‘I still hate LIV’: Golf’s civil war is over, but how will pro golfers move on?

The golf community faces challenges in moving forward after the PGA Tour’s controversial merger with Saudi-funded LIV Golf.

The backstory: Rory McIlroy and other top golfers opposed LIV Golf due to concerns over Saudi Arabia’s human rights record, but the PGA Tour recently announced a merger with LIV Golf’s backers, the Saudi sovereign wealth fund.
* McIlroy feels like “a sacrificial lamb” and still sees LIV Golf as the enemy.

Players’ reactions: Many PGA players are “furious” about the merger and feel betrayed by the PGA Tour after refusing lucrative offers from LIV Golf.
* Some players, like Padraig Harrington, view the merger as a necessary financial move for both sides.

Ethical concerns: Critics accuse LIV Golf and the PGA Tour of ~~”sportswashing,”~~ allowing a wealthy and oppressive regime to improve its global image through the sport of golf.
* LIV’s defenders argue that other sports and business entities also interact with Saudi Arabia and that golfers should be allowed to play where they want.

Moving forward: Questions remain about how to compensate loyal PGA players and handle returning LIV Golf pros, as well as the future direction of pro golf under the merged organization.

View original article on NPR

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