NAPLES — Jason Day doesn’t mind golfers leaving the PGA Tour to join LIV Golf. And he remains close with fellow Aussie Cameron Smith, the highest ranked golfer to make the jump.
But would he join Smith and on the tour financed by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund?
“I definitely would say no,” Day told the Palm Beach Post during this past weekend’s QBE Shootout. “I wouldn’t go as of now.”
But does that close the door forever?
“Who knows in a year’s time, you might think differently,” he said.
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Day’s name has been floated since Smith left the PGA Tour after winning The Open and became captain of the all-Australian team Punch. That ramped up speculation the remaining two most prominent Australians on the tour, Day and Adam Scott, could join Smith’s team. Punch, which also included Marc Leishman, Matt Jones and Wade Ormsby, placed second to Dustin Johnson’s 4 Aces in the season-long team competition.
LIV’s CEO is the most famous Australian golfer of all-time, Greg Norman. And LIV has added a stop in Australia to the 2023 schedule, playing at the South Australian Province of Adelaide April 21-23. LIV is rebranding to the LIV Golf League in 2023 and going from eight to 14 events.
Day said he does not have a deal lined up but like many golfers is saddened by the friction between LIV Golf and the PGA Tour.
“I don’t blame some of the guys for going because there’s quite a lot of money these guys are earning. I understand it,” he said. “For me, it just depends on how you feel about major championships, and I know that’s all up in the air right now if they’re going to play or not, and they don’t have world ranking points out there.
“It’s disappointing there’s a divide on both sides.”
Day, 35, has 17 professional wins, including 12 on the PGA Tour. He reached reached No. 1 in the world a month after winning the 2015 PGA Championship. He and Smith have not spoken since Smith made the jump in August when he was No. 2 in the World Golf Rankings but Day said it has nothing to do with Smith leaving the PGA Tour.
“He’s definitely a friend, we just haven’t spoken,” Day said. “All those guys out there are my friends. Some of the friendships fractured between some of the guys who have been more outspoken.
“I don’t mind the guys leaving. I honestly wish the tours could join somehow. That would be great.”
Day wishes PGA Tour could run January-August, then LIV follows
Day’s plan to get the warring tours together would be for the PGA Tour to own the schedule from January through the FedEx Cup playoffs in August, and for LIV to include the top 48 players from the PGA Tour for a league starting in September.
“I think that could potentially work if you want to do it. If (the golfers don’t want to play in the fall) you don’t have to,” he said. “I’m not disappointed by the guys leaving. I just wish the tours could somehow join. That would be fun.”
Matt Kuchar told the Palm Beach Post last week he believes the two leagues someday will align. “100 percent, I think there is no doubt.” he said.
But major concessions would have to be made, not to mention lawsuits settled, and neither side right now is willing to budge.
Day and Billy Horschel finished tied for 10th in the QBE Shootout, dropping with a final round 70, the only round in the 70s for the weekend. They finished at 192, 10 shots behind winners Tom Hoge and Sahith Theegala.
This article originally appeared on Palm Beach Post: Jason Day not leaving PGA Tour for LIV ‘as of now’ but door is open