PGA Tour pro Padraig Harrington makes powerful admission about LIV, state of golf

Last week, veteran pro Padraig Harrington played alongside some of the best LIV Golf and PGA Tour players at the PGA Championship. He saw firsthand how much better golf is when the two leagues play together.

Fans saw an exciting finish as Xander Schauffele made a clutch birdie putt to avoid a playoff against LIV Golf captain Bryson DeChambeau. Despite the many LIV haters out there, golf is better when the LIV players are in the field.

Harrington joined Golf Today on Wednesday ahead of the Champions Tour Kitchenaid Senior PGA Championship and made an interesting admission about the week at Valhalla.

“I realized last week, God, we miss Bryson [DeChambeau],” the Irishman said.

“Like, Bryson was box office last week. He really, really helped that tournament, helped pushed Xander’s [Schauffele] win on. It was fantastic, interesting, exciting watching. We miss those guys. I think, it’s hard to believe we miss Patrick Reed, that’s just the way it is.”

As many know, professional golf is still divided. The deal between Saudi PIF and the PGA Tour does not seem to be moving, and negotiations appear to be at a standstill. However, if the PGA Championship showed the golf world anything, it is that many of the LIV guys bring excitement to the tournament.

Schauffele helped get a boost in ratings despite Tiger Woods missing the cut. While Scottie Scheffler’s Friday arrest could have contributed to the increase in viewers, however, it was also the electric energy from DeChambeau and the big names that sat atop the leaderboard.

Harrington noticed the difference and gave his opinion on mending the state of golf.

“I think, ultimately if you were looking to me for the perfect solution, I would have at least the two tours and have some crossover like we did back in the day,” Harrington said. “Everybody’s got a bit of a chip on their shoulder — a certain amount of players can come and go back and forth. A few invites, something like that. Rivalries are a good thing in sport.”

Like many players, Harrington knows a solution must happen for golf to thrive.

“That’s the one thing that every day for the last two years I’ve had an opinion and all I’ve found is, wow, it keeps moving and changing because the scene changes,” he said. “I think everybody in golf wants a solution.”

Harrington is now winning and mainly playing on the Champions Tour, but that does not stop him from offering input. After seeing such a blockbuster week in Kentucky, maybe the 52-year-old is onto something.

Savannah Leigh Richardson is a golf staff writer for SB Nation’s 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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