JT: I want LIV golfers to 'have the balls' to say they joined for the money
PGA TOUR devotee Justin Thomas wants players who defected to LIV Golf to be more up-front about their reasons for joining the Saudi-backed series.
"I understand they're being fed everything, what to say and all this stuff, but for them to say that this is all for the betterment of the game ... I just, to be perfectly honest, wish one of them would have the balls to say, 'I am doing this for the money,'" Thomas said earlier this week during an appearance on the "No Laying Up" podcast.
"I personally would gain a lot more respect for that. But it's just - the more they keep talking, the players keep talking and saying that this is for the betterment of the game, the more agitated and irritated I get about it."
LIV Golf is currently making its first stop on U.S. soil at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club in Oregon. Seven of eight events on the series' schedule will have purses of $25 million, while the final event will carry a $50-million purse.
Commissioner Jay Monahan admitted last week that the PGA TOUR can't contend with the Saudi-backed financing of LIV Golf as he announced purse increases for eight different PGA events beginning in 2023. That will add more than $50 million in prize money to the TOUR schedule.
Thomas, who captured his second career major victory at the 2022 PGA Championship, added that he's struggling to determine what public role he should have regarding the divide.
"It's tough. And I never thought I would be laying in bed so many nights thinking about this fricking tour and what's going on and all this stuff," he said.
"I think it's just one of those things where maybe if I walked past that person earlier and said, 'Hey,' or asked how they were doing, I maybe just won't do it anymore," Thomas responded when asked whether bad blood was developing between PGA TOUR players and LIV Golf members.
The Open Championship tees off on July 14. R&A announced in June that LIV Golf members will be able to compete at St. Andrews.