Why BMW PGA confirmed it's great time for golf all round in terms of talent
If Greg Norman felt LIV Golf’s Boston event had given “golf a heartbeat”, it would be interesting to see what he made of a thrilling climax to the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth.
Jon Rahm, a major winner in full flow, signing off with a sensational 62 on the West Course to set a stiff clubhouse target.
Shane Lowry, another major winner strutting his stuff, then finding the heart of the green with a 5-iron to set up a closing birdie that edged him ahead of the Spaniard.
Rory McIlroy, yet another major winner, hitting an equally-majestic 3-iron to virtually the same spot before agonisingly seeing an eagle putt that would have forced a play-off somehow stay above ground when it seemed certain to topple into the hole.
It really was terrific stuff and you probably had to be there - and I was among the lucky ones - to get a real sense of the electric atmosphere that was generated at the Surrey venue.
Whether you liked them being there or not, there can be no denying that the presence of a posse of LIV Golf players in the field added another level of intrigue to one of the game’s top events on this occasion.
Talor Gooch and Patrick Reed both ended up in the top ten, with Lee Westwood just missing out on that and, for the vast majority of fans, that certainly didn’t dampen a great day’s entertainment in the final round.
I also have to say that I listened to interviews given by Westwood, Reed, Ian Poulter and Abraham Ancer during the week and they were all pretty measured in what they had to say about why they felt they deserved to be there.
Even so, I honestly still don’t understand why players who have joined a breakaway circuit - and the PGA Tour was never that in the eyes of European Tour officials back in the day - don’t think there should be any consequence for the action.
As for Sergio Garcia, he should never be allowed to darken the door of what is now called the DP World Tour ever again for the contempt he showed by withdrawing after just one round then posing for a photograph at a US college football game in Austin on Saturday.
It will be down to a court, of course, to decide the fate of LIV Golf players as far continuing to tee up on the Old World circuit is concerned, though Graeme McDowell suggested a vote among DP World Tour members might be a better way to decide their fate.
Whatever happens, we should feel comforted by what Keith Pelley, the circuit’s chief executive, had to say during a 45-minute media chat last Wednesday and also, of course, by the fact the players described as “the good guys” include McIlroy, Rahm, Matt Fitzpatrick, Viktor Hovland, Lowry himself and many others.
“You know, the last few weeks on the golf course haven’t disappointed,” observed McIlroy, who contributed to that by winning the PGA Tour’s Tour Championship and FedEx Cup. “We’ve got a lot of great players playing right now and the depth of talent is all over the world. It’s a great time for golf. I think we can’t lose sight of that fact.”
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