Zalatoris: Champions League PGA Tour vs. LIV Golf is the way to bring golf back together
LIV Golf PGA Tour

Zalatoris: Champions League PGA Tour vs. LIV Golf is the way to bring golf back together

A photo of golfer Will Zalatoris NASSAU, BAHAMAS - NOVEMBER 30: Will Zalatoris of the Uited States lines up a putt on the 18th hole during the first round of the Hero World Challenge at Albany Golf Course on November 30, 2023 in Nassau, . (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images,)

A lot of fans of pro golf -- and a good number of professional golfers themselves -- have been clamoring for a golf tournament that pits the PGA Tour vs. LIV Golf in a showdown of the two tours.

With a variety of recognizable stars having defected to LIV Golf, including Masters champion Jon Rahm, the Saudi-owned circuit has contractual control over where those players compete for most of the year. Those players are also banned from competing on the PGA Tour, where many of the game's biggest stars make their careers alongside the quickly budding next generation of champions.

The PGA Tour and LIV Golf's owner, the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia, have been negotiating for nearly a year about a potential deal to somehow reunify pro golf. Discussions have been slow, as the two sides have been unable to resolve a variety of stumbling blocks, including how the PGA Tour could potentially welcome back LIV Golf defectors.

From his perpsective, though, Will Zalatoris sees the best option as not only consummating a deal but also creating a Champions League-style series of events which would pit the stars of the PGA Tour vs. LIV Golf stalwarts in a competitive atmosphere.

Speaking to the "Beyond the Clubhouse" podcast at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, Zalatoris said, "I think the Champions League idea would be the best idea going forward. We get some variation of the best guys from over there and the best guys from over here. It's just what people want to see. Making it an international game as well, I think, would be a massive help."

However well-received that idea is or might be by players and fans from both leagues, agreeing to the particulars of even that would likely prove difficult. That has led to some vocal exasperation, including from Zalatoris himself about what the future holds.

"I wish I had an answer for you," he said, "because if I did, I think we would have fast-tracked things a little quicker than kind of the way the talks have gone over the last several years."

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Ryan Ballengee

Ryan Ballengee is founder and editor of Golf News Net. He has been writing and broadcasting about golf for nearly 20 years. Ballengee lives in the Washington, D.C. area with his family. He is a scratch golfer...sometimes.

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