Darius Rucker Has Strong Feelings on the PGA-LIV Golf Merger
Darius Rucker sounded off on the proposed merger between the PGA and LIV golf this week. Specifically, he expressed sympathy for friends who turned down tens of millions of dollars to stand by their principles.
- On Tuesday (June 6), the PGA Tour, European DP Tour and Saudi Arabian-financed LIV Tour announced a merger.
- The PGA and DP Tours had battled LIV Golf for nearly two years as many top golfers took paychecks north of $100 million to play for LIV, thus creating another competitive tour. Those golfers were banned from PGA events.
- Golfers like Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Will Zalatoris and Jon Rahm turned down the money because of the Saudi Arabian government's abysmal human rights record.
- PGA Tour officials often said they were fighting LIV so aggressively because of those same human rights concerns.
Rucker is one of country music's best-known golfers, so during a media roundtable ahead of his appearance at CMA Fest on Thursday (June 8), he was asked what he thought. He said:
I tell ya, I’m a big PGA supporter, and I understand money talks in every business. But I feel bad for Rory and Tiger and Zalatoris and Jon Rahm who turned down huge sums of money to be loyal to the PGA, and then the PGA just turns around and merges with the enemy. I feel bad for those guys, because they gave away a lot of money because of their principles, and their principles meant nothing in the end.
Jake Owen, Charles Kelley, Scotty McCreery and Vince Gill are also avid golfers. The overall response to the PGA-LIV merger has been muted, with Rucker's comments the first to stand out in country music.
While the proposed deal was announced on Tuesday, there are quite a few hurdles it needs to clear before become the law of the land. For starters, the majority of professional golfers not playing for LIV were quite upset about the merger, the fact they found out about the merger on Twitter, or both.