Golf LIV assessment lingering; ‘It’s not real golf’. The major champion issues.

May 11, 2024

Since its creation two years ago, LIV Golf’s format of 54 holes with no cut has faced significant criticism. Recently, golfing icon Ernie Els joined the chorus by sharing his thoughts.

Ernie Els expressed his criticism towards LIV Golf.

Ernie Els has stated that he considers the LIV Golf format to be invalid, and further revealed his refusal of any substantial financial offers originating from the Saudi-backed league.

The LIV setup still conducts its 54-hole, no-cut tournaments featuring a team competition and individual leaderboard. Ever since it was introduced in June 2022, the format has encountered disapproval from numerous individuals involved in sports including four-time major champion Els who is currently criticizing it.

Although he acknowledges the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia’s (PIF) affinity for golf, Els remains skeptical about the current structure of the breakaway league. Els informed Yellowhammer News that he hasn’t received any offers thus far.

Even if I were asked, my response would have been negative. Although I am acquainted with a few Saudis who are true golf fans, the LIV’s existing setup doesn’t align with authentic golf principles to me. Regardless of where in my career journey I find myself situated at this moment or afterward. The PGA Tour and LIV now find themselves engaged in a conflict over supremacy on pro-golf’s highest tier.

The PGA Tour decided to ban any player who opted to join the Saudi-backed series, leading to a contentious relationship between both parties. In June of last year, sports enthusiasts were astonished when Commissioner Jay Monahan disclosed that the Tour had established a preliminary agreement with PIF.

Despite nearly 12 months having passed, a deal has not been finalized as the involved parties failed to meet their December 31 deadline in 2023. Following the recent conflict, Els is optimistic that a peace agreement can be reached sooner rather than later. “I sincerely hope they can resolve their issues because this turmoil negatively impacts our sport,” he stated before adding, “Only time will tell.”

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The LIV Golf fallout was discussed by Ernie Els.

Nonetheless, he reiterated his dissatisfaction with the LIV approach to golf. Els continued by stating that in his opinion, the current way of playing under this format is flawed. He suggested that team golf could be incorporated into the overall schedule for a short period rather than using it as a year-long structure. Els further added that during other times of the year, players should engage in traditional individual play instead of adhering to LIV guidelines.

Reports earlier this week indicated that Tiger Woods was set to be the sole player representative during negotiations, as Rory McIlroy’s peers rejected his bid to return to the PGA Tour Policy Board. While McIlroy resigned from the board in November 2020 intending for a break from off-course politics, he recently announced plans of making a comeback.

McIlroy announced on Thursday that even though he was rejected, he and Adam Scott would still assist Woods in finalizing the deal. Although not a member of the board, McIlroy stated at the Wells Fargo Championship that he played some part in the transaction committee.

As I lack the privilege of voting, my opinion may not hold much significance in deciding future outcomes. Nevertheless, being part of that committee makes me feel useful. It’s a compensation for missing out on securing a board seat.