TORONTO – The idea that PGA Tour players who did not defect to LIV Golf should receive some sort of compensation is gaining legs.
Chesson Hadley, one of four co-leaders after Thursday’s opening round of the RBC Canadian Open in Toronto, fielded questions about this week’s news that the PGA Tour is merging its commercial enterprises with the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF), which had been bankrolling rival series LIV Golf.
The PIF was able to pry away big-name and small-name players alike with guaranteed money to play for LIV.
“I know nothing. I know as much as you know,” Hadley told reporters of his knowledge of the tour’s plans.
He was then asked if he had heard any behind-the-scenes conversations with his fellow players.
“Is it true that (commissioner Jay Monahan) said he’s going to reward those who stayed loyal to the Tour? Did he say that yesterday?“ Hadley asked.
Monahan said on Wednesday in an interview on Golf Today that players who turned down LIV to stay loyal to the PGA “will be rewarded.”
“I think he said that about Rory (McIlroy) and Tiger (Woods), didn’t he? Anyway, I would like to be rewarded for some loyalty,” said Hadley, the No. 297 player in the world.
The 35-year-old has won one tournament on the PGA Tour, the 2014 Puerto Rico Open.
He said he never had ill will toward the likes of Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson and Phil Mickelson who chose LIV over the PGA Tour.
“Those guys didn’t do the wrong thing, who went to LIV,” Hadley said. “They made a business decision. I don’t hold that against anybody. But I would like to be rewarded for my decision to stay loyal.”
Hadley fired a 5-under-par 67 in the first round of the Canadian Open and is tied for the lead with Canada’s Corey Conners, England’s Aaron Rai and Justin Lower. REUTERS