PGA-LIV merger has saved the Ryder Cup, says Johnston

By Sports Desk June 14, 2023

The merger of the PGA Tour with Saudi Arabia-backed LIV Golf will help preserve the Ryder Cup.

That is the view of Andrew 'Beef' Johnston, who was speaking to Stats Perform on behalf of the Beef's Golf Club podcast.

It was announced last week that the PGA Tour and DP World Tour (formerly the European Tour) had merged with LIV Tour's backers – Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF).

While the merger has left high-profile players like Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm in difficult positions, Johnston does believe the move will help save golf's flagship team competition.

Players who had left for LIV Golf were set to be barred from competing in the Ryder Cup, which takes place in Rome in September and early October.

"Yeah 100 per cent [it's saved the Ryder Cup]," he said. 

"You want to see the best players go head to head, 100 per cent. The best players of their time you want to see playing, that's what makes great Ryder Cups, when you've got the best players and if you're missing certain players, I don't think it's ideal.

"On the flip side, there's always going to be players coming up, the new generation and there are great players no matter what happens.

"So, I always thought the Ryder Cup would be in safe hands, but it's better that everyone can play."

As for welcoming LIV rebels back onto the PGA and DP World Tours, Johnston has few issues.

"Yeah, I have never been fussed at all," he added.

"I know there's been some players unhappy about them going, a few have been a bit awkward about it. I'm not too sure exactly who it was or why it was or whatever reason. But I still keep in touch with a couple of them.

"You've got to do what you've got to do. You're not doing anything terrible. The whole moral situation I found quite interesting from the start and the PGA Tour and DP Tour were saying it's morally wrong to go. But we already played in Saudi a few years ago. So, I found that a bit funny.

"We're self-employed. If you get that opportunity, go, and take it. What I didn't quite understand were some of the guys trying to come back and play on the DP Tour.

"If they've signed the full contract to go and play on LIV, my perspective would have been: 'Alright, I'm gonna move over to LIV Golf, sign on for a lot of money. I'm going to go and play the 16 events, enjoy my time off with family or whatever I want to do'.

"I'd personally go and BBQ a lot and hang out with my mates. But that's their choice again and everyone's got their choice. I don't think we should be saying: 'Oh, you can't come back. You can't come and do this'. I'm not really fussed [about them doing that]."

Search for 'Beef's Golf Club' to hear Beef's full podcast.

Instagram: @beefsgolfclub"

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