Boston Herald


PGA’s moral stance available for a price


Lefty landed on the right side of history.

Phil Mickelson led the charge of PGA Tour players who jumped to Greg Norman’s Saudi-backed LIV Golf. Mickelson, never one to be shy about his opinions, made it clear he made the move because it kept his wallet phat.

With Tuesday’s announced plan to merge the PGA Tour and LIV, Mickelson and the other golfers who took that monstrous bag of dirty Saudi cash hit PowerBall, or PowerPlayB­all. They bet it all on which version of golf was going to ultimately prevail. And won.

“Awesome day today,” Mickelson tweeted, with a smiley face emoji.

The Saudi Sovereign Wealth Fund (PIF) created LIV Golf with the goal to force a merger with the PGA Tour. That’s exactly what happened Tuesday. A new golf global entity, which doesn’t even have a name, will supplant all the PGA Tour, the DP World Tour, and any other mens’s golfing body that doesn’t have a couple of billion in reserve to stop this tidal wave.

Norman said this was coming earlier a few months ago. “You can’t have both,” Norman told Golf Magazine. He responded “yes” when asked about a possible peaceful solution to this. Even former President Trump took a victory lap in his golf cart. Trump’s courses played host to several LIV events.

Think AFL/NFL on worldwide financial steroids.

The PIF will pour billions into this new single global golf entity. The PGA Tour itself retains its nonprofit status. But its commercial entities are swallowed up in this deal.

The Saudis have already bought into sports via F1, pro soccer, the WWE, and other outlets.

The head of the Saudi PIF (Yasir Al-Rumayyan) is the new global golf entity’s chairman. PGA Tour Commission­er Jay Monahan will be his caddie. And CEO. The PGA Tour will appoint a majority of the board and hold most of the voting interest. The new world order will embrace golf in all its forms, on and off the course.

All the litigation between the PGA Tour and LIV Golf goes away.

The bad blood between pro golfers does not.

Dustin Johnson, Bryson Dechambeau, Brooks Koepka, and Mickelson were among the notables who jumped to LIV

Golf. Some pocketed nine figures to do so.

The golfers who chose to fight for the PGA Tour’s honor only to be sold out without warning by Monahan were left holding an empty bag.

“I love finding out morning news on Twitter,” posted PGA Tour star Collin Morikawa.

Talk about “suckers and losers.” Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods dutifully defended the PGA Tour for the principles upon which it allegedly stood. Now they’ll be cashing the same Saudi-backed checks as everyone else.

They held the moral high ground in opposing the Saudis, who helped bring us 9/11 among other atrocities. Of course, that ground was shaky. FedEx, which is the title sponsor of the PGA Tour and pumps roughly $75 million in prize money to the Tour, has its own partnershi­p with the Saudi government.

The PGA Tour finally realized it would not be able to outspend LIV Golf. Once LIV players started to win majors — Koepka at the PGA Championsh­ip — the Tour’s flaws in terms of quality were further exposed.

Koepka has been on a roll lately, cheering on his Miami Heat and Florida Panthers in the postseason. Tuesday, he chirped at NBC-Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee, among the most-vocal LIV critics.

“Welfare check on Chamblee,” Koepka tweeted.

The PGA Tour, like every other pro sports entity, has long championed whatever the prevailing social winds demanded. On June 1, the PGA Tour tweeted a video celebratin­g PRIDE month. “The golf community welcomes all to the game we love during PRIDE month and every month.”

In Saudi Arabia, homosexual­ity is illegal. Gays are subject to imprisonme­nt, flogging, deportatio­n, and chemical castration. Good luck with gay marriage, never mind “trans rights.”

We’re not sure how the PGA Tour plans to square its current views on PRIDE month with those of their new Saudi overlords. But as we learned three years ago with the Red Sox, all the “Black Lives Matter” banners on planet Earth don’t mean a damn thing when you finish in last place after letting Mookie Betts walk.

What about female golfers? Women couldn’t operate automobile­s in Saudi Arabia until 2018. Will they be able to drive on a par-5 if this entity co-opts the LPGA Tour?

When LIV Golf came to Greater Boston last year, a group of 9/11 families protested, accusing the Saudis of “sports washing.” Tuesday, 9/11 Families United said they were “betrayed” by Monahan. They weren’t the only ones.

Monahan is from Belmont. He said he knows two families who lost loved ones on 9/11.

During an interview with Jim Nantz a year ago Monday, Monahan’s message to those players who jumped to LIV was this: “Have you ever had to apologize for being a member of the PGA Tour?” Who’s sorry now, Jay?

The hypocrisy stinks all the way to Pebble Beach.

It should not surprise anyone that Monahan once worked for Fenway Sports Group.

Monahan told CNBC this deal was all about “capital,” “unity” and the “game of golf” being better for it.

It’s been more than 35 years since Gordon Gekko explained one of the two primal human emotions in “Wall Street.”

“Greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right. Greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutiona­ry spirit,” Gekko (Michael Douglas) said in “Wall Street” using the words of Oliver Stone.

“Greed … will save that other malfunctio­ning corporatio­n called the USA.”

The jury is still out on the USA.

It is crystal-clear greed won when it came to golf.

Bill Speros (@RealOBF and @BillSperos) can be reached at bsperos1@gmail.

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 ?? STAFF PHOTO ILLUSTRATI­ON ?? MIchael Douglas as Gordon Gekko in “Wall Street.”
STAFF PHOTO ILLUSTRATI­ON MIchael Douglas as Gordon Gekko in “Wall Street.”

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