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LIV/PGA Tour confusion and Tiger Woods’ reappearance

Cameron Smith and Min Woo Lee had decidedly different weeks.

Cameron Smith and Min Woo Lee had decidedly totally different weeks.

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Welcome again to the Monday End, the place each Monday is Cyber Monday and this week’s column is 50% off! Let’s get to it.


Who gained the week? Let’s rely ’em down.

5. Having your cake, consuming it too

It was an enormous week for LIV golfers, each previous and current. (It was an enormous week for potential future LIV golfers, too, however we’ll get to that.)

Whereas LIV golfers are principally barred from taking part in the PGA Tour and DP World Tour, there are nonetheless methods wherein they will play occasional DP World Tour occasions — together with through sponsor exemption.

Over the weekend there have been two DP World Tour occasions, one in South Africa and one other in Australia. That meant three South African LIV golfers — Dean Burmester, Branden Grace and Charl Schwartzel, all of Stinger GC — acquired sponsor invitations to the Joburg Open. Down Beneath, Cameron Smith and Jediah Morgan performed the Fortinet Australian PGA Championship as previous champions whereas fellow Aussie LIV-ers Marc Leishman and Wade Ormsby acquired sponsor exemptions. So did the Chilean duo of Joaquin Niemann and Mito Pereira, who’re teammates on LIV.

So how’d they do? Like non-LIV golfers, their performances spanned the complete vary. Smith, the hometown headliner, had an off-week and struggled to 73-78 en path to a jarring 148th-place end and missed minimize in his title protection. Niemann, then again, made a hole-in-one and completed fifth, whereas Leishman completed third. In South Africa, Burmester bettered even these outcomes by successful the entire thing — incomes a coveted Open Championship berth within the course of.

One other LIV participant, Bernd Wiesberger, was reinstated on the DP World Tour after paying the fines and serving the penalties assigned to him. It’s not clear whether or not any LIV groups would have had curiosity in signing Wiesberger, who was a free agent after ending No. 41 on the league’s factors record this 12 months. However it’s clear that he cashed in within the meantime, pocketing greater than $4 million throughout his LIV stint. Positive, a few of that $4 million went to fines and costs — as a lot as $1.65 million, per our Sean Zak‘s arithmetic — however I’m guessing for those who held Wiesberger by his ankles there’d nonetheless be a little bit unfastened change left in these pockets.

Lastly there’s the curious case of Laurie Canter, who solely crammed in on this 12 months’s LIV schedule and, after serving his personal LIV suspension, really discovered himself in a position to keep each memberships concurrently. As a result of Canter possesses partial DP World Tour standing, he doesn’t get into a few of the greater occasions. And if he’s not in these fields, he’s free to play on one other tour, on this case LIV. He didn’t break any data this week, ending T54 in Australia. However the truth that he earned DP World Tour factors is critical due to what it represents: even in these unusual, divided instances there are nonetheless methods for LIV guys to have it each methods.

(We’ll get to the flip facet a little bit later.)

4. Subsequent Paul Up

There’s no indication from NBC that this week’s elevation of Paul McGinley to steer analyst is a everlasting factor. The truth is, NBC advised our James Colgan that no everlasting determination has been made. However this isn’t some random fall occasion tucked away on Golf Channel for the diehards amongst you. That is Tiger Woods‘ occasion and it’s Tiger Woods’ comeback and, aside from Tiger Woods, each participant within the area is inside the highest 40 on the planet. So far as limited-field winter golf goes, that is big-time! They didn’t simply decide McGinley’s identify out of a hat.

The person he’s changing, Paul Azinger, made it clear final week that he was shocked and disillusioned to be taught his five-year stint at NBC had come to a detailed following the Ryder Cup. In the meanwhile there appears, from the skin, no one higher positioned to imagine that position than McGinley. No strain…

3. Aditi

Aditi Ashok was already a confirmed expertise when she captivated Olympic viewers tuning into the golf competitors in Tokyo in 2021. However it wasn’t clear whether or not that fourth-place end would show the height of her profession or the beginning of one thing massive. On Sunday, Ashok captured her second Girls European Tour title of the 12 months with a victory on the Spanish Open.

She backed up these two victories with a handful of different prime showings, too, beginning the season with 1-3-2 finishes on the LET. Only a couple months later she misplaced in a playoff within the JM Eagle LA Championship, an LPGA Tour occasion, kicking off a string of 5 top-eight finishes in 10 LPGA Tour begins. Whereas her type tailed off later within the 12 months, she saved her greatest for final.

However Ashok wasn’t the one rising star to win in Spain — Thailand’s Trichat Cheenglab claimed the LET’s Race to Costa del Sol title in addition to its Rookie of the 12 months honors, suggesting there’s loads extra to return.

The LET finale was performed within the context of ongoing chatter that it plans to merge with the LPGA Tour. The LET’s board went as far as to fulfill on the topic final week however finally postponed the vote, given the gravity of the choice. And on and on it goes.

33+ Golf Cyber Monday offers: golf baggage, balls, sneakers, pants, membership units and extra


Marley Sims

2. Tiger Woods, Tiger Woods’ match, Tiger Woods’ checking account

Tiger Woods solely performed two occasions within the 2022-23 PGA Tour season and solely completed certainly one of ’em — the Genesis Invitational. However he nonetheless managed to squeak out second place within the PGA Tour’s Participant Impression Program (PIP) outcomes, a fancy system with the straightforward purpose of figuring out and rewarding the Tour’s most useful members. Woods earned $10 million for his efforts, lower than the $15 million that Rory McIlroy made for ending atop the record however a tidy sum nonetheless.

Woods’ match is the week’s apparent winner as a result of Woods is taking part in in it, which implies built-in intrigue and built-in eyeballs. Woods hasn’t performed for the reason that 2023 Masters, when he pulled out following play on Saturday and later underwent subtalar fusion surgical procedure. Woods actually is the cat with 9 comebacks, and whereas it’s robust to know precisely which quantity that is, we promised in 2019 to by no means rely him out once more. Let’s see how he seems, sounds, walks and performs this week after which work out what’s subsequent.

1. Min Woo Lee

Oh, wow. If the hype prepare for Min Woo Lee was already cruising full steam forward, the 25-year-old Aussie blew its brakes off with a rousing victory on the Australian PGA Championship.

With the win, Lee is as much as No. 38 on the planet and simply capped off a season that included a T6 on the Gamers, a T5 on the U.S. Open, wins on the Asian and DP World Excursions and an dependancy to the large second.

Let the person cook dinner.


Not their week.

PGA Tour/LIV double-dippers

Okay, we talked above in regards to the guys who’ve finessed some kind of LIV/DP World Tour double-life. However that was the rosy facet of issues; in actuality the world of LIV/PGA Tour/DP World Tour coexistence stays as messy as ever. Rumors swirl. Punishments loom. Uncertainty reigns.

It was a disappointing week for the aforementioned Cameron Smith, whose 73-78 was triply disappointing. Any missed minimize stings. A missed minimize stings further whenever you’re the hometown hero and defending champion. And it stings much more understanding that probabilities to play for OWGR factors are, for now, comparatively scarce. Why do these factors matter? Regardless that Smith’s 2022 Open Championship exempts him for 5 years’ value of majors, it doesn’t assist him get onto the Aussie Olympic crew for Paris 2024. And with a loaded area of contenders that now contains Lee, Jason Day, Adam Scott, Cameron Davis, Lucas Herbert and extra, the truth that Smith has now slipped to No. 20 on the planet has him apprehensive.

“I do know the factors, I don’t know if that may change … however I’ve a few seems right here and 4 extra occasions within the majors, so hopefully I can maintain that rating up and put on the coat of arms on the chest once more,” Smith mentioned forward of the Aussie PGA. Maybe this week’s Australian Open will likely be a distinct story.

Then there are the LIV hopefuls or maybe the LIV-curious who might have been contemplating taking part in in LIV’s Promotions occasion. The occasion provides three LIV spots for the 2024 season in addition to a $1.5 million purse — all for an entry payment of lower than $50. However there was some confusion amongst PGA Tour gamers round whether or not they may join or not.

The excellent news for these within the occasion: The PGA Tour didn’t deem the occasion “unauthorized,” which meant so long as professionals received a launch from the PGA Tour in time (45 days forward for PGA Tour professionals, 15 days for Korn Ferry Tour professionals) their releases had been authorised. Unhealthy information: the Promotions occasion was solely confirmed 48 days earlier than its staging, so it’s unlikely many PGA Tour guys would have utilized in time.

So what occurs if somebody ignores the PGA Tour’s ruling and performs anyway? They’d possible be topic to the identical punishment that earlier LIV defectors suffered. In different phrases, a big suspension. Framework settlement or not, it’s protected to say a wall nonetheless exists between LIV and the PGA Tour. Those that signed up believing they’d be capable to maintain each doorways open could have a troublesome determination to make.


Monday End HQ.

I achieved peak Seattle on Saturday afternoon. Right here’s the scene: Driving again from a tree-cutting journey to Duval (shoutout Snow Valley Christmas Tree Farm), chilly however clear, fir tree strapped to the roof, the Olympics straight forward and the jam-packed bleachers of Husky Stadium off to our proper, dropped at life by the low winter solar as we crossed the 520 Bridge, electrical Apple Cup underway. All appeared proper within the Pacific Northwest.


3 issues to look at this week.

1. Tiger W. and Will Z.

Woods hasn’t performed since Augusta. Will Zalatoris hasn’t performed for the reason that WGC-Match Play. Thursday they’ll each tee it up! It’s a superb week for good golf.

2. A bucket-list Pinehurst journey…

Our of us right here at InsideGolf are working to construct out some experiences that might in any other case be unattainable for golf followers, so for those who’re a golf diehard who likes inside entry then contemplate trying out this journey to Pinehurst subsequent summer season which features a guided tour of Pinehurst No. 2 simply earlier than the U.S. Open will get underway — plus a spherical on the all-new No. 10 course, a keep on the Carolina Lodge, one other spherical at No. 8, dinner on the Dornoch Cottage and extra. You possibly can learn extra right here. (I do know, I do know. It’s not low cost! However it’ll make for a particular few days.)

3. Panther Nationwide, unveiled.

We trekked to Palm Seashore County’s latest personal course to hitch Justin Thomas, Jack Nicklaus and extra on Day 1 at Panther Nationwide. You may get a superb have a look at the course plus an eagle look from Thomas, a swing tip from a current PGA Tour winner, Scheffler-Schauffele confusion and extra:

Within the meantime I’ll be writing, tweeting, Instagramming and no matter else for GOLF.com all week from the Hero World Problem — keep tuned!

Dylan (cautiously) welcomes your feedback at dylan_dethier@golf.com.

Dylan Dethier

Dylan Dethier

Golf.com Editor

Dylan Dethier is a senior author for GOLF Journal/GOLF.com. The Williamstown, Mass. native joined GOLF in 2017 after two years scuffling on the mini-tours. Dethier is a graduate of Williams Faculty, the place he majored in English, and he’s the writer of 18 in America, which particulars the 12 months he spent as an 18-year-old dwelling from his automotive and taking part in a spherical of golf in each state.



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