ATLANTA – Cameron Young, the presumptive Rookie of the Year, said Sunday at the Tour Championship that he was “very interested” in LIV Golf but has decided to remain with the PGA Tour.
Speaking to a small group of reporters at East Lake, Young was asked about his future plans with rumors and speculation swirling about his interest in the rival tour.
“Frankly, I have decided to stay,” he said. “It’s a really difficult situation because it’s not anything that anyone really wanted to happen. I think it wasn’t meant to be this hostile between the two.”
Young was part of the players-only meeting that convened ahead of last week’s BMW Championship. Arriving late, he sat next to Rory McIlroy but didn’t offer any opinion on the proposed changes. “I was there to listen,” Young said.
Earlier this week, the Tour announced significant changes to its schedule and structure that will cater more to the elite players in the world. Beginning in 2023, the top 20 players will commit to playing at least 20 Tour events with average purse sizes of $20 million.
Those changes still haven’t been enough to sway the next wave of defectors, a group that will include world No. 2 and reigning Open champion Cameron Smith, GolfChannel.com confirmed on Saturday. Joaquin Niemann, Harold Varner III, Marc Leishman, Cameron Tringale and Mito Pereira are also reportedly part of the next announcement, which could come as early as Monday.
In the midst of a breakout rookie year, Young has also been linked to the upstart tour, which he views as an entirely different product from the PGA Tour. He confirmed that he received a significant offer to leave the Tour.
“Frankly, throughout the whole process with them I was very interested,” Young said. “I think they have a bunch of good ideas. I think they’re doing some cool stuff, and with some of those changes coming, that’s what really helped me decide to stay and pursue those goals that I have for myself, like making the Presidents Cup team or Ryder Cup team and winning a major, when all of that is just uncertain if you go.
“It’s a tough place for me because I’m very young. There’s a lot of factors to it.”
When asked whether he wished the two tours could coexist, the 25-year-old Young said: “I don’t know what I wish. I wish it hadn’t come along at this specific place in my career.”
Young is a shoe-in to be named the Tour’s top rookie after a season in which he earned five runner-up finishes (including at The Open) in 24 events, clearing more than $6.5 million in earnings. One of two rookies to reach the Tour Championship, Young entered the season finale at No. 14 in the FedExCup but dropped to 19th place.
“I expected to play well and have chances to win tournaments,” he said of his rookie campaign. “I kinda expected to win one. I feel like once a year, everything goes my way and I beat everybody, and that didn’t happen this season. I have a couple events left in the fall that I could [win], but I kind of operate under the assumption that’d happen at some point if I put my head down.”
Young, who will likely receive a captain’s pick to play in next month’s Presidents Cup, said that he expects to compete in at least the Zozo Championship and CJ Cup in the fall slate of Tour events.