Justin Thomas Advocates Consequences for LIV Golfers Seeking PGA Tour Return

Thomas shared a similar view to the one from two months ago.

by Sead Dedovic
Justin Thomas Advocates Consequences for LIV Golfers Seeking PGA Tour Return
© Michael Reaves/Getty Images Sport

The talk of a merger between the PGA Tour and LIV Golf doesn't produce positive reactions from everyone. Some aren't happy with such an outcome, considering it not the best option for golf's future. Negotiations, still ongoing, could be nearing an end, with increasing talk of a final agreement being reached. However, it's hard to predict if that's indeed the case or merely media speculation. 

One of the golfers drawing the most attention is Justin Thomas. He has been one of the vocal opponents of LIV Golf from the start, unhappy with what such a project brings to the golf scene. In an interview with The Times, Thomas emphasized the urgency of resolving such an issue promptly, as it could impact the future of golf and potentially lead to the departure of some fans. Thomas wants to compete with the best golfers under one flag.

“Golf is not necessarily a big enough sport to be able to have competing situations like this. If it were to go on too long, people could eventually become bored and not have the same love for watching it. And, as a competitor, all of us want to play against the best in the world."- he said, as quoted by MIRROR.

Thomas emphasized that he, along with others, feels anger. The arrival of LIV Golf was not an easy thing to accept. Watching the world of golf function independently for years, and then the sudden emergence of a new Tour, was shocking. In moments when individuals were deciding to leave the PGA Tour and join LIV Golf, the reactions only grew stronger and stronger. 

Thomas, prepared for the merger, believes that individuals who left LIV Golf should face consequences if they want to return to the PGA Tour. His stance is not shared by Rory McIlroy, who has repeatedly emphasized that every individual who left the PGA Tour should have the right to return without any consequences.

“Initially, myself and others had a lot of feelings of just anger, they’ve done this, that’s what it is, and that’s still true. I still think there should be some kind of consequences [for LIV players who want to come back to the PGA Tour], if you will."- Thomas continued.

Rory McIlroy
Rory McIlroy© Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images Sport

The 31-year-old American stresses that despite everything, the best option is for everyone to play golf together. For him, it's not primary to debate how it will be done. He emphasizes that he is not the person who will make such decisions. Thomas is aware that there are people currently negotiating the merger between the PGA Tour and LIV Golf, ready to conclude negotiations that have been ongoing for a year now.

Justin Thomas shared a similar view in February

Two months ago, Thomas shared a similar stance when discussing LIV Golf and the return of individuals to the PGA Tour.

Thomas expresses a nuanced stance, emphasizing his desire for the best players and product in golf, regardless of the route taken. He acknowledges the potential positive impact of some LIV Golf players on the PGA Tour but believes that those who left should face consequences before returning. 

The 31-year-old golfer is well acquainted with his peers competing in LIV Golf and knows the qualities they possess. This is one of the reasons why he dreams again of playing together, as it will elevate the quality of golf, increase fan attention, and make the competition more intense, providing room for advancement. Division at this moment tarnishes golf in every aspect.

Justin highlights the sacrifices made by many players and their commitment to their decisions, suggesting that the ease of return could be difficult to accept for him and others. While open to some form of reconciliation in the future, he admits uncertainty about the specifics and timing of such arrangements.

Thomas isn't the only one on the PGA Tour who shares this stance. The American emphasizes that many of his colleagues share the same view regarding the return of LIV Golfers to the PGA Tour. The question is how it would affect the atmosphere if they returned without any punishment. Many believe that it would somewhat ridicule the loyalty of individuals who remained on this Tour despite pressure and financial offers from LIV Golf executives.

" I would have a hard time with it, and I think a lot of guys would have a hard time with it, and I'm sure we don't need to convince you why we would have a hard time with it."- Justin Thomas concluded.

In the coming months, we will get a real answer about what will happen. Judging by everything, the merger could become a reality in a few months.

Justin Thomas Pga Tour