“Confusion” around the PGA-LIV merger | Defending champion Matt Fitzpatrick focused on US Open

(Los Angeles) The announced merger between the PGA and LIV professional golf tours has created “confusion”, but its possible sporting effects on the United States Open should not be “exaggerated” (June 15-18) , assured the Englishman Matt Fitzpatrick, focused and determined to defend his title in Los Angeles.

“Even if it causes some confusion, it is clear that no one really knows what is going on except four people in the world,” admitted the 28-year-old golfer before the 3e lifting of the Grand Slam.

On June 6, the rival circuits announced to everyone’s surprise, after several months of legal guerrilla warfare, an agreement to merge. This agreement nevertheless raises many questions insofar as very few concrete details have emerged.

We must not “exaggerate” the sporting consequences of this decision on the course of the United States Open, however, Fitzpatrick relativized.

“On the first hole, you’re not going to say to yourself, ‘Oh, but what’s going on in the world of golf’? You then say to yourself rather: “it’s a four shot, where do you have to put the ball? How does the wind blow? It’s the only thing you think about.”

In 2022, Fitzpatrick won in the Boston area the 122e edition of the tournament which returns this year to Los Angeles, after 75 years of absence on the course of the LACC North Course.

Cameron Smith, who won the last British Open, also spoke behind the scenes of the merger.

“My first reaction was to think it was a hoax,” he admitted before receiving a call from Yasir Al-Rumayyan, the head of the Saudi sovereign wealth fund PIF which finances the LIV.

“He didn’t explain everything to me in detail. There is still a lot to do and with time we will see more clearly. But many players on both circuits are curious about what the future will look like,” he added.

“I take things as they come and for now it’s all about playing the best I can,” he concluded.

Launched in October 2021, LIV has attracted millions of dollars to some of the best golfers in the world. Due to its links with Saudi Arabia, the dissident circuit is also accused by various human rights NGOs of participating in the “sportwashing” of Riyadh.

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