Tour pro "frustrated" and "confused" by PGA Tour's agreement with the PIF

One PGA Tour pro says he felt blindsided by the bombshell agreement between the Tour and the PIF.

Lara Kuipers's picture
Thu, 8 Jun 2023
Tour pro "frustrated" and "confused" by PGA Tour's agreement with the PIF

A two-time PGA Tour winner says he felt "blindsided" by Tuesday's news that the PGA Tour had joined forces with the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF) - which financially backs LIV Golf.

This week the PGA Tour is in Toronto at Oakdale Golf and Country Club for the RBC Canadian Open.

Rory McIlroy is the defending champion and also looking to achieve a three-peat after winning the tournament in 2019 and then again in 2022 after a two-year pandemic-related cancellation.

Last year, the tournament had the unfortunate position of being played at the same time as LIV Golf's inaugural event.

This time around, the Canadian Open couldn't catch a second break as it became the host of a shocking announcement by the PGA Tour.

On Tuesday, the Tour announced an agreement with both the DP World Tour and the PIF.

Per the announcement, the PGA Tour and DP World Tour will combine their commercial businesses and rights with the golf-related businesses and rights of the PIF to create a new entity with the aim of unifying golf.

The agreement comes after over a year of hostilities and lawsuits between the PGA Tour and LIV Golf.

And soon after it became clear that many members of the PGA Tour had found out about this agreement through Twitter, like Mackenzie Hughes:

 He followed it up with another tweet, asking what his followers thought of the bombshell announcement.

On Wednesday, Hughes, who's from Dundas, Ontario - about an hour outside of Toronto - spoke to the media about the agreement into further detail. 

"I started out feeling a little frustrated, a little confused and betrayed -- not betrayed, but just blindsided in the fact that we just, to us, we didn't see this coming in any capacity," he said. "Maybe not for another five or six years. But now we are here and this is the news that we're dealing with."

Despite his frustrations, the 32-year-old admitted that he does feel that this agreement could benefit the game going forward.

"Ultimately I do think that the way the golf has been the last year is not good for the game," Hughes told reporters. "I do believe that when the dust does settle and we bring the guys back together, eventually, I do think that's what's in the best interests of golf. Right now it obviously is going to feel different or feel not right or confusing and everyone's got a lot of questions. But I do think that with time this could end up being a great thing."

Now, Hughes said he's shifting his focus back to the Canadian Open. It's been nearly 70 years since a Canadian won the tournament, and Hughes said it would be "amazing" to be the player that finally won it again.

"To be the guy, obviously be a bit of a Canadian hero to do that," he told reporters. "I picture coming down those last few holes and the way the crowd to be loud and the energy behind me would be incredible."

Hughes is one of three Canadians with a win already this season on the PGA Tour, after he won the Sanderson Farms back in October.

He will tee off at 12:59 p.m. EDT Thursday for the first round of the RBC Canadian Open in an all-Canadian group with B.C.'s Adam Svensson and Adam Hadwin.

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