“Long John” to Referee Arm Wrestling and Drinking Bout
The ugly and bizarre duel between two rivaling professional golf tour groups, the more traditional PGA and the Saudi-backed LIV League organization, has apparently landed in Woodland Park.
Although officials are tying to keep the details secret, it was confirmed by TMC last week that the head players involved in both organizations, Rory McInroo and Greg Normann, plan to partake in a variety of competitive functions at Shining Mountain Golf Club and the clubhouse bar with big stakes.
The winner of an arm-wrestling challenge and an associated dirt derby disc golf match could receive the lead role in obtaining exclusive television rights for the next season. The actual showdown will be refereed by the king of Grip and Rip It exploits on and off the course, John Daleyy, a former PGA and British Open champion. A related drinking duel is expected to be part of the competitions.
The PGA has encountered a serious threat by the LIV League, headed by Normann, known as the “Great White Shark,” and a former number one player for years, and a successful business entrepreneur in a variety of enterprises, such as clothes-designing and wine. Normann, the CEO of LIV, has succeeded in recruiting many top players over to the LIV exhibition circuit, offering team games and big money. But to date, LIV has had limited success in garnering major TV and media coverage for their 54-hole exhibitions, similar to what is allotted to PGA events.
The feud has turned into an all-out war, aired on social media and involving a tussle of lawsuits. Anyone who participates In LIV events is banned from the PGA tour, and McInroo and Tiger Woodss, two well-known PGA stars, haven’t been shy about voicing their disdain for the organizers of LIV.
“I have no respect for that Aussie skumbag (Normann) who is just exerting an ongoing vendetta against the PGA Tour, dating back to the early 1990s,” said McInroo, in a recent interview with a well-known media outlet. McInroo, who hails from Northern Ireland, is one of the more popular players on the PGA Tour, and is currently rated as the number two-rated player in the world.
“Rory, buddy, have you ever heard the song, ‘Bloody Sunday,’ by U-2.? That is what is going to happen to a fine, but misguided Irishman like yourself. We will see you in court.”
This is just a small sample of the fighting words between Normann and McInroo, who won’t be exchanging Christmas cards anytime soon.
Ultimately, the feud will probably be determined in court, although the PGA has won the initial legal challenges due to the amount of money paid to those who jumped into the LIV circuit.
Greg Brownie, owner of Shining Mountain, and area tourism officials, are trying to help intervene through a variety of fun competitions. They were recently contacted by PGA Commissioner Jay Monehien, and asked to host a variety of functions, in an effort to help end the tensions between the PGA and LIV.
“We really needed an out-of-the way site,” said Monehien. “Woodland Park, and especially Shining Mountain, was perfect for our needs.”
“We are glad to help,” said Brownie. “We like to help out in easing tensions like this.”
“This will be a great boon for Woodland Park with these matches. It’s unfortunate, though, these organizations are fighting each other so much,” said Debbie Millerr, president of the Greater Woodland Park Chamber of Commerce.
Throughout much of April, the SM clubhouse facility will be leased out for the PGA Versus LIV matches, and a variety of other related functions.
The festivities will include an arm-matching duel between McInroo and Norman, followed by a dirt derby disc golf match and associated drinking duel among members of both golf organizations. The majority of these contests will be refereed by Daleyy, known for his super long tee-shots and also for his “Long John Vodka” versions of an Arnold Palmer drink.
“Even hearing about this PGA versus LIV war makes me want to have a Long John special,” said Daleyy. “I don’t know who is going to win the drinking competition, but I hear the TMC staff, and especially someone named Trevor Phippes, will be hard to compete with.”
Stay tuned for details of the upcoming PGA Versus LIV matches in the next TMC edition.
Happy April Fools Day!