“The last three years have been difficult for the game and the players,” Nicklaus said to the Palm Beach Post. “I spoke with PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan this morning. He seemed pleased with the arrangement that will once again bring together the best players in the world. I agree that this is good for the game of golf.”
Golf’s great schism appears to be in the rearview mirror, to the delight of Nicklaus.
“I also appreciate the commissioner’s comments about continuing the tradition of the tour and the mission to support important charitable causes,” Nicklaus added. “I am certainly interested in seeing the details. [Monahan] indicated that this all will happen in 2024, so very soon, the proof will be in the pudding. Whatever is best for the game of golf enjoys my full support.”
Nicklaus saying that this agreement is good for the game comes as somewhat of a surprise, considering the frustration shared among PGA Tour players, the accusations of hypocrisy thrown Monahan’s way, and the understanding of who the beneficiary is in PIF.
Yet, the 18-time major winner has long supported anything that will benefit the game of golf in the long run.
For years, the “Golden Bear” has argued in favor of rolling back the golf ball for the game’s best players, saying that tour players today hit it too far. He feels this move will help the integrity of the game, the irrigation systems on golf courses, and also limit the costs of course renovation and expansion.
“This is a PGA Tour event, and we have the best field we can possibly have for a PGA Tour event for those who are eligible to be here,” Nicklaus said ahead of the 2023 Memorial Tournament. “The other guys made a choice of what they did and where they’ve gone, and we don’t even talk about it.”
With the announcement of the merger, those on the LIV Golf circuit can play in the 2024 Memorial Tournament. Monahan previously suspended players who defected to the breakaway tour, but they can now re-apply for PGA Tour membership after the 2023 season.
It sounds as though Nicklaus is ready to move forward.