Patrick Cantlay Rejects Player Equity Deal as LIV Obstacle

"I really hope that this deal brings about change that really makes it better for the fans."- Cantlay said.

by Sead Dedovic
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Patrick Cantlay Rejects Player Equity Deal as LIV Obstacle
© Stacy Revere / Getty Images Sport

After the PGA Tour finalized a deal with the Strategic Sports Group worth around 3 billion dollars, optimism emerged among PGA Tour players who have long awaited such a moment. As a player director on the PGA Tour's Policy Board, Patrick Cantlay played a central role in the negotiations. Cantlay is aware of the importance of such a deal and what it could mean for the future of this Tour. Unlike many, Cantlay has chosen to commend the Strategic Sports Group, believing that the leaders of this organization are great at their jobs. For Cantlay, the primary focus is that this deal will influence golf as a sport to move in the right direction

"Yeah, I think hopefully this strengthens up the PGA Tour, that's the idea, and I think it will. The investors that we have coming alongside are very experienced and very sophisticated and hopefully it's a real positive step in the right direction. I think it will be.

I think anytime someone makes a sizeable investment like that they're going to be watching over the investment. I think because of their sports experience we'll really lean on their expertise to try to grow the sport and make it as good as it possibly can be."- Patrick Cantlay said, as reported by golfmonthly.com


Cantlay rejected the idea that player equity deals were just rewards to discourage them from joining LIV. He placed special emphasis on the Pebble Beach Pro-Am, as well as the fans who have been expressing their disappointment day after day over the past year and a half. Cantlay believes that this is not only a significant development for PGA Tour golfers but also for the fans who deserve to see positive things in the golf scene. This could be a turning point.

"Getting the top guys together more often, which I think is good. 

You know, this event [Pebble Beach Pro-Am] you see has the strongest field that it's had in a number have years and I think that's fantastic, I think that's what the fans want to see.

I really hope that this deal brings about change that really makes it better for the fans because I think they've suffered a lot over the last couple years and I hope that the product will be better for them going forward."


Patrick Cantlay on golf fans

Cantlay believes that too much uncertainty and discussions unrelated to golf can be distracting for fans who just want to enjoy watching the sport. He emphasizes that fans are interested in seeing top players compete without additional distractions. That was not the only problem that arose with the fans. Some golfers, especially those who were part of the board, emphasized that the whole chaos regarding LIV Golf and the PGA Tour took their focus away from the game and influenced their performances to be below par. McIlroy is one of those.

Rory McIlroy and Patrick Cantlay
Rory McIlroy and Patrick Cantlay© Andrew Redington / Getty Images Sport
 

Regarding fan engagement, Cantlay sees a connection between more people being interested in golf and the success of the PGA Tour. He mentions that the PGA Tour's goal is not only to make golf appealing to a wider audience but also to ensure that those interested viewers continue to watch and support the sport.

The progress of golf must be the primary focus, and only then should other things follow. With such moves, it's certain that the leaders of the PGA Tour will influence attracting attention from fans and increase interest in this sport

Cantlay appreciates any efforts from the media to increase coverage and to show a golf to a larger fan base. He thinks that this added attention is positive and contributes to the overall success and popularity of the sport.

While on one hand, we have PGA Tour players who have no issues with LIV Golfers returning to the PGA Tour, some are against it. Cantlay appears uncertain about this. 

On one side, he respects the decisions of golfers to change their future, but he still doesn't have a concrete opinion regarding their potential return. It is now crucial to be patient, think rationally, and make the right decision. Divisions at this moment are not something to look forward to

"I think everyone's divided. Like I've said, over the last couple years I've been pretty the same. I mean, people are welcome to make the choices that they'd like to make. It's a personal choice, it has been.

And as far as coming back, we'll see. It's up to a group of us. I know players feel all over the board on that issue and so my job as a player-director is to represent the entire membership.

So if something like that were to come down the road, I'm sure we would have to have a robust conversation around that topic."

Patrick Cantlay
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