PGA Tour Policy Board Member: LIV Golf Used Tactics to Lure Jon Rahm and Others

"It was a negotiating tactic to take a player like Jon, and for Jon to go."

by Sead Dedovic
PGA Tour Policy Board Member: LIV Golf Used Tactics to Lure Jon Rahm and Others
© Michael Reaves/Getty Images Sport

Joe Ogilvie is a man who has left a huge mark on the golf scene, as a former player who competed on the PGA Tour. However, this 50-year-old has turned a new page in his career and now has a much more responsible role as he is now part of the Tour’s Policy Board and the board of PGA Tour Enterprises. Ogilvie is aware of the importance of his role and how much of a significant factor he will be in the negotiations between the PGA Tour and LIV Golf, which have been ongoing for a year now. 

In an interview for Golfweek, this former golfer touched on various topics; The arrival of Saudis in the world of golf, Jay Monahan's role in the whole story, and perhaps most interestingly, the way LIV Golf attracted Jon Rahm

After signing with LIV Golf, the Spaniard confirmed that his decision was greatly eased by the fact that the PGA Tour and PIF (LIV Golf) are negotiating a merger. However, much time has passed since then, and a final agreement has yet to be reached. In an interview for Golfweek, Ogilvie commented on Rahm's decision, where the Spaniard pointed out that his departure might also be a reason to reach an agreement between the two sides sooner. The Golfweek reporter emphasized that doesn't seem to be the case.

"It doesn’t. It was certainly shocking. It was a negotiating tactic to take a player like Jon, and for Jon to go. That was definitely a shot across the bow."- Joe Ogilvie said.

Joe Ogilvie
Joe Ogilvie© Scott Halleran/Getty Images Sport

Jon Rahm admitted in one of the interviews that after the talks about the merger between the PGA Tour and LIV Golf, the Spaniard changed his stance, believing that both Tours would operate under one roof. Rahm carefully and patiently monitored the situation and was open to the offer from LIV Golf, which offered him a huge amount of money. Although Rahm emphasizes that he is not materialistic and already has enough money to end his career, when such an offer is made to you, it's hard to say NO.

“What opened the door a little bit was that PGA Tour and LIV agreement. So when that happened, I was like, well, we are definitely coming together. There is something happening, so at least I owe it to myself to hear what they have to offer and what their vision is. I figured I owed it to myself to hear them out, which is what I did when the season was over.”-Rahm said.

Jon Rahm
Jon Rahm© Mark Brake/Getty Images Sport

Joe Ogilvie: If we were to come to a deal, those problems could be ironed out

Ogilvie acknowledged that such departures do not help and only lead to even greater division. The golfers who remained have gained some advantages, but the money they will earn on the PGA Tour still does not compare to the money LIV Golf can offer. Nevertheless, he emphasizes that being an owner is a huge deal. The question arises whether LIV Golf and the PGA Tour will find common ground in the future and reach an agreement, or on the other hand, there will be no agreement at all.

"It doesn’t help. It certainly doesn’t help. And that’s a sticking point. Guys that stayed loyal now have equity in the PGA Tour. Did they get as much money as if they would have gone to LIV? No. However, it’s a very valuable security. They are owners. It takes some of the sting out, but we’re going to have to figure that part out. If we were to come to a deal, those problems could be ironed out. But not everybody’s gonna be happy with the way they’re ironed out."- Ogilvie said.

Some believe that the PGA Tour has experienced an important decline since the arrival of LIV Golf. The leaders of the Saudi Arabia-backed Tour claim that their ratings have soared, while, on the other hand, the PGA Tour is experiencing a decline. Ogilvie emphasizes that the ratings have actually increased, believing that golf is in a good position. Additionally, he stresses that golf is growing, especially concerning women and juniors. Ogilvie appears frustrated with various media headlines, emphasizing that golf is in a bad position.

"Six out of the last 10 weeks ratings have actually gone up. The sport of golf is in a good spot. You’re seeing massive uptake in women and junior golfers. The only people we’re seeing playing fewer rounds are Irish journalists."- he said.

Opinions on golf and its position vary among individuals. It's difficult to give a definitive answer regarding the position golf is in, but it's certain that everyone would like to see unity in the world of golf and have the opportunity to watch the best golfers at the Majors.

Pga Tour Liv Golf Jon Rahm