The sports world was rocked on Tuesday morning as the PGA TOUR and LIV Golf merged and The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz definitely had some thoughts.
Dan points out that somehow it seemed unsurprising that the country club golfers would splinter and go after Saudi money and that would be how golf was bought. Dan says the Saudis knew that with all their cash it would be easy to buy golf. And boy, did it happen fast.
Mike Ryan points out that no one saw this coming and the negotiations were kept very tight-lipped. He also points out that the PGA TOUR member base is FURIOUS. It’s been reported that the golfers found out at the same time everyone else did — which Collin Morikawa seemingly confirmed. This after taking a stand and spurning significant money from LIV only to find themselves now aligned with LIV with no time to really prepare for such a bombshell.
So, you preach loyalty to a tour and convince guys not to take 8 and 9 figure deals based, in part, on that loyalty and, in part, on the source of the money. Then those guys find out on Twitter YOU took the very same money?— Scott Van Pelt (@notthefakeSVP) June 6, 2023
Nino Brown, “Always business, never personal.”
Stugotz said that perhaps the PGA TOUR felt its legal position in its ongoing litigation with LIV was perilous and represented a financial threat to the organization — something that it cannot risk given it does not have an endless well of money like LIV Golf does.
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Stugotz also pointed out that there are going to be certain players — Tiger and Rory, anyone? — who really backed the PGA TOUR and feel like they’ve been stabbed in the back. He argues that those golfers felt they backed what they thought was right about the game, the tour that was the right tour to be on and didn’t take big guaranteed bucks and now the guys who did make the morally questionable choice for the money and now they’re the ones being rewarded.
Dan notes that given individual greed being what it is, this bombshell news is both shocking for a number of reasons but at the same time not something that should surprise us at all. It’s how you buy stuff, he says, especially with dirty money.
Mike notes that it is surprising, especially from a business standpoint as it appeared as though LIV was actually failing. They were exiled to the CW of all places and they were having to pay to be on the CW! It’s a stunner he says and he can’t wait for more reporting to come out. He also points out that it appears as though the guys who took the money now look like the smartest guys in the room — they took the bag and now they’re going to more than likely get the TOUR card back.
Stugotz says Brooks Koepka is one of the big winners here — he took the money and he just won the PGA Championship in May. Stugotz understands why certain guys are upset, but does point out that when Phil Mickelson started this he said he was doing it to poke at the PGA TOUR and show that it wasn’t paying the players enough money. Dan responds that it’s wonderfully symbolic that Mickelson of all people is the one to symbolically lead the effort which led to this moment where golf has been bought.
Stugotz also points out that while Phil may be greedy, the PGA TOUR itself is also greedy. He notes that the TOUR has made a lot of changes in an effort to fight back against the tide of players leaving for LIV. Dan says he loves the symbolism of Mickelson now getting to be a freedom fighter and a pioneer for taking the Saudi money! He calls it comedy. Mike does say that it will be interesting how history remembers Phil because he’s the one who made this all kind of work and took the huge PR hit but opened the doors for others to follow his lead.
Amin points out a potential legal roadblock revolving around discovery in the rivals’ litigation that could have delayed the case for years and he wonders how that impacted this merger. He also points out that unlike many other cases involving litigation that we’re accustomed to, the PGA TOUR did not buy out LIV. What’s happening is a merger creating a new entity, which includes PIF making an investment. He said it’s not the PGA TOUR buying out the group to make them go away, no it’s a case of taking a group they had maligned and turning around and making them its business partner. Which he says highlights a hypocrisy that a lot of people around the world feel about the United States — there seems to be a comfort with attacking some of these people, who Amin notes he is in no way defending, up until the money comes rolling in. Then everything is fine. They’re evil until they’re on our side, and then they’re fine.
"There seems to be a real comfort with attacking these people...up until the money hits your account...That's kind of been America's relationship with dictatorships around the world: They're evil until they're on our side." – @DarthAmin on PGA/LIV.— Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz (@LeBatardShow) June 6, 2023
Greg Cote has a bold prediction. He predicts that PGA TOUR Commissioner Jay Monahan will not survive this.
Check out the breakdown of Tuesday’s show below.
Local Hour: Meadowlark Media Mixer™
- The Vegas Knights are pretty good, huh? Roy is angry about the Panthers lack of fight...or maybe too much fight...or maybe it’s just that he might not get to go on a free trip to Vegas. Billy has been keepin’ an eye on the Marlins and thinks they deserve more of our attention. Then, the weather in South Florida is legitimately impacting our ability to do our jobs, Greg Cote doesn’t like to get his hair wet, and we brainstorm how to purchase a LeBaJet. Plus, Amin has made some promises he may not be able to keep on a Meadowlark Media Mixer, and Randy Moller joins us to break down the Stanley Cup Final and dish out his own Top 5 Goal Calls of All-Time.
The Big Suey: Ron Magill’s Expensive Electric Car
- Mike and Amin may get tonight off, but Dan is legitimately worried about Greg Cote’s health as both the NBA Finals and Stanley Cup Final come to town. The crew discusses Danny Ainge’s comments about Joe Mazzulla and Skip Bayless invading Jimmy Butler’s privacy. Then, Ron Magill joins us to explain how he can afford an expensive new car if he isn’t actively embezzling from his substantive endowment. He also tells us about vindictive orcas and explains other mysteries of the animal kingdom. Plus, we want to get to the LIV Golf-PGA news, but there’s a party comin’ to town.
Hour 1: The Worst Opinion In The History Of The Show
- Dan, Mike, Stugotz, and the crew discuss the breaking news on the PGA Tour and LIV Golf merging, why it happened, the lawsuits avoided, the angry players, and the American business comfort with taking dirty money. Then, Greg and Stugotz issue the worst opinion in the history of the show: “Nikola Jokic is boring to watch.” Plus, Chris Mintz-Plasse joins the show for us to ruthlessly bully him about the Celtics loss. He tells us all about his new show ‘Stars on Mars,’ working with Marshawn Lynch, the veterans who showed him the ropes in the industry, how he’s learned to cope with being called McLovin’ in public, and more.
Hour 2: Zero Questions With Bill Walton
- NBA Expert Mo Dakhil joins the show to yell at Greg and Stugotz about their Nikola Jokic is boring take. Amin continues to invite people to the Meadowlark Mixer and is also guest booking Dan on other people’s shows. Plus, Bill Walton comes on (is asked zero questions) and discusses life, The Grateful Dead, how this Miami Heat team made their run and much more. Also, the PGA-LIV merger continues to stun the crew - what is next for golf?
Postgame Show: Talkin’ Puck
- The crew discusses the Florida Panthers dropping their second game in the Stanley Cup Final.
Watch more below!
Check out the Le Batard and Friends YouTube page for more and subscribe to the show on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. You can also follow the show on Twitter @LeBatardShow.
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