Some PGA Tour Pros 'Bitter And Jealous' After Not Getting LIV Golf Offer

Ripper GC player Matt Jones thinks some PGA Tour players are upset they didn't get the chance to join LIV Golf

Matt Jones takes a shot during the 2022 ISPS HANDA Australian Open
Matt Jones thinks some PGA Tour players are upset they didn't get the chance to sign for LIV Golf
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The LIV Golf League makes its Australian debut at the Grange Golf Club in Adelaide this week, giving locals a rare chance to attend an event featuring some of the world’s best players.

Matt Jones will tee it up with World No.6 Cameron Smith, six-time PGA Tour winner Marc Leishman and Jediah Morgan in the all-Australian Ripper GC team, but before doing that, he told the Sydney Morning Herald he senses some PGA Tour players were upset they didn't get the chance to join the circuit.

The two-time PGA Tour winner was one of the original intake of LIV Golf players, and he admitted the move came about quickly. He said: “It was very last minute. I was first initially in touch with them in May and then I signed the contract on the Monday of the Memorial [tournament] and they announced the field on the Wednesday."

Jones also revealed that, even when he was named among the LIV Golf signings at the tournament, two of the biggest critics of the PGA Tour's rival could understand why he had made the switch. “I was on the tables in the therapy room with Rory [McIlroy] and [Billy] Horschel when my name come out during that tournament," he explained. "They were fine. They understand for a lot of guys, ‘Why wouldn’t you’? I don’t have the money and contracts those guys do. It made sense for me."

Nevertheless, Jones also said that there could have been some disgruntlement among other PGA Tour players that they weren't given a similar opportunity. He said: “Not one person I know was being critical, they might have been a little upset or jealous. I think there’s a lot of that. Maybe they didn’t get contacted or a chance to do it - and then they were bitter and jealous."

Jones then turned his attention to the PGA Tour schedule, and said he's amazed it doesn't have it's own event in Australia. He said: “To have someone fly down here for one week would be tough, knowing Americans and how they don’t like to travel. You would have to have a week off before and after to fit it in. 

"But I’m amazed given when you consider we’ve been to China, we’ve been to South Korea, we’ve been to Japan now. The PGA Tour is not dumb. They know where the money is and where the markets are to make money. And that’s what they’re all about.”

Tickets sales have been strong for a tournament that, as well as the Australians, will feature players including four-time Major winner Brooks Koepka, 2020 US Open champion Bryson DeChambeau and former World No.1 Dustin Johnson

While that clearly demonstrates an appetite for top-level golf in the country, though, Jones doesn’t see the PGA Tour changing its schedule to accommodate an event there in future. He explained: “I think it’s a shame it hasn’t happened. I know there’s been multiple conversations from certain Aussie players to try to get one down here and I know it’s never happened. I can’t see it happening now.”

Jones also explained why he thinks this week's tournament will be one of the biggest ever seen in Australia. He said: “I think it’s probably one of the best fields, if not the best field, Australia has ever seen. That would even be going back to the Jack [Nicklaus] and Greg days. When you have the list of Major winners and tournament winners out here, it’s pretty impressive.

“Everyone is pumped. I can’t explain how excited everyone is to be coming to Australia - and I’m not just saying that to blow smoke."

Mike Hall
News 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.