CEO Of New LIV Venue Wants To Host Both PGA Tour And LIV Golf

Borja Escalada says that hosting PGA Tour and LIV Golf events on the same course could help with healing the divide

Hovland walks in front of the World Wide Technology Championship At Mayakoba banner
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The CEO of the Mayakoba Resort hosting the LIV Golf League’s season opener says that he also wants the PGA Tour to return to allow the Mexican venue to stage events on both of the rival tours.

Borja Escalada, the CEO of RLH Properties who own the resort, told Sports Illustrated that it would be “an honor to host both events" and sees it as part of the healing process between the two rivals learning to coexist.

The PGA Tour staged the World Wide Technology Championship at Mayakoba just four months ago but that looks like the final event of their long association with the venue due to them hosting Greg Norman’s LIV Golf outfit.

The El Camaleon course is the first of 14 events in the new 2023 LIV Golf League season where 12 teams of four will fight it out for $25m in prize money each week.

Current legal battles rage on and the PGA Tour are avoiding anyone who works with LIV Golf, so it seems as though they’ll not be returning to Mayakoba.

However, Escalada is still holding out hope that the PGA Tour will return and that holding an event for both warring factions can help in some way to start healing the divide.

"We would love to have an event with the PGA Tour as well," said Escalada. "We’d love to be partners in building the outreach among this tour’s platform. 

"The sooner that we learn how to coexist - because in the end, I would say it's happening in most sports. There are many different leagues, many different organizations.

"We are trying to develop golf as best we can, and it would be an honor to host both events."

Gren Norman’s association with Mayakoba, he designed the El Camaleon course, will also be a barrier given the animosity personally between the Australian and the PGA Tour – but Escalada is trying to stay away from the controversy.

"I think we have tried to be outside of the controversy," he said. "We understand the reason for the controversy but the different positions of the PGA Tour and LIV is something we have been able to manage.

“We are thankful for the many years we hosted a PGA Tour tournament in Mayakoba. This did not used to be a golf region so we started 17 years ago and wanted to support the sport and the game because we share many values with it."

Escalada insisted relations with PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan remain amicable, but there’s no Mayakoba on the preliminary schedule for after the Tour Championship, and any return will not happen in 2023.

“The PGA Tour's facility agreement with the owner of the Mayakoba property ended with the 2022 event," the Tour said in a statement. "The PGA Tour and World Wide Technology are working together to identify new host site options and will determine a new direction in the near future."

Escalada, though, remains hopeful: "We want to continue to bring to Mexico the best quality of events. Because that's the opportunity to improve the golf world that there is. And we are open to hosting any event in the world that is open to this idea."

Paul Higham

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.