Spieth hits back at reports that Cantlay is calling shots in PGA-LIV negotiations

  • Saudi backers of LIV lured Jon Rahm in blockbuster deal
  • ‘We’re looking for the best outcome for players as a whole’

Jordan Spieth has dispelled the notion he is part of an alliance with Tiger Woods and Patrick Cantlay on the PGA Tour board as the deadline nears for the Tour to finalise its framework agreement with the Saudi backers of LIV Golf, who have lured away the Masters champion, Jon Rahm.

Sports Illustrated reported that Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund indicated it was willing not only to pump $2bn (£1.6bn) into the proposed commercial deal as part of the 6 June agreement, but an additional $1bn equalisation pool for PGA Tour players who turned down LIV’s lucrative offers. It also claimed Cantlay had seized control and was driving the negotiations with Woods and Spieth as part of an alliance to protect the interests of top players. Spieth recently was appointed to finish the board term of Rory McIlroy, who resigned last month and often sparred with Cantlay.

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McIlroy predicts Ryder Cup rule change after Rahm defects to LIV Golf

  • World No 2 believes eligibility rules will be rewritten
  • ‘Jon is going to be in Bethpage … there’s no question about that’

Rory McIlroy believes the rules on Ryder Cup eligibility will have to be rewritten in the wake of Jon Rahm’s move to LIV Golf.

McIlroy stated on numerous occasions that he did not think LIV players should be available for selection for this year’s Ryder Cup in Rome, where he and Rahm played starring roles in helping Europe to a convincing victory. However, the world No 2 believes the deal between the DP World Tour, PGA Tour and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund has “legitimised” LIV and wants Rahm on Luke Donald’s side when they attempt to retain the trophy at Bethpage Black in 2025.

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‘I want golf to succeed’: Jon Rahm confirms switch to LIV Golf – video

The Masters champion, Jon Rahm, has confirmed he is joining LIV Golf in a massive coup for the Saudi-funded breakaway. The Spaniard will become the second current major champion on the LIV circuit along with US PGA winner Brooks Koepka. After widespread reports this week that the 29-year-old was set to complete a controversial switch from the PGA Tour, Rahm explained his decision in a conference call with press on Thursday. "I love the game of golf and I'm on the side of golf, right, when I'm ever going to discussions. I want golf to succeed. And the second, that at the end of the day, a man is going to make a decision of what's best for him and his family, right? It's that simple."

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Jon Rahm’s defection to LIV will spur PGA Tour to seal deal with Saudis | Ewan Murray

World No 3 set to strike while the commercial iron is hot but will be accused of hypocrisy because of previous views on LIV

There has long been a perceived problem with too many alpha males in golf’s most prominent circles. Rory McIlroy has admitted even he defers to Tiger Woods when adult discussion is required. McIlroy’s long-time position as the unofficial shop steward for the PGA Tour as LIV’s threat hovered meant others sought counsel from him.

Jon Rahm has never been the type to be backwards in coming forwards, which inevitably would probably grate as others in the locker room came across in a more statesmanlike way during golf’s never-ending civil war. Rahm has an ego. The way for him to usurp his peers – or even Woods, arguably the best player of all time – has always been plain: beat them.

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Why building homes on golf courses is a terrible idea | Letters

John R Fox, John Moore and Mike Stein respond to an article by Phineas Harper on housebuilding

Phineas Harper has missed a serious point regarding golf courses (Building houses on Britain’s vast, exclusive golf courses makes sense for everyone – even golfers, 28 November). They are corridors for wildlife and green havens for fixing carbon as well as providing a healthy leisure activity for local communities. At my golf club, in the past three years we have installed more than 80 nest boxes (including raptor boxes), developed five wildflower zones, encouraged wildlife with bird-feeding stations, left felled branches and logs in wooded areas for insects and fungi to thrive, and allowed grass to grow wild at the edge of  fairways.

My club has been accredited by the Golf Environment Organization for its sustainability and social responsibility.

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‘Ambulance chasers and alarmists’: USGA chief slams critics of new golf ball rules

  • Mike Whan says dissent ‘just isn’t based on fact’
  • Equipment makers and some leading pros fear ‘huge step back’

One of golf’s key decision‑makers has castigated “ambulance chasers and alarmists” who will criticise plans to limit the distance leading players can hit tee shots.

New rules announced on Wednesday by the R&A and the US Golf Association come after their insistence that shot length must be controlled, partly on the grounds of course sustainability. Opposition has been voiced by equipment manufacturers and some leading professionals. Golf’s latest civil war will continue to play out over its most fundamental object: the golf ball itself.

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Golf’s obscene money list shows sport is in danger of losing the plot | Ewan Murray

Jon Rahm has been linked to a LIV Golf deal worth nine figures while Rory McIlroy just earned £12m for his popularity

The trouble with Pointless answers is that you never meet any of the 100 people surveyed for each one. Still, the quiz show probably presents as valid an insight into the attitude of the British public as anything else in these zany times.

A few weeks ago, Alexander Armstrong flashed up famous faces with names relating to flowers. What happened next was rather galling for those who want golf to capture hearts and minds.

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Rory McIlroy blames ‘elite pros’ and equipment makers over ball change

  • Rule will see golf-ball distance shortened by about 15 yards
  • McIlroy: ‘It will make no difference to the average golfer’

Rory McIlroy believes “elite pros” and equipment makers are to blame for an expected rule change which will reduce how far golf balls travel.

Golf’s governing bodies announced in March the proposal of a Model Local Rule (MLR) to give tournaments the option to require the use of balls which would travel around 15 yards less.

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Ashleigh Buhai denies Minjee Lee to win successive Australian Opens

  • South African wins by one stroke at The Australian Golf Club
  • Australia’s Minjee Lee still chasing her first national championship

Ashleigh Buhai has held on to become the first back-to-back Women’s Australian Open champion in more than a decade.

The South African denied Minjee Lee an elusive maiden national championship with a tension-filled one-stroke triumph over Australia’s popular pre-tournament favourite.

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Min Woo Lee closes in on rare golf double at Australian Open

  • Golfer out to claim Australian Open-PGA double in same year
  • Rising star and Rikuya Hoshino share the lead at Australian Open

Min Woo Lee is feeling typically nonchalant about his chances of joining golf royalty with a popular Australian Open triumph in Sydney. Lee conjured some last-hole magic for the second day running to set up another final-round duel with Japan’s Rikuya Hoshino and remain on track to complete a golden summer double on Sunday.

Golf’s new fan-favourite produced a brilliant sand-save birdie at the 18th to send spectators into a frenzy and Lee back to the top of the leaderboard after Saturday’s third round. Lee’s roller-coaster one-under-par 70 was in stark contrast to his dazzling 64 on Friday, which he iced with a tap-in eagle at the 18th.

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Cameron Smith flops again as teen tearaway Rachel Lee snatches lead at Australian Open

  • Former British Open champion eight shots off lead after ho-hum 71
  • High-school student Lee shock co-leader of women’s event after 67

For all his optimism, Cameron Smith may need to throw caution to the wind to avoid the humiliation of missing consecutive cuts at the two flagship tournaments of the Australian summer.

After flopping at last week’s PGA Championship in front of his beloved Brisbane home fans, Smith is again playing catch-up following a ho-hum first round at the Australian Open in Sydney.

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Donald stays on as Ryder Cup captain and puts Woods role in spotlight

  • Englishman reappointed as Europe captain after win in Rome
  • Tiger Woods sidesteps questions about US role

Attention has turned to whether Tiger Woods will captain the United States in the 2025 Ryder Cup after it was confirmed Luke Donald will lead Europe’s trophy defence at Bethpage. Donald, who captained Europe to a comprehensive victory in Rome this year, set his sights on building a legacy as his retention was announced.

Donald had received backing from Rory McIlroy and Europe’s other marquee players immediately after a 16 ½–11 ½ success was sealed in October. Donald wants to emulate Tony Jacklin, who guided Europe to victories in 1985 and 1987.

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‘Taken aback’: Tiger Woods frustrated by controversial PGA and LIV framework agreement – video

Tiger Woods admitted he was 'frustrated' by the circumstances surrounding the controversial framework agreement between golf’s established tours and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund. He and other players were blindsided by the secret negotiations between the PGA Tour commissioner, Jay Monahan, and two high-profile board members that led to the agreement. Woods said: 'We were very frustrated with what happened and we took steps going forward to ensure that the player involvement was not going – we were not going to be left out of the process like we were. So part of that process was putting me on the board and accepting that position.'

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