'Flawed' - PGA Boss Hits Out At LIV Golf Invitational Series

PGA of America CEO Seth Waugh has criticised the structure of the Saudi-backed Series

Seth Waugh addresses the media at the PGA Championship
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The PGA of America CEO, Seth Waugh, has hit out at the Greg Norman-fronted LIV Golf Invitational Series - describing it's structure as "flawed."

Speaking ahead of the PGA Championship at Southern Hills, Waugh said: “We think the structure of – I don't know if it's a league, it's not a league at this point – but the league structure is somewhat flawed."

The LIV Golf Invitational Series has dominated headlines in recent months with the first event scheduled to be played at the Centurion Club in a few weeks' time. Multiple members of the PGA and DP World Tour submitted their request for a release to take part only for them to be thrown out of the window and denied.

The growing consensus now is that players may opt to defy the regulations of their respective tours and take part in the Series; irrespective of whether they are granted release or not. Englishman Richard Bland recently revealed that he will face the wrath of the DP World Tour and take part in the Series opener. 

When asked if those players who defy the release conditions would remain eligible to compete in the PGA Championship and Ryder Cup, which is also governed by the PGA of America, Waugh responded: “Our bylaws do say that you have to be a recognised member of a recognised tour in order to be a PGA member somewhere, and therefore eligible to play.”

Under the current structure, it is unlikely the LIV Golf Invitational Series would qualify as a 'recognised tour.' That said, LIV Golf Investments and the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund, those operationally and financially backing the Series, have also made a separate multi-million-dollar investment in the Asian Tour; which certainly is a recognised tour and therefore a possible loophole for players to explore. 

LIV Golf Investments are also in the process of applying for the Series to be recognised by the Official World Golf Ranking.

As has been the case since the Series was launched, there is still so much that is not yet known. That is the same for the PGA of America. "I don't know what it'll look like next year," Waugh said. "We don't think [LIV Golf] is good for the game and we are supportive of that ecosystem. We have our own bylaws that we will follow towards those fields.”

Despite the ongoing threat of disruption to what he described as the 'current ecosystem,' Waugh drew attention back to the PGA Championship and the Major title that will be contested this week. 

"We're going to have a great championship this week. We've got 96 of the top 100 on earth are here. We expect to have a great championship at Oak Hill next year, and we're at a perfect venue. The club couldn't be more welcoming.

"We're very happy to be in Tulsa, in terms of the town. Couldn't be more excited about what's going on. We're going to have a great championship, and we, like a lot of you, will watch what happens over the next months and see where that all plays out."

James Hibbitt

James joined Golf Monthly having previously written for other digital outlets. He is obsessed with all areas of the game – from tournament golf, to history, equipment, technique and travel. He is also an avid collector of memorabilia; with items from the likes of Bobby Jones, Tiger Woods, Francis Ouimet, Arnold Palmer, Lee Trevino, Adam Scott and Ernie Els. As well as writing for Golf Monthly, James’ golfing highlight is fist bumping Phil Mickelson on his way to winning the Open Championship at Muirfield in 2013. James grew up on the east coast of England and is the third generation of his golfing family. He now resides in Leeds and is a member of Cobble Hall Golf Club with a handicap index of 1.7. His favourite films are The Legend of Bagger Vance and Tin Cup.