I think the PGA Tour has potentially arms-raced itself into the sort of mailing-it-in, complacent competition it once dismissively accused LIV Golf of at the start of all this. I say “potentially” because we are still at the start of this new era, and no one seems to know what the future of pro golf might look like other than it will involve a whole lot more money.

I proposed a half-baked idea on Monday’s Shotgun Start that maybe the flood of money into PGA Tour purses, PIP payouts, forthcoming equity stakes, outsized sponsor contracts, and an overall board splashed with cash might make everything less competitive and less interesting. In what I’m now calling the Sam Ryder test, middling T-31 finishers in 70-man fields are banking six-figure paydays. This is nothing against Ryder or others— get your money if it’s there! Everyone is making more playing golf than they could have imagined just a few years ago, and purses are only going to increase. This sort of guaranteed-money lethargy plagued the last days of the WGCs.

Since I tiptoed into this on SGS, I’ve heard from a top player or two along with a few others around the Tour that there is likely some merit to the idea of cash-influx complacency. That was informative feedback, but I’m not still not convinced this will actually impact the competition. We may just be overreacting to a hard-luck West Coast swing. Players will all react differently to more semi-guaranteed money everywhere. Some may be even more motivated by bigger pots of gold than they would be by any trophy or accomplishment. Others may take their foot off the gas, living a rich and comfortable life while not going their hardest in non-majors. And some may start playing like the power forward who put up big numbers during a contract year, landed the deal, and is now 30 pounds overweight. The Tour contains multitudes. But one risk of all this loose cash could be hastening an evolution into a league with competition clearly less intense than the events the Tour doesn’t even own: the majors. The Tour shouldn’t want to amplify that distinction, but it could be what happens by default.

Everyone in pro golf right now — everyone — is motivated by varying degrees of avarice and selfishness. Players are looking around the room trying to get what everyone else has already, protect what they have or feel entitled to, or maneuvering to get more. Some pros are more dignified about this. Some are more disloyal.

I do not fault a player for getting the bag. I won’t even argue if it’s deserved or not. You got it. Enjoy it. But I wonder if a certain level of competitive ennui comes with the entitlement. If so, that could actually further erode the quality of the overall product going forward.

This piece originally appeared in the Fried Egg Golf newsletter. Subscribe for free and receive golf news and insight every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.