The Antitrust Cup? PGA/LIV Ryder Cup Style Tournament to Determine Majors Eligibility

Given the small break we have until the Super Bowl, I’ve decided to direct my attention back to golf this week (not overly enticed by this year’s flag football style Pro Bowl… shocker). I kid you not, this concept came to me in a dream last night and I can’t resist sharing it with the masses. 

The question is simple. Why don’t we hold a Ryder Cup type event every year between the PGA and LIV in order to determine LIV golfers’ qualifying eligibility for majors that season? Ball don’t lie, leave the courts out of it type of deal.

I’m tired of watching “The Match”… Let’s get some pro golfers out there with some real skin in the game!

General Idea:

Hold a Ryder Cup/President’s Cup type of tournament to determine LIV golfers’ qualifying eligibility in major tournaments every year.

Current Ryder Cup Structure:

  • Played every 2 years.
  • Teams of 12, 6 automatic qualifiers and 6 captain’s picks.
  • US vs Europe specifically.
  • Played just for bragging rights.
  • Run by PGA of America and R&A Production.
  • Started in 1927.
  • 3 days of competition:
    • Day 1: 4 fourball (better ball) and then 4 foursome matches (alternate shot)
    • Day 2: 4 fourball (better ball) and then 4 foursome matches (alternate shot)
    • Day 3: 12 singles
  • If the tournament ends in a tie then the last team to win retains the cup.
  • Hosting golf course rotates every tournament between US and European courses.

Current Presidents Cup Structure:

  • Played every 2 years (non Ryder Cup years).
  • Teams of 12, 6 automatic qualifiers and 6 captain’s picks.
  • US vs International (excluding Europe).
  • Played for bragging rights plus PGA Tour donates money to charities of the winning team.
  • Run by PGA Tour.
  • Started in 1994.
  • 4 days of competition:
    • Day 1: 5 foursome matches (alternate shot)
    • Day 2: 5 fourball matches (better ball)
    • Day 3: 4 fourball (better ball) and then 4 foursome matches (alternate shot)
    • Day 4: 12 singles
  • Can end in a tie.
  • Hosting golf course rotates every tournament between US and International (non European) courses.

Proposed LIV/PGA Match Structure:

  • Played every year (either after the FedEx Cup or in early January).
  • Teams of 8, top 4 players on each respective tour and 4 captain’s picks.
  • PGA vs LIV.
  • Played for bragging rights and LIV players’ majors qualifying eligibility.
  • Run by PGA Tour and LIV Golf.
  • Would start in 2024 (Masters already declared its decision for 2023 so other majors are likely to follow suit).
  • 3 days of competition (Thursday – Saturday):
    • Day 1: 2 foursome matches (alternate shot) (16 players total)
    • Day 2: 2 fourball matches (best ball) (16 players total)
    • Day 3: 12 singles
  • Absolutely cannot end in a tie. If tied, each team selects 1 player for an 18 hole playoff match that Sunday.
  • Hosting golf course rotates every tournament between PGA and LIV courses.

Additional Factors:

Outside of current criteria player exemptions, how would newer LIV players qualify for a major?

  • The governing bodies for each major tournament would develop a qualifying points system for LIV Tour players that integrates them into the current World Golf Rankings and/or creates a separate LIV Tour specific points system for major tournament qualifying. During years in which the LIV Tour is victorious vs the PGA, these point systems would be implemented for LIV golfers in order to qualify for majors (starting in 2024). During years in which the PGA Tour is victorious vs LIV, LIV golfers would be deemed ineligible to compete in majors.

What’s in it for LIV?

  • Not only would this route clear the path for its players to compete in majors moving forward (a very cloudy proposition at the current moment), but it would also provide highly sought after media coverage/exposure and potentially garner respect for the new growing league. Depending on how LIV performs, it could entice more talented PGA players to jump ship to the LIV Tour.

What’s in it for the PGA?

  • Given the PGA Tour’s hard stance on the LIV Tour and its players, competing in an annual tournament to determine the legitimacy of LIV’s players for major tournaments each year provides the PGA with the opportunity to directly impact this outcome. A tournament of this nature allows the PGA to prove their perceived “superiority” in comparison to LIV on a global stage and it also allows the PGA and its players to avoid the courtroom (hot button topic as of late).

What type of balance should this tournament have for the fans?

  • LIV Golf is trying to appeal to a younger audience by providing a more youthful/fun approach to the game while the PGA Tour tends to lean more traditional (with the exception of a handful of tournaments such as the Waste Management Open). Both sides would need to meet somewhere in the middle for this match or they would need to agree on a “home course, home rules” type of set up. Meeting halfway example? Waste Management Open type atmosphere with typical PGA tournament rules but players can wear shorts if they want. Home field advantage example? PGA rules for PGA course hosted years, LIV rules for LIV course hosted years. I vote option #1.

Other factors to consider?

  • In order to avoid defeating the purpose of this tournament (determining LIV players’ majors eligibility/qualifying status), both leagues would have to agree that the results of the tournament every year are final and that neither league nor any of its players will pursue legal action upon the tournament’s completion (as in if one side loses, they can’t sue the other side after the tournament in an attempt to gain/take away eligibility from the other league).

Disclaimer: is not an online gambling operator or a gambling site of any kind. Our insights about sports/sports betting are purely for entertainment purposes only.

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