PGA Tour’s stance toward LIV Golf reveals uncharacteristic rancor in sport

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The PGA Tour has sternly refused to grant its membership the ability to play in the inaugural event of a rival Saudi-backed golf tour, which will make its debut next month outside London. The move, announced in a memo to tour members Tuesday night, was hardly a surprise — the PGA Tour is protecting its business — but in the most gentlemanly of sports, it exposed uncharacteristic rancor.

It is also pressuring the world’s best men’s golfers, who are highly paid entrepreneurs, to choose sides over where they will collect their millions of dollars in compensation. And not inconsequentially, the focus of the dispute is often the source of the alternative golf circuit, LIV Golf, whose major shareholder is the Public Investment Fund, the sovereign wealth fund of Saudi Arabia.

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