June 6, 2024

Henrik Stenson believes there is still plenty of work to be done when it comes to a truce being called between the PGA Tour and LIV Golf, with the world of professional golf still left in a state of limbo.


Exactly one year ago, it appeared the animosity between the rival circuits had come to an end, after the PGA Tour announced a framework agreement with the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia (PIF) and DP World Tour on June 6. It was expected the deal would finally result in peace between the Tour and LIV setup after a year of fallout.


Twelve months on though, fans and players alike are still none the wiser as to what the future of the sport looks like, with the parties involved are yet to officially sign off an agreement.


It was initially expected that a finalised deal would be reached by the end of 2023, after those in charge set a December 31 deadline to complete negotiations. This however was missed, and six months further on the PGA Tour and PIF remain locked in talks around the negotiation table.


Like many, Stenson remains in the dark as to what is the sport away from the course looks like. “Your guess is as good as mine 12 months on,” the former Open champion told Mirror Sport with a laugh when quizzed on where the world of professional golf stands one year on from the agreement announcement.


“I am waiting to hear something materialise as much as anybody else. I don’t know. I have read the reports that – I think it was Tiger [Woods] that said that some progress was made but it was slow. I honestly don’t know where we stand and what progress has been made in these 12 months.


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Henrik Stenson

Henrik Stenson joined LIV Golf in 2022

“Not much has been announced in these 12 months, lets put it that way.” In the two years since LIV’s inaugural event at Centurion in June 2022, the game of golf appears to have come along way. The initial closed-door mentality from the PGA Tour towards the breakaway circuit had eased amid the PIF agreement, with the league becoming more and more accepted at the top of the pro golf pyramid with each passing event.


Stenson however is not convinced these relationships are as mended as it appears on the surface, referencing the Champions Tour’s snub of recently-crowned Senior PGA champion Richard Bland due to his LIV loyalties. “I think that officially when the framework agreement came in place it was supposed be a truce,” he said.


“Then when Richard Bland won the Senior PGA a week ago he found on social media that ‘well you aren’t going to get any starts on the Champions Tour because you play LIV’. I mean Richard has never even been a member of the PGA Tour but just because he plays LIV he is not able to play on the Champions Tour it is how I understand it.


“Behind the scenes it is not as if everyone is holding hands and singing songs together, so there is still things to be worked out… It has not been ideal but hopefully brighter minds than us can come to a solution.”



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One of the biggest kinks in the armour of LIV’s rapid rise in recent years has been it’s lack of Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) recognition, which has seen players tumble down the world ranking list. In doing so, a number of stars – including Stenson – have since lost their exemptions to compete on the major championship stage.


There have been calls for those in charge of the four major events to form some sort of pathway to allow LIV players to qualify via other means, but nothing has materialised – a decision the Swede has been left scratching his head over. “The one thing that baffles me a little bit is the majors, and how much to one side they decided to stand,” the champion golfer of 2016 claimed.


“If I am running a major, my only concern would be to have the players that should and deserve to be in there, and they have got some work to do on that end I think.” Stenson himself is eligible to compete in just one major year this year, as he returns to the site of his 2016 Claret Jug win at Royal Troon for next month’s Open. His concentration for now though lies with the Saudi-backed circuit, with the Swede in action at LIV Houston this week.

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