If the tour desires to develop the sport at a worldwide stage, then it must stage occasions world wide, maybe in Africa, Australia, and continental Europe.
It already does so in Scotland, Canada, Mexico, Bermuda, and Japan, however that’s inadequate.
Accordingly, LIV Golf has soared in recognition in numerous elements of the world as a result of it has introduced the sport to each nook of the globe. The Saudi-backed circuit acknowledged a void, particularly in Asia and Australia, the place followers are starved of prime skilled golf, and purposefully staged a number of occasions in these areas.
The transfer paid off, as LIV Golf’s Adelaide occasion was an incredible success, that includes quite a few main champions, together with Aussie Cameron Smith. No marvel why 1000’s of excited Australian followers confirmed up.
Comparable sentiments will be stated concerning the Nedbank Golf Problem at Gary Participant Nation Membership, not due to the superb surroundings however as a result of the celebs are out.
South African golf followers hardly ever get to see one of the best gamers. Therefore, the significance of American Max Homa, presently the eighth-ranked participant on the earth, holding a share of the lead via 36 holes.
He’s at 10-under with Matthieu Pavon of France, as Homa carded a 6-under 66 Friday to climb the leaderboard.
“I’m very happy, a little bit stunned, pleasantly stunned. It’s been good, the physique’s feeling higher because the week’s gone on,” Homa stated.
“I awoke at present and felt like a golfer once more, in order that was good. It’s an actual dream. In case you fly 20-odd hours over right here, chances are you’ll as effectively play some good golf. So it’s good that I’m doing that.”
The occasion—often known as ‘Africa’s Main’—has drawn quite a few prime gamers, together with Justin Thomas, Tommy Fleetwood, and former Open Champion Francesco Molinari.
However Homa’s presence atop the leaderboard has helped convey eyeballs to the Nedbank Golf Problem, which can proceed to spark pleasure in South Africa.
And it’s not like South Africa has a scarcity of terrific gamers, both. Producing top-tier expertise helps create loyal followers, and the PGA Tour ought to look to South Africa as a spot to stage a match.
Nine-time major champion Gary Player is taken into account one of many best golfers ever. Possibly he may assist get this undertaking off the bottom. World Golf Corridor of Famer Ernie Els, who received 4 majors, additionally hails from South Africa.
So too does Retief Goosen.
Louis Oosthuizen does as effectively, however the 2010 Champion Golfer of the Yr differs from the others as a result of he jumped to LIV Golf in 2022. Maybe he wished the bigger payday and shorter schedule, or possibly he sees LIV’s imaginative and prescient in making an attempt to play world wide.
Possibly different South Africans see this too, which can clarify why 2011 Masters Champion Charl Schawrtzel signed up for LIV. So did Branden Grace, Oliver Bekker, Dean Burmester, and 5 different South Africans.
Maybe this group envisions a LIV Golf in South Africa sooner or later. One has not been staged there but, so the PGA Tour ought to as a substitute look into sanctioning one there.
The continuing negotiations between the PGA Tour and the Saudi Public Funding Fund (PIF)—LIV Golf’s beneficiary—don’t appear to be progressing at a productive fee, which can preserve the rivalry intact.
Ought to the continued PGA-LIV rivalry proceed to foster, the executives in Ponta Vedra Seashore, Florida, should scan the globe and attempt to develop the sport globally, or else LIV Golf may emerge as a dominant international tour, because of the seemingly limitless funds of the PIF.
So in the event you do tune in to the Nedbank Golf Problem this weekend, ask your self if the PGA Tour ought to stage occasions equivalent to this. I feel they need to achieve this, and they need to on the very least sanction others the world over, just like the Australian Open.
Jack Milko is a golf employees author for SB Nation’s Taking part in Via. You possibly can observe him on Twitter @jack_milko for extra golf protection. Make sure to take a look at @_PlayingThrough too.