PGA Tour board member rips LIV Golf “fake, contrived” team golf aspect

PGA Tour Policy Board member Peter Malnati had a fantastic round of golf Saturday at The Players Championship, carding a 6-under 66. That vaulted him to 7-under overall, 30 spots up the leaderboard.

However, all the talk surrounding Malnati likely won’t come from his play.

Following his round, he addressed the ongoing negotiations between the Saudi-funded LIV Golf and the PGA Tour. There were a number of topics that Malnati detailed, but one thing that was made certain was his distaste for LIV’s team golf aspect.

“I don’t know LIV, what they’re doing, but it seems like a forced team model to me,” he said. “Are there any fans that care which team won the tournament? I don’t know what fans of LIV want or care about, but are there any fans that care about who won it?”

He then expressed his lack of knowledge in terms of what the Saudi Public Investment Fund hopes to accomplish with team golf.

“I feel like we could also create some contrived team golf something, somewhere outside of the FedExCup season, but, like, what does he [Yasir Al-Rumayyan] want is a question that I want to understand better,” he said.

Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

“I don’t think it’s some contrived, fake, add up random guys’ scores and call them a team. I don’t think that’s it,” Malnati said. “I think what he means is more stuff like the Ryder Cup, I would guess, but I have no clue because I haven’t talked to him.”

The 36-year-old did admit he is not against the concept of team golf.

“Obviously, the greatest team event in golf right now is the Ryder Cup, and it’s incredible,” Malnati said. Yet, he struggles to see how it could fit within the PGA Tour.

“I don’t see a way that we incorporate team golf into the FedExCup schedule,” he said. “I personally don’t want that, but I can have my mind changed if I see a great idea. I don’t see a way that we integrate team golf within the FedExCup schedule. We’re going to have some time to play with in the fall — we’re going to have some options, but I don’t know.”

The PGA Tour already has a hectic event schedule. Adding another component, like team golf, would make it even crazier.

PGA Tour, LIV Golf

Greg Lovett / USA TODAY NETWORK/ Palm Beach Post

While discussing this topic, Malnati even touched on Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy’s TGL. That is a team-golf simulation league that was postponed due to infrastructure failure.

“It sounds exciting, but I had no idea that’s what TGL is. So there you go. There’s some team golf. We’ll whack it inside a dome or whatever they’re doing.”

The former Missouri Tiger didn’t hold back on Saturday afternoon. His candor is something most fans can appreciate.

Savannah Leigh Richardson is a golf staff writer for SBNation’ss Playing Through. For more golf coverage, be sure to follow us @_PlayingThrough on all major social platforms. You can also follow her on Twitter @SportsGirlSL and Instagram @savannah_leigh_sports.

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