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Justin Rose says it won’t be easy for some LIV Golf players to get back onto the PGA Tour, and would be more worried about the future from their perspective than players who stayed.
The 42-year-old admits that he had the right profile for a player thinking about joining LIV, being over 40 and in the last few years struggling for form.
But the Englishman says he never thought about joining Greg Norman’s new tour – as he never wanted to risk missing the Majors and still fancied himself to have an Indian summer in his career.
“Obviously playing Major championship golf was always the thing I could never give up. So I was kind of always very content,” Rose said of his decision to stay on the PGA Tour.
“I'd probably be more concerned if I was on LIV right now than on the PGA Tour.”
One thorny issue from the big merger news is that of LIV players returning to the PGA Tour, and Rose says that some form of sanctions or reintegration process will have to be sorted out.
“We're looking for a harmonious world of golf. This is what I think this is designed to achieve. That's not going to be overnight,” Rose added.
“Obviously there's a lot of players that you guys want to watch play golf, who we know all know who they are on LIV. They got a lot to offer the game of golf. I think just because they made a certain decision doesn't mean they're outcasts forever.
“I don't know what the protocols will be, to be honest with you. I think there would be if it's just a straight, hey, boys, come on back, that's not going to sit well with anybody out here necessarily.
Rose added that players who may not have that star power to get sponsor invites, and who have slipped down the rankings due to playing with LIV, will face a tough time.
“I'm sure it's going to need some massaging to get it right. There's a lot of guys that have gone to LIV that, I don't even know what's going to happen, obviously, but they have sacrificed a lot as well in terms of ranking and all these times of things.
“So there might not be such an easy step for a few of them if that's the case, if it comes down to, you know, exemptions and what your categories are on the PGA Tour. It's going to be very different for different guys.”
After backing himself to stay and challenge, Rose was then back winning when he claimed the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am – and was delighted he proved he could still win tournaments, as he targets a renaissance late in his career.
“I was kind of in that age category where you could see that I was maybe a good candidate to sort of think about going (to LIV). But I didn't, I wasn't ready for anything like that.
“I still believe in myself and like I said I still feel like I've got that Indian summer of my career to look forward to. So I still feel hungry. I still love the game. I still think I can get better.”
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Paul Higham is a sports journalist with over 20 years of experience in covering most major sporting events for both Sky Sports and BBC Sport. He is currently freelance and covers the golf majors on the BBC Sport website. Highlights over the years include covering that epic Monday finish in the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor and watching Rory McIlroy produce one of the most dominant Major wins at the 2011 US Open at Congressional. He also writes betting previews and still feels strangely proud of backing Danny Willett when he won the Masters in 2016 - Willett also praised his putting stroke during a media event before the Open at Hoylake. Favourite interviews he's conducted have been with McIlroy, Paul McGinley, Thomas Bjorn, Rickie Fowler and the enigma that is Victor Dubuisson. A big fan of watching any golf from any tour, sadly he spends more time writing about golf than playing these days with two young children, and as a big fair weather golfer claims playing in shorts is worth at least five shots. Being from Liverpool he loves the likes of Hoylake, Birkdale and the stretch of tracks along England's Golf Coast, but would say his favourite courses played are Kingsbarns and Portrush.
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