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Ex-PGA Tour Commish Deane Beman Doesn't Think LIV Funders 'Give a Damn About' Golf

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVAugust 9, 2022

Deane Beman (Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

Deane Beman, who spent 20 years as the PGA Tour commissioner beginning in 1974, questioned whether the founders of LIV Golf actually care about the sport.

LIV is financially backed by Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund, which has allowed the new series to hand out lucrative guaranteed contracts to get players to make the jump from the PGA Tour.

The 84-year-old told Adam Schupak of Golfweek on Monday he doesn't believe it's "good for the game of golf:"

"Overall, I don't think the people putting up the money give a damn about the game of golf. They are trying to use what we built over decades, what I think is the most courageous and responsible sport that there is and that has integrity and respect for the rules and respect for the game and respect for competition, I don't think the people putting up the money give a damn about any of that. They are putting up money for their own personal benefit."

As for the players who've accepted the offers, Beman named Sergio Garcia as an example of an older golfer who's "grabbing the money and going" because they're on the back nine of their career, and he's somewhat understanding of that approach.

He's less sure in regards to those still in a position to consistently compete for titles:

"There are certain players that have gone over there that I think have made a mistake for their career but maybe they don't care as much as I thought they did about what it stands for and what it means to be a champion golfer. A lot of them are just thinking about the money. If you're just worried about money, there are a helluva lot of easier ways to get a lot of money than to play golf, I can tell you that. They should've thought about that a long time ago."

As a whole, Beman described LIV Golf as a "money grab" and said the only positive of the rival tour is "demasking the integrity of some individuals."

"Their real stripes are showing," he said. "Some of the people who have benefited enormously from what the Tour has put together are fully disclosing their integrity."

A series of lawsuits have been filed against the PGA Tour's decision to ban players who compete in LIV from their events.

Phil Mickelson and Bryson DeChambeau headlined a group of 11 LIV players who filed an antitrust lawsuit last week.

In addition, three golfersโ€”Talor Gooch, Matt Jones and Hudson Swaffordโ€”are seeking a temporary restraining order that would make them eligible for the PGA Tour's FedEx Cup playoffs, which are in their second round this weekend at the St. Jude Championship in Memphis, Tennessee.

Beman described those efforts as "trying to have their cake and eat it too."

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