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The Public Squabbles Over LIV Golf Need to Stop

By: | Mon 30 Jan 2023 | Comments

Golfshake's Derek Clements reveals his latest View From The Fairway opinion article...

STOP! Regular readers will know that I am no fan of LIV Golf but I have had enough of the spat between the likes of Rory McIlroy and those who now play their trade with LIV Golf. The squabbles that appear to be breaking out on an almost daily basis are doing our sport no good.

I accept that everybody is entitled to an opinion in this subject but the thing that strikes me is how personal and spiteful it has all become.

It all plumbed new depths at the Dubai Desert Classic when (eventual winner) McIlroy refused to acknowledge Patrick Reed. My initial response was to take McIlroy’s side but shouldn’t he have just swallowed his pride and shaken Reed’s hand? He was, after all, simply wishing the Northern Irishman a belated happy new year. 

McIlroy’s defence for snubbing Reed was that he was responsible for serving him with a subpoena in the run-up to Christmas. That is not strictly accurate - the subpoena was served by lawyers acting on behalf of LIV Golf, not Reed as an individual. I understand that there are many people who don’t have a lot of time for Patrick Reed, and I get why that is. But this just all seems so petty.

These two men enjoyed a wonderful Ryder Cup rivalry. Who can ever forget their incredible singles encounter at Hazeltine in 2016 when they were good-naturedly trading shushes and fist bumps.

Now we have Reed describing McIlroy as an immature child, while throwing a tee at him, with McIlroy responding that if he threw a tee back at the American he would expect to be the subject of a lawsuit.

(Image Credit: Kevin Diss Photography)

We have also seen Ian Poulter bleating about not being wished a happy birthday and listened to McIlroy and Tiger Woods both calling for LIV Golf chief executive Greg Norman to quit his post.

And Nick Faldo is the latest to wade in. There has never been any love lost between Faldo and Norman.

Norman was the No. 1 ranked player in the world for a long time - 331 weeks total to Faldo’s 97 weeks. But Faldo won four more major championships during his career, winning six to Norman’s two. One of Faldo’s major wins, of course, came at the 1996 Masters when Norman failed to convert a six-shot lead in the final round and shot 78. Faldo shot 67 to win his third green jacket.

Faldo now says that Norman has destroyed his legacy. He told Sky Sports: "He was a great golfer. He really was a charismatic, exciting golfer and he's absolutely wrecked all of that.”

Faldo also branded LIV "embarrassing" and took issue with their claim they are growing the game of golf. "It's a closed shop: 48 guys given loads of money," he added.

"What gripes me is it's not growing the game of golf. That really gets me when they fly across the world to a country that's been playing golf for 100 plus years and say, 'we're growing the game of golf’.

"If they keep saying they want to grow the game of golf, go and take it to new regions. Countries in the early days of being interested in golf now.

"Try that rather than just trying to antagonise everybody. Whatever they want to do, go and do it. Let these youngsters play what we deem is real, competitive golf.

"Once you've decided to retire, disappear, move on, or go to another job. No one's going to talk about you, so just go and do your thing and get on with it.

"They're antagonistic, pitching events up against big events on the PGA Tour - and it's the same here in Europe. It's pretty embarrassing.”

Golf fans will, of course, make up their minds about all of this but I can’t help feeling that these ongoing public outbursts are doing our sport no good at all. And remember, there are legal battles ahead that will decide whether the DP World Tour can ban LIV members and whether the PGA Tour is within its rights to have already banned them.

It is so sad that McIlroy can no longer bring himself to talk to Reed and is barely on speaking terms with the likes of Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood and Sergio Garcia, men with whom he shared some wonderful Ryder Cup moments, creating some of golf’s greatest memories.

The legal battles are inevitable. But while those are playing out, it is surely time for all the back-stabbing to stop before it all does irreparable damage to the game we all love.

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What do you think? leave your comments below (Comments)

Tags: PGA Tour LIV Golf european tour dp world tour


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