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‘They Would Have To Earn Their Way Back’: Brandel Chamblee Advocates Punishment For LIV Golfers Returning To The PGA Tour

Kunal Singh
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Brandel Chamblee LIV Golf

Brandel Chamblee has always been critical of LIV Golf and the players who joined it. Since the PGA Tour and the PIF (the financial backers of the league) announced a potential merger deal, there have been talks about the rebel players returning to the Tour. Recently, the American golf analyst has advocated how these players can make a return, given one crucial condition.

In The Thing About Golf Podcast, while talking to John Huggan, Chamblee said that he does miss players like Jon Rahm and Brooks Koepka who have joined the Saudi-backed league. However, the American feels that if these players wanted to make a comeback on the PGA Tour, they would have to fight their way out to make a place in the signature events.

“I think there is, I miss their golf. I miss watching Jon Rahm, I miss watching Brooks Koepka. They would have to come back and not play the signature events. They would have to earn their way back into the signature events.” Chamblee said and added, “There would have to be some sort of either fine or period of time where they are not able to play at the highest level on the PGA Tour. They have to earn their way back, show that they are committed to playing these smaller events.”

Brandel Chamblee underlined that some of the best players of the game have left and that has affected the Tour’s ratings. According to the American golf analyst, the LIV golfers willing to return to the PGA Tour should play some sort of penalty.

“There has to be some penalty for going because in the process of going, they have hurt the PGA Tour. Our ratings are down for a specific reason. People are tired of hearing about money. A lot of the best players have left. Some exciting players have left. That hurts the ratings.”

Brandel Chamblee claimed that the PGA Tour has spent around $100 million to fight the litigating cases. He added that this has harnessed the money that would have potentially been used “in the pension fund” of its membership.

“He Was Getting Pretty Pissy” – When Brandel Chamblee Criticised Jon Rahm’s LIV Golf Move

The LIV Golf League started back in 2022. It managed to lure big-name players such as Phil Mickelson, Bubba Watson, Brooks Koepka, and many more before its inaugural event in London. Ever since, several talented PGA Tour golfers have made their move to join the Saudi-backed league. Jon Rahm, Tyrrell Hatton, and Adrian Meronk are the latest names to join it.

Back in March 2024, Brandel Chamblee was on The Scott Verplank Show on YouTube, the American golf analyst stated that he thought Jon Rahm sold himself out by joining LIV. He added that the Spaniard’s move tarnished him to the bottom level from the top level.

“The music was blaring, he had shorts on, and he was getting pretty pissy about somebody taking a picture of him in the middle of his swing.” Chamblee continued, “And it just hit me. It just hit me… and I thought, this guy went from essentially having a lead role in The Godfather to now being a sideshow vaudeville act.”

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Brandel Chamblee also added that all the players who switched to LIV Golf had let go of their “independent contractor” status. He claimed that the LIV golfers have put their freedom on the line for money.

“And all these players, it seems to me, realise that they’ve all made a Faustian pact. All of them. They’ve all sold their independent nature. Independent contractors is what they were referred to when playing the PGA Tour,” Chamblee said.

Before joining LIV Golf, Jon Rahm emerged as the top star on the PGA Tour. In merely nine years on the Tour, he had 11 victories including two major championships. Although he is hopeful that the merger deal between the Tour and the PIF will be fruitful for both Tours, so that he might get an opportunity to make a return. However, whether the deal gets finalized or not, it is yet to be seen.

About the author

Kunal Singh

Kunal Singh

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Kunal is a golf journalist for The SportsRush. He is an avid golf fan with a huge inclination towards Rory McIlroy's drive and Phil Mickelson's short game. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication and is currently pursuing a MBA in Media Management. Before joining The SportsRush, he has already penned over 1300 articles. If not covering stories on golf, you can find him brainstorming various fiction stories, composing music, and playing snooker.

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