Golf: Max Homa conflicted on potential return of LIV golfers

Max Homa plays an approach shot on the sixth hole during a practice round prior to the Players Championship. PHOTO: AFP

LOS ANGELES – Max Homa is, on record, critical of LIV Golf, but that did not stop him from saying that the PGA Tour potentially would be better off if it welcomes back some of the defectors from the upstart circuit.

“I’m not super-duper close with a ton of guys, but it does feel like we’re all kind of in this together to push competitive golf and push the game forward,” the world No. 7 said on Tuesday.

“So my petty side would be a little bit annoyed, but also kind of smiling underneath thinking, ‘OK, welcome, welcome back to what you could have just been doing’.

“All of those guys that left are great for golf. Champion golfers, interesting golfers, so many great stories across their careers.

“If I could put my selfish part aside and maybe put on my big-boy hat, I would realise that having them back would be a good thing for golf at large.”

The 32-year-old American should not hold his breath, however, as PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan has dismissed the notion of welcoming back LIV Golf players with open arms.

“For some reason I’ve been hearing that a lot lately and I’m not certain where that’s coming from,” Monahan said.

“The players that are playing on that tour are contractually obligated to play on that tour.

“So any hypotheticals at this point really aren’t relevant, and you know me well enough to know I’m not a big fan of hypotheticals.

“Our position has not changed.”

Still, Homa noted that certain LIV golfers – such as Bryson DeChambeau, for example – move the needle in terms of interest.

“I do think that it is a shame that I find Bryson to be one of the most interesting people who has probably ever swung a golf club. He thinks about it differently,” Homa said.

“Even his set-up of his golf clubs are different. He obviously transformed his body, and I thought that was incredibly interesting.

“It was like must-see TV... These players obviously have brought some controversy when they have played in events here and there. Whether that’s good or bad, but for golf I feel like that’s good.

“For entertainment that’s good, for fans that’s good.”

At the end of the day, Homa lamented the divide in the game, with the PGA Tour and LIV Golf locked in an antitrust trial that is slated to begin in January 2024.

“The most frustrating part of the fracture of golf right now is that everyone plays a role in entertaining the fans,” the six-time PGA winner said.

“And since there’s a divide, you’re missing something at the very least, and that’s quite a shame.

“Again, as a fan of golf that’s a shame that you have to watch them in two separate events. But such is life, I guess.” REUTERS

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