PGA Tour pro sounds off on Rory and Tiger's crisis meeting: "A slap in the face"

Mackenzie Hughes has revealed he viewed it as 'a slap in the face' he wasn't invited to the famous Delaware meeting with Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy. 

Ben Smith's picture
Wed, 3 Jan 2024
PGA Tour pro sounds off on Rory and Tiger's crisis meeting: "A slap in the face"

PGA Tour pro Mackenzie Hughes has revealed he viewed it as 'a slap in the face' he and several other golfers weren't invited to the famous Delaware meeting at the height of the North American circuit's battle with LIV Golf

Cast your mind back to August 2022 and Tiger Woods along with Rory McIlroy took matters into their own hands by gathering a group of elite players to navigate a path forwards amid unprecedented disruption in the men's game. 

What came from that meeting was ultimately an understanding the top players needed to compete together more often. 

The structure of the Tour has now changed considerably and there is no denying that is down to the influence of LIV. 

A series of no-cut, lucrative 'signature' events have been created that will only be available to the top performing players in 2024. 

Hughes was looking like he was going to miss out on the signature events owing to the fact he was the bubble boy in the Fedex Cup. 

He finished 71st in the season-long points race. Players finishing inside the top 70 are guaranteed starts in every signature event. 

But thanks to Jon Rahm's switch to LIV Golf and the Spaniard's subsequent suspension, Hughes has now been bumped up. 

After Rahm bolted to the rival league, Hughes hit the headlines for posting a lengthy thread on X in which he expressed sadness at the state of the men's professional game. 

He opened up on this topic in a press conference ahead of The Sentry in Hawaii. 

"All these guys going to LIV have made it pretty clear that it's all about money," he told reporters in Kapalua.  

"I mean, 'growing the game,' but also money." 

"So, to me, that's disappointing … Like, in 2019, I didn't pick a schedule based on a purse.

"But now that I'm qualified for these events, obviously it would be silly for me not to play in these events. They are great opportunities. But I just don't think it's right."

Of the meeting in Delaware, he explained: "There were 70 PGA tour players there and they thought only 25 or 30 of them were good enough for that meeting? Bit of a slap in the face.

"You got 70 of the best players on the PGA Tour that season, and you're going to tell me I can't sit in that meeting and at least listen?

"You can just put me in the back and say, 'Hey, Mac, don't speak, but you can at least listen to what we're saying.' It was like this closed doors meeting for the who's who of the tour.

"I'm not saying that you should make a decision based on what I think, but it would be nice to even just to put your two cents in or to hear what's going on, to be involved, to feel like you're part of it. Because I'm not a star of the PGA Tour, but I'm not a chump, either."

The Canadian was also critical of players who have expressed dismay at not being financially rewarded - yet - for staying loyal to the Tour. 

He added: "I think that also there's a lot of guys that feel entitled out here.

"Like, you start to see all these big amounts of money flying around and this offer and that offer and people think, 'Oh, well I stayed loyal, like, where's my money?

"You're not entitled to play the PGA Tour. You have the right and you have a privilege to play out here and it's an opportunity, but it's not like anyone owes you anything.

"No one's forcing your hand. You don't have to stay; you can go play over there if you want.

"So, this whole, the-tour-owes-me-something attitude, I don't like either."

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