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Bryson DeChambeau’s box-office week at the PGA Championship made Padraig Harrington realise just how much some LIV players are missed on the traditional tours.

DeChambeau’s Sunday charge at Valhalla captured the imagination of golf fans as he thrust himself back into the centre of attention on the biggest stage with a runner-up finish.

But while the breakaway LIV league and the PGA Tour continue to operate independently, the four majors remain the only times in the season that the world’s best from the rival circuits cross paths.

Three-time major champ Harrington has made it clear throughout golf’s schism that he is not opposed to divided talent pools and has welcomed a future with “two big tours” for the elite players.

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But DeChambeau’s performance provided Harrington a reminder of the players he misses on the established domains.

“I seemed to live through the golden era of golf, when there was a very strong European Tour,” he told the Golf Channel. “We didn’t realise at the time that the two tours being strong was. I felt, in hindsight, looks like it was a great thing. There’s not enough.

“If everybody plays the PGA Tour, there are not enough tournaments for everybody to win. You can’t build stars. It’s just so hard. Like, if Scotty wins eight tournaments this year and Rory wins five, and Xander wins four, what is everybody else going to win? So you need other big tours, whether it’s Europe or wherever else.

“I didn’t realise when it came to LIV, you know, some of the guys left, and he said, you know, didn’t bother me. A lot of my friends went to LIV as well, but some of the guys left. But I realised last week, God, we missed Bryson.

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“Bryson was box office last week, and really, really helped that tournament, helped push Xander’s win on. It was fantastic. Interesting, exciting watching. So, yeah, we do miss. We miss those guys, I think, you know, as I said before, it’s hard to believe we miss Patrick Reed.”

With the men’s professional game still at a crossroads, Harrington also assessed what he thinks the future should look like.

He added: “Ultimately if you were looking for the perfect solution I would have at least the two tours and have some crossover like we did back in the day,  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, it’s always been helpful, but we do need a solution – I will say that. We want to have weeks like last week at the PGA where we have the drama and have both sides, we need more of that for sure. But we don’t necessarily have to have everyone to be playing the same tournament at the same time.

“I know other people think that’s right. For me, if you get all the best players playing all the tournaments at the same time there’s just so few opportunities to win, it’s hard to create stars. I’m not averse to two strong tours and whatever goes with that.”

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Ben Parsons joined bunkered as a Content Producer in 2023 and is the man to come to for all of the latest news, across both the professional and amateur games. Formerly of The Mirror and Press Association, he is a member at Halifax Golf Club and is a long-suffering fan of both Manchester United and the Wales rugby team.

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