LIV Golf Stars urge for a PGA Tour returns amidst controversy with rival circuit

Members of the LIV Golf setup want to make a return to the PGA Tour as part of the proposed peace deal between the rival circuits.

Phil Mickelson in a file photo (image credits- twitter@PhilMickelson)
By Soumya | Mar 14, 2024 | 3 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

Members of the LIV Golf setup want to make a return to the PGA Tour as part of the proposed peace deal between the rival circuits, according to 12-time Tour winner Steve Stricker.

The world of professional golf has been split in two since the formation of the LIV setup in June 2022, with the PGA Tour banning any player making the move to the Saudi-backed league. There were hopes of the feud coming to an end last summer after the Tour announced plans to work in unison with LIV backers, the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia (PIF).

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It is expected that as part of a deal between the two rivals, LIV players will be offered a pathway back to the American-based circuit. However, a deal is yet to be signed off after their initial deadline of December 31 was missed at the end of 2023.

Despite the proposed merger remaining up in the air, former Ryder Cup captain Stricker believes those playing on the LIV circuit are keen on a route back to the PGA Tour. “I know the guys, some of them on the LIV tour want to come back and play out on the regular Tour,” he said at last week’s Cologuard Classic.

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“I know that for a fact, and so it’s kind of a wait-and-see game, especially for us out here.” After a successful career on the PGA Tour, 57-year-old Stricker has since turned his attention to the Champions Tour but still has a keen interest in the proposed deal with the Saudi-backed setup.

“It doesn’t impact us very much, but I’m still interested in the happenings and what’s going to happen and what’s going to come for us.” A whole host of the PGA Tour’s biggest names opted to join the breakaway league following its inception, including several of Stricker’s 2021 winning Ryder Cup team.

Three of his star men Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau are members of the LIV roster. His former teammate and vice-captain Phil Mickelson, began the exodus to the Saudi-backed league almost two years ago.

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On the back of the initial framework agreement in June 2023, Mickelson contradicted Stricker’s recent comments, claiming not one of the LIV setup’s members wanted to return to their former Tour. “Not a single player on LIV wants to play PGA Tour,” he tweeted last July.

“It would require a public apology and restitution to LIV players for paying millions to clout media to disparage all of us. A better topic is future sanctions for the many players who now come to LIV.” His fellow defector, Johnson backed up Mickelson’s claims after admitting he had no plans of playing any extra golf in the aftermath of last year’s shock announcement.

“I think with this agreement, the only thing that’s going to happen is LIV is going to get even better than what it is now, which it’s already great,” he said at LIV Valderrama last June. “I’m happy exactly where I am, and I’m definitely not looking to play more golf than I’m playing now, that’s for sure.”

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