June 3, 2024

Former PGA Championship -winner Mark Brooks has underlined his major concerns of the “chaos” currently ruling golf.


The sport has become fractured in recent years following the emergence of the Saudi-backed LIV Golf League as a genuine rival to the PGA Tour. That’s led the latter to make major changes to certain tournaments in an effort to remain competitive, including bigger paydays and no-cut events, identical to the format seen under the LIV banner.


It’s paved the way for a radically different golf landscape, where some of the biggest names in the sport are no longer competing at majors and players being far more tactical about the competitions they play. And debate continues regarding a resolution between the two warring parties despite the two organisations initially agreeing to merge in June 2023.


Speaking ahead of this year’s PGA Championship, Brooks – who won the PGA title in 1996 – said he was “surprised it took this long for some kind of splintering to happen.” The 63-year-old played a significant role in forming the Tour Players Association – which was for all purposes a form of union – in the 1990s and believes a similar group today could have prevented a lot of drama.


Ryder Cup hero closes in on famous first PGA Tour win with dad as emergency caddie


LIV Golf star takes advantage of DP World Tour loophole to claim breakthrough win

“I do think it’s absolutely chaos. I think putting pieces back together, putting humpty dumpty back on the wall, it’s going to be pretty tough,” he said. “Guys don’t want to come back. They don’t have a desire to come back.”


LIV Golf continues to lure massive talents with its promises of gargantuan pay-offs, with Jon Rahm among the latest to accept in December 2023 for a sum reported to be between £315million and £470m. The PGA Tour simply can’t compete with those figures, and with no shortage of funds being dedicated to sport by Saudi investors, the exodus looks likely to remain permanent.


That’s led to the average PGA Tour field being watered down compared to years gone by. One could interpret that as a more competitive field on the whole, with Brooks seeing some positives from many of the elite jumping ship.


Mark Brooks hits balls on the driving range

Mark Brooks doesn’t see a way back for golf’s superpowers to reunite.

“Some of these events are, let’s just call it, top 70 shallow,” added Brooks. “Below that they’re heavy. They’re not going into, you know, past champions like me. I’m not showing up on the eligibility list, they’re not going that kind of deep.


“But probably 15 events this year will be very light in terms of the top 70 and you go, ‘Well, does that mean anything?’ Absolutely it means something. Are you kidding me? If I take 62 out of the top 70 out of a field, do I have a better shot of winning? You’re damn right I do.”


Former world No. 1 Dustin Johnson won the inaugural LIV Golf League title in 2022 before Talor Gooch clinched the crown last year. Chile’s Joaquin Niemann currently leads the 2024 money list as the only player to win more than one event so far this year, though LIV’s viewership figures are still dwarfed by their PGA counterparts.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *