ST. ANDREWS, Scotland – When it comes to LIV Golf, there’s more fiction than fact. Who is going to play the Saudi-backed league, how much they are getting paid and why they would leave the PGA Tour is all the root of rampant speculation.
Following his second round at The Open, Talor Gooch lifted the veil, however slightly, on some of those questions. Specifically, he explained how his plan for a one-off start on the breakaway league turned into a full commitment.
“Historically the Tour has not done that [suspend players indefinitely]. So based on the history, that was my expectations,” he said when asked why he decided to join LIV Golf full time.
Gooch, who shot a second-round 69 at St. Andrews, said his original plan was to only play the first LIV event in London, but he changed his mind when “the Tour suspended me.” There’s some question as to what Gooch didn’t understand. Tour commissioner Jay Monahan had been rather clear on how players who defied tournament regulations and played the LIV events would be treated, including at a player meeting in February at the Honda Classic.
“[Monahan] made it clear right off the top that if you’re going to play [the Super Golf League] walk out that door now,” said one player who attended that meeting. “He made the ban seem like it was in all capital letters.”
Gooch said he hoped that the game’s established tours and organizations could find a way to coexist with the LIV circuit and that he hopes to be able to play the PGA Tour again. He also addressed his comments at last month’s LIV event in Portland, Ore., where he compared the crowds and the atmosphere to a Ryder Cup.
“A bunch of players came up, and they're like really? Really? I was like, hold on a second, guys. Give me a little break. I just won. I was in the moment,” he laughed. “I might have gotten a little aggressive with the comments … Maybe a little aggressive of a comment. Rightfully so, I've taken a little bit of heat for it.”