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‘Shamed Player’: After Thrashing Tiger Woods, US Legend Bashes PGA Tour and LIV for Their ‘Billions’ Merger

Published 06/08/2023, 7:00 AM EDT

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Exciting news has come out from the golf front. Two huge golfing tournaments, that grew to be sworn enemies in no time, are set to come together in a merger. The news is being promoted as a positive milestone in golf, and needless to say, golfing fans will be looking forward to it. However, the US Olympic track and field legend, Michael Johnson, has shown his disappointment regarding this merger in one particular aspect. His criticism of the collaboration comes 4 months after he called out Tiger Woods.

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The PGA Tour and DP World Tour are all set to merge with LIV Golf, which is funded by Saudi Arabia’s PIF, in a deal that will amount to billions. Michael Johnson simply points out the fact that this is a sharp U-turn from all the animosity and negativity that surrounded the two events in the past couple of years. He seems simply skeptical about this sudden change of lanes, just as he once held no bars in criticizing Woods for his Tampon controversy.

Michael Johnson voiced his opinion following the PGA and DP tours collaboration


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Michael Johnson recently took to his Twitter and wrote, “PGA (and American gold media) basically said players should remain loyal to PGA, criticized the source of LIV money, and shamed players who took all that money. Now this!”. Johnson posted an article link by BBC that talked about the “shock merger” between LIV Golf with PGA and DP World Tour. Johnson couldn’t believe the drastic change in how things were between the two events.

He was wondering if the enmity between the two leagues ever amounted to something if it all had to end in a happy merger. Never shy of calling a spade a spade, Johnson also didn’t buy Tiger Woods’ apology after he pulled a prank on fellow golfer Justin Thomas by passing a tampon to him. It was Woods’ return to the golf course after more than two years, and his fans expected something more than a stunt. Therefore, Johnson wasn’t convinced by his apology.


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Keeping the same attitude, Johnson wants to know how the animosity between LIV Golf and PGA Tour, so quickly turned into one of a deep friendship.


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What started the enmity between PGA Tour and LIV Golf

The announcement was a surprise for everyone, and Jay Monahan, commissioner of the PGA Tour said to BBC, “This is a historic day for the game”. The Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund backed the LIV Golf, which made its debut in 2021. Immediately enough, it was accused of poaching some of the best golfers from the PGA and DP World Tour. It was a separate event, and it threatened the existence of the already-existing tours in America. Top-notch prize money and no-cut events were too attractive for many golfers to ignore it. Therefore, PGA and DP World Tour decided to file a lawsuit and entered into a very expensive litigation. This merger quashes every existing litigation.

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USA Today via Reuters

Many golfers who had previously shifted lanes will be now back to playing one single league, and this might be good news for all golf lovers. However, the question remains on people’s minds, including Johnson’s, regarding why and how this merger suddenly happened.


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Tanmay Roy

752 articles

Tanmay Roy is a sports writer at EssentiallySports specializing in his coverage of the Olympics and other major American sporting events. His passion for sports was ignited by the early achievements of Michael Phelps, Pete Sampras, and John McEnroe. As a writer for EssentiallySports, Tanmay's articles have been recognized as Editor's Picks, showcasing his ability to craft engaging and thought-provoking stories.

Edited By: Purva Jain