Rickie Fowler Says PGA Tour Is 'The Best Place To Play' Despite Emergence Of LIV

The American says the PGA Tour remains the best even with the arrival of the big-money organisation

Rickie Fowler takes a shot at the 2022 CJ Cup at Congaree
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Rickie Fowler claims the PGA Tour remains the best place to play despite the arrival of LIV Golf, but it needs to keep evolving.

Fowler offered his opinion while guesting on The Rick Shiels Golf Show (opens in new tab). After being asked his opinion on the state of professional golf, he replied: “It’s very interesting. I think ultimately it’s going to end up in a better position for the players, hopefully for everyone in the whole game of golf. I’ve enjoyed kind of learning more about the ins and outs of the PGA Tour as well as LIV."

The PGA Tour has introduced unprecedented changes to combat the LIV Golf threat, including elevating certain events and offering increased purses for those tournaments in 2023. Fowler acknowledged that the PGA Tour had to evolve – even if it had its hand forced by the big-money start-up. He said: “I’d say it is kind of unfortunate that something like LIV had to come to fruition to make the Tour get up off their chair and, you know, do something. I’ve always believed that the PGA Tour has been the best place to play. It currently is and a lot of us want to see it continue to be that. But, yeah, you can’t really just stay the same and expect to be the best.”

Fowler also addressed concerns that criticism of LIV Golf largely focuses on the idea that it exists to sportswash Saudi Arabia’s human rights record. He said: “You can go into a lot of it, but imagine if LIV was backed by, like, Apple or Amazon, because I also don’t necessarily like that the, kind of... the one stance just going after the moral issue and being associated or with Saudi. It’s like no one’s perfect, no one’s clean."

Previously, Fowler has blasted the PGA Tour’s handling of the LIV Golf saga saying it hadn't been proactive enough, and he reiterated that opinion, saying: "I think the meeting should have taken place four or five years ago when this all kind of came about. That was the tour’s first mistake, was not meeting. Whether you agree or not at least having heard the info or gotten the info for yourself and going from there, I think maybe we'd be in a little different position than we are today.”

Earlier in the year, Fowler admitted he hadn’t necessarily made a decision on whether to join the PGA Tour’s rival. Then, in August, he emerged as a key figure among PGA Tour players when he attended a player-only meeting to determine the organisation’s next steps. Given his backing to the moves taken by the PGA Tour since, it appears that he is comfortable remaining on it as we enter 2023.

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Mike Hall
Writer

Mike has over 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on a range of sports throughout that time, such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance staff writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the game's most newsworthy stories. 


He has written hundreds of articles on the game, from features offering insights into how members of the public can play some of the world's most revered courses, to breaking news stories affecting everything from the PGA Tour and LIV Golf to developmental Tours and the amateur game. 


Mike grew up in East Yorkshire and began his career in journalism in 1997. He then moved to London in 2003 as his career flourished, and nowadays resides in New Brunswick, Canada, where he and his wife raise their young family less than a mile from his local course. 


Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.