Luke Walker/Getty ImagesRory McIlroy pitched a new vision for the sport of golf amid the ongoing stalemate between the PGA Tour and LIV Golf.
The four-time major champion said he’d like to see golf adopt a more rigid pyramid concept, where smaller tours from across the globe help fill out one premier competition. He referenced the UEFA Champions League, the crown jewel of world football at the club level.
Sky Sports Golf @SkySportsGolf’I view it like the Champions League’ 🏆
Rory McIlroy hopes to see a framework in golf where at the very top level is a Champions League style tour where the very best can compete ⛳ pic.twitter.com/BqetdzkRHq
“The way I view it is a bit like [the] Champions League in football,” he said Wednesday. “It’s like the best of the best in Europe, and then all of the other leagues feed up into it. There’s lots of different tours getting interest and a lot of great players, but if you want to create something that is real value for the game of golf, I think it’s this top-level tour and then all the other tours feed into it.”
The proposed merger between the PGA Tour and LIV represented a major shift but at least promised a clear overarching structure. However, negotiations over the deal continue to drag on with no end in sight.
In the meantime, the PGA Tour has seen two of its biggest advocates change their tune on LIV. Jon Rahm signed with the rival competition, while McIlroy has taken a much less combative tone toward it.
For McIlroy, the new Champions League-style tour would preserve some of golf’s history while opening the door for new markets.
“I think the opportunity here is global,” he said. “Look, there are still massive events in America, and I think they have huge history and tradition and they need to be kept. But there’s a lot of opportunity elsewhere.”
Some will contend this sounds a lot like LIV Golf, albeit a more meritocratic version. Also, they might argue bringing the Champions League to golf would only increase stratification among the players.
World football supporters have said for years the UCL is increasingly letting the rich get richer, both making the tournament more predictable and creating less parity in domestic leagues.
One way or another, it looks like the landscape of golf is bound to evolve significantly over the next few years.
Source : Bleacher Report