Rich Beem is one of those shocked by the PGA Tour’s decision to deny players to compete in the LIV Golf International series.
“Initially I was shocked to be fair,” he said, as quoted by skysports.
“I looked at it and the way I read it, it says it’s not in the best interest of the PGA Tour to allow this to go on, and I really was surprised by that.
“I was a little bit taken aback because I kind of expected them to say: ‘Okay, we’re going to let them go and see what this all looks like. How this all plays out’.
“But they wanted no part of it obviously.
“And it’s interesting that they would cut it off so abruptly, because I think in order to understand how all this might work and what the players think of it, I expected them to allow it and see what happens, I don’t know.
“The players might come back and say that it was a terrible experience, I never want to do this ever again.
The reason for this could be much bigger considering that Norman did not have very good relations with the PGA Tour.
“But once again, if you look at the history between Greg Norman and the PGA Tour, and vice versa, it’s never been a healthy relationship.
“I speculate that it’s not just the LIV portion of it. Because Greg Norman’s got something to do with it, I read into the fact that has something to do with why they all got denied the releases.”
Beem on the players
Beem is now wondering how the individual players will act and what the outcome will be.
First of all, the PGA Tour came out and said no releases, and there will be an undetermined penalty,” he said.
“And it’s a really interesting choice of language, because there’s nothing specific, so the doubt there creates a little bit of fear. Particularly amongst those players that potentially have a lot to lose if things don’t work out.
“It might not be so important for the guys we know have mentioned it, like Lee Westwood, who’s coming to the end of his career and has a tremendous amount of cash in the bank. He can take that risk.
“For the others, there’s a substantial amount of doubt.
“Subsequently, Norman has said that if fines are going to be issued, they will back them up, and I’m still kind of scratching my head thinking, well where does that leave us?
“At what point does a substantial fine become too much that then a different course of action has to be taken?
“Looking at the grand scheme of things at the moment, things have happened but we’re still nowhere near the end of this dark tunnel I feel.