World No.1 Scottie Scheffler is the latest player to oppose the return of LIV Golf players to the PGA Tour ‘like nothing ever happened’
The voices against LIV Golfers strolling back to the PGA Tour are getting louder.
The World No.1 maintained he has “no bad blood” with those who took lucrative offers from LIV, however, he doubts the membership would be content with rebels returning “like nothing ever happened.”
“That’s definitely a complicated issue that I’m not sitting too far on one side of the fence with that,” Scheffler told Golf Channel.
“I think there’s a different level of player that left – you had some guys that left our tour and then sued our tour, that wasn’t really in great taste; and then you had some other guys that just left and they wanted to do something different, and everybody made their decision, and I have no bad blood toward the guys that left.
“But a path toward coming back, it wouldn’t be a very popular decision, I think, if they just came back like nothing ever happened. They did kind of leave and – they left our tour, that’s just part of it.
“There should be a pathway back for them, but they definitely shouldn’t be able to come back without any sort of contribution to the tour.”
In August 2022, 11 players from the LIV Golf roster, including Phil Mickelson, Bryson DeChambeau and Ian Poulter, filed an antitrust lawsuit against the PGA Tour, which is the legal case Scheffler referred to while speaking at the WM Phoenix Open.
The PGA Tour countersued, but the courtroom hostility was put to bed when the circuit announced a framework agreement with the Public Investment Fund that bankrolls LIV Golf last June.
The PGA Tour, the PIF, and the DP World Tour have been locked in negotiations for many months in an attempt to “unify the game of golf,” a move that could mean LIV players are offered a PGA Tour reprieve.
In the meantime, however, LIV has continued to poach big names from the US circuit such as Jon Rahm and Tyrrell Hatton, while also signing impressive winners on the DP World Tour and in America such as Adrian Meronk and Lucas Herbert.
Scottie Scheffler: LIV Golf stance shared by Thomas and Fowler, but not McIlroy…
As of now, there is no pathway back as each LIV player who was a member of the PGA Tour has been suspended, but the situation could change if a deal is struck between the tour and PIF.
While the aforementioned American trio hold the same stance, Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy has U-turned his own view on LIV Golf which he once said he hated, he expected to go away and he also commented last summer that players shouldn’t be welcomed back.
When his Ryder Cup teammate Rahm signed his reported £450 million switch to Greg Norman‘s rebel league back in December, McIlroy declared the rules must be “rewritten” to allow the Spaniard to keep his spot on Team Europe in 2025.
Having been the PGA Tour’s most vocal supporter since LIV’s inception in June 2022, McIlroy has taken a step back by resigning from the PGA Tour Policy Board and “changed his tune” on the sport’s political situation.
“I don’t think there should be a punishment for – obviously I’ve changed my tune on that because I see where golf is and I see that having a diminished PGA Tour and having a diminished LIV Tour or anything else is bad for both parties,” McIlroy said at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.
“It would be much better being together and moving forward together for the good of the game. That’s my opinion of it. So to me, the faster that we can all get back together and start to play and start to have the strongest fields possible I think is great for golf.”
What is your view on the LIV Golf/PGA Tour players? Should they be allowed to play on both tours? Tell us on X/Twitter!