If you don’t get the difference between what the PGA Tour is offering and what LIV Golf is offering, watching Will Zalatoris and Sepp Straka trying to win the first FedEx Cup playoff event Sunday afternoon laid it out there in raw and captivating fashion.
That it was Zalatoris, a new star on a comet ride, and Straka, who looks like a guy with whom you might play a weekend round at your club, speaks to the beauty of what the tour offers.
They were guys with one tour victory between them – Straka won the Honda Classic in March – and the golf they played wasn’t perfect, but it was weighted with emotion.
That’s one of the things LIV is missing: the emotion.
Something money can’t buy.
The FedEx Cup playoffs are a contrivance, dipped in the PGA Tour’s pot of money, but the playoffs work. If the best player of this season – Scottie Scheffler and Cameron Smith lead that discussion at the moment – happens to win, all the better.
If not, like the playoffs in other sports, someone gets hot at the right time and rides off with what is now an $18 million bonus. The money will be great but having won the FedEx Cup trophy will set that player apart.
Ask Bill Haas. Ask Billy Horschel.
That’s where the great divide falls in professional golf’s current war. One side is selling history and legacy. The other side is selling itself.
Before the FedEx St. Jude Championship at TPC Southwind in Memphis, Zalatoris spent some time doing a photo shoot at nearby Colonial Country Club where Al Geiberger shot the first 59 in PGA Tour history in 1977. Zalatoris was struck by the achievement.
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