The Masters 2024: Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, Tom Watson call for PGA Tour and LIV Golf unity | Golf News

Golfing greats Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player and Tom Watson have all called for unity between the PGA Tour and LIV Golf to get the world’s best back playing together frequently in a ‘fractured’ sport.

The all-star trio fulfilled their roles as Honorary Starters at The Masters, following a two-and-a-half-hour weather delay at Augusta National, before discussing the state of the men’s game during a lengthy press conference.

The Masters is the first event that PGA Tour and LIV Golf members have competed in the same field since The Open in July, as talks continue to untie the men’s game following the Framework Agreement initially announced last summer.

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Jon Rahm believes there is room for both the PGA Tour and LIV Golf.

Watson told reporters about speaking to past winners at Tuesday’s Champions Dinner about how great it was to have players from both circuits competing against each other, something he wants to see more frequently in the future.

“We all know golf is fractured with the LIV Tour and the PGA Tour doing the different things they are doing,” Watson said in Thursday’s press conference. “We all know it’s a difficult situation for professional golf right now.

“The players really kind of have control I think in a sense. What do they want to do? We’ll see where it goes. We don’t have the information or the answers. I don’t think the PGA Tour or the LIV Tour really have an answer right now.


The Masters – Live


Friday 12th April 2:00pm


“I think in this room, I know the three of us want to get together. We want to get together like we were at that Champions Dinner, happy and the best players playing against each other. The bottom line is that’s what we want in professional golf, and right now, we don’t have it.”

Will players be welcomed back?

Defending champion Jon Rahm is among a 13-strong LIV contingent in the field at Augusta National, five fewer than in 2023, with the lack of world rankings points on offer making it harder for players from the Saudi-backed circuit to earn their spot in the majors.

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Defending Masters champion Jon Rahm speaks openly about his switch to LIV Golf, admitting he would love to play on the PGA Tour again in future.

Rahm said earlier this week about how he still loves the PGA Tour and was open to competing on the circuit again, although Player believes it’s going to be challenging to get players back together.

“In any business whatsoever, where there’s confrontation, it’s unhealthy,” Player said. “You’ve got to get together and come to a solution. The public don’t like it and we as professionals don’t like it either.

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Pundit Brandel Chamblee slams defending champion Jon Rahm’s decision to join LIV Golf, while Rahm insists his legacy has not been tainted by the move.

“It’s a big problem because they paid all these guys to join the LIV tour, fortunes beyond comprehension. I really believe that the players who were loyal should be compensated in some way or another, otherwise there will be dissension.”

The PGA Tour player director met with Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund – who bankroll LIV Golf – last month in the Bahamas as part of the ongoing talks between the organisations, although no timeline has been publicly put in place as to when – or if – the deal will be finalised.


The Masters – Live


Friday 12th April 7:30pm


“The best outcome is the best players playing each other against each other all the time,” Nicklaus said. “How it’s going? I don’t know. I don’t want to be privy to it.

“I talked to Jay [Monahan, PGA Tour commissioner] not very long ago. I said ‘Jay, don’t tell me what’s going on because I don’t want to have to lie to the press when people ask me questions’. I ‘said how are you doing’ and he said ‘we’re doing fine’.

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Rory McIlroy discusses how he believes Jay Monahan has impacted the PGA Tour and how he will approach The Players Championship.

“I think if Jay thinks we’re doing fine and we’re going to get there, then I think we’ll get there. I certainly hope that happens the sooner the better.”

Who will win The Masters? Watch exclusively live this week on Sky Sports, with all four rounds live on Sky Sports Golf. Stream The Masters and lots more golf with NOW.

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