This last week was pretty amazing for golf. The start of the week it was in the news for the wrong reasons but by the end of the weekend it was for all the right reasons. Let's start with the bad stuff.
This week saw the first event for the new Saudi funded LIV Tour in Hertfordshire. The event set a new record for the amount of money won with Charl Schwartzel walking away with the $4 million dollars first prize and winning $750,000 for his part in the team prize. Looking through social media it has had very mixed reviews. For me personally I love the idea of the format but the money involved is just ridiculous. As they are yet to attract the bigger names the level of golf was a little lacking, only 9 players beating par with 48th place shooting 24 over par for his 3 rounds and still walking away with $160,000. Does that really encourage good golf? I think the events are inevitable, the tours just need to come together to work things out. They have since announced Patrick Reed and Bryson DeChambeau will take part in the next event with Ricky Fowler also rumoured to be involved.
DP WORLD TOUR
Whilst the events in Hertfordshire were taking place the DP World Tour hosted its annual Scandinavian mixed event. Henrik Stenson and Annika Sorenstam host the event which is a DP World Tour event but invites both the men and women to take place. For the first time in the events history and the DP World Tours history it was won be a female player. Linn Grant produced a superb 4 days golf to blow the competition away and win by 9 shots. Some people say it's not fair with the ladies course being over 1000 yards shorter than the men's but to put how brilliant she was into perspective, she beat the next female player by 14 shots. A final round of 62 was the icing on the cake of what was a brilliant competition. If LIV Golf had tried the start something like this they probably would have had far more support rather than making the men's game even richer.
The PGA Tour started on Thursday by banning any players that were still part of the PGA Tour that took part in the LIV Golf event. They have taken a very hard start for the beginning that no one would be allowed to play in the events on the LIV Tour and have stuck by it. Those that have stuck with the PGA Tour have been giving their opinion and no more so than Rory McIlroy. He said they are money grabbers and was sad that so many left to play in the event. Whilst this is going on he had his own event to play as well. It turned out to be a fantastic Canadian Open which resulted in Rory, JT and Tony Finau battling out for victory. Rory ended up being triumphant with the worst score out of the group being -6. In Rory's interview after he also noted that this, his 21st victory on tour, took him above 'someone else' meaning Greg Norman and that gave him extra motivation. The big thing the PGA Tour will be happy with is the support they had from the crowds. The atmosphere looked amazing with JT saying it felt like a major.
This weeks US Open is going to be very interesting with DJ and Phil both allowed to play as the tours do not control the majors so it will be interesting to see what type of reception they get.