“Don’t see how it’s a survivable business” - PGA chief calls out LIV Golf’s ‘flawed’ business model and its cash burn

Seth Waugh and Greg Norman
Seth Waugh and Greg Norman (Image via Getty)

As LIV Golf’s tussle with the PGA Tour continues, PGA of America Chief Seth Waugh has now come out to slam the breakaway series. Waugh, who is a board member for the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR), called out LIV’s ‘flawed’ system. The PGA CEO said that the Saudi-backed series does not have a survivable business model.

Waugh warned the Greg Norman-led tour may be ‘burning’ money and it didn’t make sense. The PGA chief pointed out that the series was hardly a profitable enterprise despite the Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund (PIF) spending over $2 billion to run it. Even though the tour’s Saudi backers are known for their vast wealth, Waugh claimed that it didn’t make sense for people to pin their hopes on the franchise model business.

Speaking to The Times in an interview, PGA of America Chief Seth Waugh said:

“Their logic about the team play being something significant that people can get behind I think is flawed. I don’t think people really care about it. And I don’t see how it’s a survivable business model… They can fund it for as long as they want to, but no matter how much money you have, at some point burning it doesn’t feel very good. I don’t see they are accomplishing much."

Further explaining his point, Waugh stated that the only way for LIV Golf to float was to find a settlement with the PGA Tour.

He added:

“It seems logical to me, then, that you would work towards some sort of agreement. I hope the game comes back together in some form.”

Waugh says OWGR decision may take time for LIV Golf

It’s pertinent to note that one of LIV Golf’s most painful struggles has been for the OWGR points. The breakaway series is continuing its fight for recognition by the body-controlling world rankings.

Seth Waugh, who is a part of the OWGR board, opened up on the same and said that it may take more time for LIV to get a response in their case. Dubbing it a ‘slow process,’ the PGA chief said that there may not be a decision before 2024.

Waugh said:

“There are certain parts of their structure that can be solved by math, but there may be some pretty fundamental things that are harder. There’s the potential conflict with the team aspect and then access - how do you get relegated and promoted? They had our latest response weeks ago and we haven’t heard back. They have made a bad assumption that this will be a quick process. It never has been. Every application has taken a year-plus as far as I’m aware.”

Waugh further stated that he believes the two fighting tours – PGA Tour and LIV Golf – could find common ground and work together in the future.

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Edited by Vishnu Mohan