The full LIV Golf Promotions field has been confirmed for next week's three-day event in Abu Dhabi, and a few PGA Tour pros have entered for a chance to make it to the lucrative LIV Golf League.
One of the surprise names is 2013 PGA Champion Jason Dufner, while 2017 Barracuda Championship winner Chris Stroud is another. Neither know if they'll be faced with sanctions after reports that the PGA Tour has u-turned on the decision to allow its players to compete, yet they're willing to risk their status to make it onto the 54-hole circuit.
Three spots will be decided in Abu Dhabi, with the opportunity to earn over $1m in guaranteed prize money (last place at each event is $125,000). Stroud earned around $450,000 on the PGA Tour this season so a move to LIV would more than double his earnings for next season, with the potential of earning millions with good finishes.
Stroud gave an interview with the Golf Channel to discuss his entry into the event, and he certainly did not hold back with his views of his home circuit.
The World No.627 said he has been frustrated with the PGA Tour for years and believes that it doesn't care about players outside the top 30. Stroud also said the US-based circuit has built a bad culture and that he'd be straight off to LIV Golf if he manages to take one of the three spots on offer.
He did admit that he loves the PGA Tour but is "so unimpressed with how everything has transpired."
“I’ve been frustrated with what the Tour’s done for years, since I was on the [Player Advisory Council]. The Tour doesn’t care about you if you’re not in the top 30 and I learned quickly that I needed to take care of myself,” Stroud told GolfChannel.com.
“The Tour has built this bad culture. I love [Jay Monahan], but the Tour has never tried to give back to the players, we’ve never had a voice. So, Jay has had a free hand to do whatever he wants.
“I believe [Monahan] and a lot of people at the Tour genuinely care about us, but the system has never been set up to help the players.
“The Tour has taken all this extra money and not spread it out properly. I’ve talked to so many players about this and the answer is always, 'we need to be unionized'."
Stroud isn't the first player to criticize the PGA Tour and the way it financially rewards its players. Nate Lashley recently called the Player Impact Progam (where 20 players earned $100m in bonus money) "ridiculous" and "an absolute kick in the face to the rest of the PGA Tour players."
“I’ve learned this over 16 years on Tour, every single year I see more unhappy players — and players on LIV are happy," Stroud said. "I talked to [LIV Golf's] Marc Leishman today and he said the team aspect is fun but the coolest part is these people care about us."
“I go straight to LIV,” he said on if he makes it through.
“Without question [give up his PGA Tour status], even if it were just for one year it would be worth it because the Tour has done everything wrong.
"If they say I can’t be on the PGA Tour, that’s fine. I love the PGA Tour and what it stands for but I’m so unimpressed with how everything has transpired the last three years.”
Stroud's view garnered a mixture of comments on social media, including one from the DP World Tour's Eddie Pepperell.
"I’m often convinced there are as many golfers not at the top of the tree who see themselves as something they’re not, as those at the top of tree," Pepperell said.
"This is one of those times."
I’m often convinced there are as many golfers not at the top of the tree who see themselves as something they’re not, as those at the top of tree. This is one of those times.December 1, 2023
Chris Stroud played 16 times this year, missing 10 cuts and recording a best finish of T15th at the Puerto Rico Open.
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Elliott Heath is our News Editor and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016 after graduating with a degree in Sports Journalism. He manages the Golf Monthly news, features, courses and travel sections as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. He covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as four Open Championships on-site including the 150th at St Andrews. His first Open was in 2017 at Royal Birkdale, when he walked inside the ropes with Jordan Spieth during the Texan's memorable Claret Jug triumph. He has played 35 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Western Gailes, Old Head and Turnberry. He has been obsessed with the sport since the age of 8 and currently plays at West Byfleet Golf Club in Surrey, where his handicap index floats anywhere between 2-5. His golfing highlights are making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, shooting an under-par round, playing in the Aramco Team Series on the Ladies European Tour and making his one and only hole-in-one at the age of 15 - a long time ago now!
Elliott is currently playing:
Driver: Titleist TSR4
3 wood: Titleist TSi2 HL
Irons: Mizuno MP-H4 3-iron, Mizuno MP5 4-PW
Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58
Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5
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