ATLANTA – PGA Tour reigning champion Cameron Young says he will stay with the tour after talks with LIV Golf about joining the new circuit.
Young, speaking after Sunday’s final round of the Tour Championship at East Lake Golf Club, said he was excited by LIV Golf’s “fresh ideas” but encouraged that a senior group of players are working with PGA Tour officials to make the tour even better.
“I’ve decided to be honest,” Young said. “It’s a very difficult situation, because it’s not something that anyone really wanted to happen. I don’t think it was intended to create such animosity between the two.”
The youngster, ranked 17th in the Official World Golf Ranking, became just the seventh player since 1980 to finish in the top five in a season. He is the first player since Vijay Singh in 2003 to do so. Young finished second at the Sanderson Farms Championship, the Genesis Invitational, the Wells Fargo Championship, The Open and the Rocket Market Mortgage Classic.
The 25-year-old had 11 top-25s in 24 starts and finished the regular season ninth in the FedEx Cup standings. He is the first PGA Tour rookie to earn $5 million or more in a season. Entering the Tour Championship, Young had earned more than $6.5 million.
On Monday, LIV Golf is expected to announce the addition of at least six PGA Tour members, including world No. 2 golfer Cameron Smith, who Young beat by one stroke at the 150th Open at St. Andrews. Chile’s Joaquin Niemann, Australia’s Marc Leishman, USA’s Harold Varner III, India’s Anirban Lahiri and America’s Cameron Tringale are expected to participate in the next LIV Golf Tournament in Boston.
Chile’s Mito Pereira is expected to join LIV Golf in the future, sources told ESPN.
Young attended last week’s PGA Tour players’ meeting at the BMW Championship in Wilmington, Delaware, hosted by Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy. The youngster said he sat next to McIlroy and was there “to listen and not speak”.
On Tuesday, PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan announced that the tour’s major players have committed to play in 20 events starting in the 2022-23 season. The program will have 13 major events with an average purse of $20 million.
“We don’t know who’s going to leave after this week or next year,” Young said. “I think there’s a really good group of guys out there right now, and a lot of them are top-level players in the world. I don’t think the competition on the PGA Tour is going to go down significantly.”