Golfers on both sides of the PGA-LIV division are reacting to news that the two rival tours have merged.
Twitter exploded once the merger between the two warring parties was announced, with LIV golfers reveling in their triumph as PGA players seemed caught off guard by PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan.
Phil Mickelson simply tweeted, “Great day today” as the news began to unfold. Meanwhile, Brooks Koepka has decided to stick with one of his biggest critics, Brandel Chamblee, asking for a “wellness check” on the Golf Channel analyst.
On the other side of things, PGA player Collin Morikawa tweeted: “Love seeing the morning news on Twitter” before adding: “And everyone thought yesterday was the longest day golf.”
The news also prompted comments from a sitting US senator. “So weird,” said Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT). “PGA officials were in my office just a few months ago talking about how Saudis’ human rights record should disqualify them from having any involvement in a major American sport. I guess maybe their concerns weren’t really about human rights?
Mickelson and fellow rebel LIV Brooks Koepka both paraded their victory on social media
Even members of Congress – like Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy – criticized the announcement.
According to reports, no one on the PGA Tour was made aware of the potential merger prior to the announcement.
The tour eventually sent players a letter explaining what was happening once the news had already broken.
Players were stunned by reacting on social media.
Canadian golfer and 67th ranked Mackenzie Hughes tweeted: “Nothing like finding out via Twitter that we are merging with a tour we said we would never do this with.”
South Korean Byeong-Hun An speculated, saying, “I guess the LIV teams were struggling to find sponsors and the PGA Tour couldn’t refuse the money.” Win-win for both tours but it’s a big loss for [those] who has championed the tour for the past two years.’
Michael Kim, winner of the Korean-American tour, said: “Very curious how many people knew that this deal was in progress”. About 5-7 people? Organization of the player race, right?
Sahith Theegala texted SI Golf’s last minute reporter Gaby Herzigsaying, “Just madness, I mean, I’m sure there’s a reason for that, but that won’t be reason enough for the complete lack of communication”.
“I mean, how do the top 10 players in the world find out about it on Twitter. But I bite my tongue until we hear more. No way the players are okay with that.
Dylan Wu left a scathing remark about Monahan, saying, “Tell me why Jay Monahan basically got a promotion to CEO of all golf in the world by going back on everything he said on the course. the last 2 years”. Hypocrisy. I wish golf worked like that. Guess the money always wins @PGA Tour.
Wu went on to say, ‘Can I also say that I love @PhilMickelson and everything he has said over the past two years has been perfect. He caught fire in the media for his brutal honesty and now everyone finally realizes he was right and the PGA Tour is doing what it wants.
Phil Mickelson savored a victory after LIV Golf and the PGA Tour announced their merger
Meanwhile, PGA Tour pros like Collin Morikawa were shocked by the sudden announcement
PGA Tour athletes were stunned and angry as news of the merger spread
There was a bit of humor injected into the situation by those on tour.
Justin Thomas posted a video of a phone receiving a bunch of notifications with the caption, “I had a great workout this morning too.”
Joel Dahmen tweeted: “I grew up being a fan of the 4 Aces. Maybe one day I can play for them on the PGA Tour!
“I can’t wait for the next players meeting,” wrote Jhonattan Vegas.
“Now that we’re all friends, is it too late for us to mint some of these team names?” Max Homa wondered with an image of a Google search with the question “wtf is a Cleek “.
Jessica Hadwin, wife of Adam Hadwin, seemed happy to be able to connect with some of her “favorite LIV wives”.
Some on the PGA Tour were left to laugh and joke about this debacle
Former golfers and sports figures were all left to react to the news and most were outraged by the way PGA Commissioner Jay Monahan followed up on his statements from last year.
“I’m old enough to remember when the PGA Tour tried to claim the moral high road over LIV and the Saudis,” said Dan Wetzel of Yahoo Sports.
‘What the fuck is this? The PGA gave in quickly,” said Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy. ‘Imagine being a PGA member who turned down LIV for no reason now?
“I guess PGA Commissioner Jay Monahan is no longer morally opposed to LIV because of 9/11 since they are merging now.” It’s funny how it works.
Sports media personalities were furious that this merger had taken place
“I don’t know how a player who turned down the LIV money and stayed with the PGA could believe anything Jay Monahan says again,” said Kevin Van Valkenburg of NoLayingUp.
“He made them take every arrow, hid in an office for a year, then double-crossed them on CNBC. Better make them pay, I guess.
ESPN Golf and Sportscenter host Scott van Pelt wrote: “So you’re preaching loyalty to a tour and convincing guys not to accept 8 and 9 figure offers based, in part, on this loyalty and, in part, on the source of the money.
‘So these guys find out on Twitter that YOU took the same money? Nino Brown, “Always professional, never personal”‘.
His ESPN colleague Matt Barrie wrote: “I don’t know how Jay Monahan looks his players in the eye now. We can discuss how this makes golf a massive draw. Because it is. But for him to do this after all he’s said is one of the most amazing faces in professional sports history. If I’m a gamer, I’m PISSED.
Other writers wondered how tour players were taking this news.
Many have debated what goes through the minds of players who reject LIV offers.
Stephen Hennessey of Golf Digest said: “I’m sincerely sorry for someone like Hideki Matsuyama. He reportedly turned down around $300 million…and now his loyalty to the tour doesn’t mean much.’
SI golf writer Alan Shipnuck said: “How do you think Rickie Fowler is feeling right now?” He turned down a $75 million LIV offer. LIV’s top players are thrilled: they’ve received massive upfront dollars and the value of their franchise has skyrocketed. Tour players can still cash in as LIV will recruit again, but the gold rush is over.
ESPN’s Marty Smith wrote: “Imagine how Rory McIlroy is feeling right now.” He put Monahan and the Tour on his back and carried them through the s—storm while some of his best friends landed $150 million deals and prepared for the Majors. Everything to land here. Almost impossible to understand.