The latest voice to speak out on the battle between the PGA Tour and the Saudi-backed LIV Golf league is Andrew "Chubby" Chandler, former agent to world No. 1 Rory McIlroy.
On Tuesday, Chandler gave The Mirror his opinion on the rival 54-hole, team-format league. Chandler currently works with Darren Clarke, who competes on the PGA Tour Champions, and LIV Golf member Lee Westwood was a former client.
"I have always thought for the last 15-20 years, how has nobody thought to put up the same product?" Chandler said. "Thursday to Sunday all over the world 72 holes stroke play, everywhere played exactly the same."
Chandler did not stop there—the longtime agent recognized that the rival tour isn’t just distinct because of its new format. LIV Golf is backed by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, and many have criticized the upstart league as a sportswashing effort.
"There are a lot of countries apart from Saudi Arabia that have tried to use sport to legitimize their being. I am not so sure it is such a bad thing anyway," Chandler said.
Chandler's former client, McIlroy, has been one of the most outspoken PGA Tour players when it comes to the ongoing animosity between the two organizations. Chandler and McIlroy split in 2011.
McIlroy, along with Tiger Woods, recently called for LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman to quit. The two golf greats believe that Norman's departure could be the first step to the PGA Tour and LIV making an attempt at peace.
Chandler, however, believes that the PGA Tour made a major error by not cooperating with LIV in the beginning stages of its creation.
"For the PGA Tour not to sit down with LIV at any stage to discuss what they were trying to do, where they could possibly help, when there was billions of dollars going into golf was a very strange thing to do and a very arrogant thing to do," Chandler said.
As a former agent of players who have chosen both pathways, Chandler’s comments offer a behind-the-scenes perspective in regards to professional golf’s shifting landscape. His analysis gives us a glimpse of what some industry members—outside of administrative bodies and active players—think about the clash of the PGA Tour and LIV Golf.