Brandel Chamblee Slams PGA Tour for LIV Golf Partnership: ‘One of the Saddest Days in the History of Professional Golf’
The Golf Channel’s Brandel Chamblee was “hugely disappointed” with the PGA Tour’s decision to partner with rival LIV Golf.
CNBC reported on Tuesday that the sides came to an agreement that would combine the organizations under a single to-be-named entity. Figures have not been disclosed, but Yasir Al-Rumayyan — the governor of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund — said the state-owned fund has pledged billions of dollars for the new venture.
On Tuesday’s episode of Golf Today, Chamblee was blunt in his thoughts about the partnership.
“Like everyone else, when I first heard about it, I was completely shocked,” Chamblee said. “I can’t imagine that too many people — outside of maybe the two or three or four or five people that were in the room that brought this merger to fruition — would’ve known anything about it.
“After the shock sort of ebbed away, I was hugely disappointed. I think this is one of the saddest days in the history of professional golf. I do believe that the governing bodies — the professional entities — have sacrificed their principles for profit.”
Chamblee believes the agreement was motivated by several factors: the desire to put an end to litigation, PGA sponsors already backed by PIF funding, and the prospect of billions of dollars being used to grow the game globally.
The announcement has already been met with significant backlash, with some claiming the PGA Tour took “blood money” due to Saudi Arabia’s human rights controversies.
Because of this, Chamblee said PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan has some important questions to answer.
“Will its philanthropic and charitable aspect — that is just the lifeblood and the appeal of the game to so many sponsors — will that remain absolutely intact?” Chamblee said. “Number two: Will the integrity of professional golf remain intact? The tournaments themselves. Will they be sieged upon — tournament after tournament — by protestors who find this coupling very difficult to get their arms around, especially given the rhetoric of the commissioner over the last year or so.
“Ultimately, will PIF be the owner of professional golf? That was the first question that popped into my mind.”
Watch above via The Golf Channel
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