CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Did you really think we’d get a free week of golf at the 2022 Presidents Cup without discussing the divide between the PGA Tour and LIV Golf?
While the majority of the focus this week at Quail Hollow Club has been on the stacked American roster and the International team’s quest for a first-ever win on U.S. soil, the absence of players like Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau, Cameron Smith and Joaquin Niemann has been felt and discussed.
But what if there was some crossover between the two professional tours? A question was posed to many of the 24 players competing this week: If a PGA Tour vs. LIV Golf team event was created, would you play?
Here’s what they had to say.
“There was this conversation, I don’t know when it was, and it was discussed. Yeah, I wouldn’t mind playing in it, but at the same time, you’ve got to look at things — what would the PGA Tour benefit from that? Nothing. If we win, we’re supposed to win. If we lose, it looks bad on the PGA Tour.”
“So it’s really a lose-lose for the PGA Tour in that situation, and LIV’s got everything to gain from it.”
“But as a player, we’re all competitive, and I have great relationships with a lot of those guys and I would love to compete with them. I was looking forward to playing the Presidents Cup and maybe getting paired against Cam Smith, who’s a really good friend of mine. If somehow there was a little LIV-PGA Tour competition, I would love that. I would love to play against Cam Smith or one of my good friends, Ian Poulter or something like that.”
“Like I said, I’m not the one who makes that decision. There’s more that goes into a decision like that. I wouldn’t fault the PGA Tour or anyone saying this doesn’t benefit us going forward. I see that side of it, and I’m fine with that.”
Team USA golfer Billy Horschel lines up his putt on the 14th green during a practice day for the Presidents Cup golf tournament at Quail Hollow Club. (Photo: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports)
“No. To be honest, a lot of those guys, they’ve gone and they’ve made the decision, and I really haven’t thought about them, and there’s a couple of the guys that I definitely miss having around. But it’s a — I think it’s just like anything in life, there’s a cycle. Golf has a long lifespan. Guys stay for a long time, and there’s just a cycle of new guys coming in, old guys coming out. It’s a repeating cycle, but it’s never anything I’ve really given thought to because I’ve got a million other things I’ve got to worry about, and my wedding.”
Team USA golfer Collin Morikawa hits his chip shot on the second green during a practice day for the Presidents Cup golf tournament at Quail Hollow Club. (Photo: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports)
“Yes. Because I love the PGA Tour, and if they asked me to be on that team, I would be on it.”
Team USA golfer Sam Burns plays his shot from the 15th tee during a practice day for the Presidents Cup golf tournament at Quail Hollow Club. (Photo: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports)
“No, I don’t think the PGA Tour will do that. There’s no reason why. All the guys that went over there went over there. They moved beyond the PGA Tour. We support the PGA Tour. We don’t really care about what they do. So I don’t think I will.”
International Team golfer Christiaan Bezuidenhout signs autographs on the third tee during a practice day for the Presidents Cup golf tournament at Quail Hollow Club. (Photo: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports)
“I don’t even know how that would look like. I’m all for competition. Logistically, it sounds like a nightmare just considering what’s been happening, in terms of like who would run the event or everyone getting together behind the scenes. I think it would probably be less of an issue with the people actually competing versus sort of getting the structure in place.”
“But competition is good for viewers, and it’s good for golf. I really don’t even know how to answer that question from a personal standpoint.”
“It’s easy to say one or the other, you know what I mean? If it’s in a sick venue and organized really well and looks something like this, it’s what we all play for. Obviously with what’s been happening with the two sides and being on this side of the fence or that side of the fence, it’s kind of just another hypothetical.”
Team USA golfer Xander Schauffele addresses the media in a press conference during a practice day for the Presidents Cup golf tournament at Quail Hollow Club. (Photo: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports)
“It’s a big hypothetical. I’m not quite sure. Yeah, I have no idea. I don’t know if we’re going to see that anytime in the future.”
Team USA golfer Scottie Scheffler addresses the media in a press conference during a practice day for the 2022 Presidents Cup at Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports)
“I haven’t really given it a lot of thought. Yeah, I’m not really sure.
“I know there’s some guys playing there that have had a lot of success in professional golf, but I’m thrilled to be a part of the PGA Tour, and more importantly thrilled to be representing the international team this week.”
International Team golfer Corey Conners stands on the 14th hole during a practice day for the Presidents Cup golf tournament at Quail Hollow Club. (Photo: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports)
“I can’t decide something like that because there’s nothing specific about it.”
International Team golfer Hideki Matsuyama hits his tee shot on the sixth hole during a practice day for the Presidents Cup golf tournament at Quail Hollow Club. (Photo: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports)