the tour. Many of the people in disagreement of LIV prefer the PGA tour as the “Happy Gilmore” style of LIV tournaments contradicts the PGA.

Another factor that has caused pushback from LIV skeptics is the fact that the majority of the participants playing in the LIV tour are former PGA players. Those bothered by this would make the claim that they are selfish people, and are abandoning a tour that has done so much for them.

On the other hand, LIV supporters hold no resentment towards the golfers who have made the switch from tours. Many support the claim that with that much money being offered, it would be foolish not to accept the money and switch tours.

Phil Mickleson, 45 time PGA tour winner, made the switch to LIV on a contract reportedly worth $200 million. As one of the first players to make the switch, Mickleson received backlash from some and support from others. “Golf desperately needs change, and real change is always preceded by disruption,” Mickleson wrote in a tweet.

Junior John Docherty is a member of the PV boys varsity golf team and is in support of LIV golf. “I think LIV is going to help grow the game of golf overall,” Docherty said. He sees the chance to switch from tours as a no-brainer. “The opportunity would give me a lot of money and the tour is more chill,” Docherty explained.

In contrast, Tiger Woods, 82 time PGA tour winner, is a firm advocate for the PGA. After denying a potential $700 to $800 million deal to join LIV tour, he has warned current PGA players of the danger of the tour. “They have turned their back on what has allowed them to get to this position,” Woods stated in a post-round interview at The Open.

PV Golf Head Coach Mike Nedelcoff understands that change is bound to happen—but as expected, with a cost. “The players shouldn’t get both the cake and the ice cream,” Nedelcoff expressed, regarding players who made the switch. 

Some small PGA events tend to exclude some top players in order for them to focus on future tournaments with bigger payouts. With LIV, even fewer top players will be in smaller PGA events. Quad Cities’ locally hosted PGA tournament, The John Deere Classic, is an example of such an event.

While current PGA golfers have stayed loyal to the organization, former members see massive increases in their paychecks. 

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Oskar Barudin, News Editor
Oskar Barudin is a senior at Pleasant Valley High School and serves as the News Editor of the Spartan Shield. In his academic career at Pleasant Valley he has enjoyed the challenge of high level courses, with Government and Spanish being his favorite classes. Outside of school, Oskar is involved in his community, and gives back when he can. He is a frequent blood donor for Impact Life, and volunteers for World Relief during the summer, helping refugee families from around the world. Oskar enjoys participating in and watching sports, being outdoors, and working out. He is invested in spending time with his friends, family and dog. Oskar is excited to contribute to the Spartan Shield and finish his senior year at Pleasant Valley High School!  
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Controversy arises as LIV swings into action