'The PGA Tour Didn't Do It Right' - LPGA Tour Pro On LIV Golf

The American thinks there is room for negotiation in any talks between the LPGA and LIV Golf

Ryann O'Toole takes a shot in the 2022 KPMG Women's PGA Championship
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Ryann O’Toole has said that she thinks the PGA Tour has been too heavy handed in its handling of the LIV Golf Invitational Series and thinks there’s scope for the LPGA and LIV Golf to work together in the future.

Speaking ahead of the Women’s Scottish Open, the American said she thinks the LPGA can learn from the animosity created between the PGA Tour and the Saudi-backed organisation in any future negotiations. She said: “I'll just say this: I think the PGA Tour didn't do it right in regards to possibly sitting down and having a conversation with LIV and seeing what the possibilities were of coming together. I think they created a very big void with each other, and it's creating a lot of turmoil.”

 

Video: What Is LIV Golf?

The PGA Tour has issued indefinite suspensions to all players teeing it up in the Series as the fallout from the inaugural season of the Saudi-backed venture rumbles on. As far as O’Toole is concerned, that needn’t be the case in any future talks between LIV Golf and the LPGA.

She continued: “I hope that if the LIV decides to like approach the LPGA and create something or want to create something, that maybe we can do it together versus it being this taboo thing or this big issue where players are going have to choose. I think that it would be a great opportunity to utilise like the possibility that there could be some major finance opportunities, and that we come together as two organisations versus having two separate organisations.”

O’Toole’s comments echo those of LPGA commissioner Mollie Marcoux Samaan, who last week said the organisation “would engage in a conversation with LIV Golf”.  She also said: “Working together is always better than a fractured organisation. The LPGA has been breaking down barriers for years and hopes to continue to do so.” That suggests the LPGA would approach any talks in the spirit suggested by O’Toole.

However, there is some confusion as to when - or even if - any discussion might take place. In May, LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman told the '5 Live Sport: All About...' podcast, that the LET and LPGA Tours had rejected offers from them. He said: "Well, we did approach the LET and the LPGA [Tours] with a substantial investment like the Asian Tour and we were rejected. So who is suppressing women's golf, quite honestly?"

LIV Golf are investing $300 million in the Asian Tour over the 10 years. If a similar investment is forthcoming for the women’s game, it would likely see its profile grow substantially.

The LPGA’s Women’s Scottish Open gets under way on Thursday at Dundonald Links, where players will compete for a $2m purse.

Mike Hall
Mike Hall

Mike has 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on sports such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the sport’s most newsworthy stories. Originally from East Yorkshire, Mike now resides in Canada, where the nearest course is less than a mile from his home. It’s there where he remains confident that, one of these days, he’ll play the 17th without finding the water. 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.