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LIV Golf Invitational Series: Why are players taking ‘colossal’ money to join the Saudi-backed circuit? golf news

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paul mcginley

golf columnist

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Paul Casey became the latest former Ryder Cup player to join the LIV Golf Invitational Series this week; Paul McGinley reflects on the impact the Saudi-funded tour is having on the global game and discusses other potential changes within the sport in the future.

Last update: 04/07/22 6:53 am

Paul McGinley, James Corrigan and Kyle Porter discuss the threat it poses to today's golf calendar, including the Ryder Cup, LIV Golf Series.

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Paul McGinley, James Corrigan and Kyle Porter discuss the threat it poses to today’s golf calendar, including the Ryder Cup, LIV Golf Series.

Paul McGinley, James Corrigan and Kyle Porter discuss the threat it poses to today’s golf calendar, including the Ryder Cup, LIV Golf Series.

Anyone who says that moving to the LIV Golf Tour is about growing the game, because there’s a new way to play that’s been lost and all of that, I’d really question that.

For me, the players who leave the tours leave because first of all the money is colossal. Even if you don’t agree, you can understand their rationale for being paid out large guaranteed amounts along with the opportunity to play less.

Paul Casey has obviously been injured since the first part of the year, he’s missed every major championship so far this year, so it’s almost like an insurance policy played out early.

World number 26 Paul Casey is welcomed to the LIV Golf series and the Crushers team by team captain Bryson DeChambeau.

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World number 26 Paul Casey is welcomed to the LIV Golf series and the Crushers team by team captain Bryson DeChambeau.

World number 26 Paul Casey is welcomed to the LIV Golf series and the Crushers team by team captain Bryson DeChambeau.

He obviously has a lot of money to go to LIV and you can understand his decision, especially for someone who has injuries and is moving on in years. Bryson did that, too, saying it was a “business decision,” and likely referring to the fact that he was coming back and worried about a career-threatening injury for him.

The money is huge and players are taking it, particularly those in the latter half of their careers. It’s understandable, I get it, but I think the question going forward is going to be whether players who go play LIV, and take the money, can come back and play the established tours again.

Paul McGinley used Mo Salah and the Premier League to help explain how the LIV Golf Series differs from the structure and organization of the PGA and DP world tours.

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Paul McGinley used Mo Salah and the Premier League to help explain how the LIV Golf Series differs from the structure and organization of the PGA and DP world tours.

Paul McGinley used Mo Salah and the Premier League to help explain how the LIV Golf Series differs from the structure and organization of the PGA and DP world tours.

Are they allowed to take money off the table of the guys who have been loyal and kept the tour? That’s the big question. Of the players I spoke to on the range at the US Open and Irish Open, their opinion is absolutely no way. As one player told me, ‘We can’t let these guys ‘double down’ by promoting a rival business and then come back to take money off our table as well.’

Will the dispute end up in court?

I know I ride the European Tour and sit on the board but, speaking as a former Ryder Cup player and captain and a 25-year member of the European Tour, I see it very simply and I agree with the views of many players: the European Tour is a collective. If you choose to leave that class, you should not continue to benefit from it.

DP World Tour executive Keith Pelley says there has been little fact and much fiction when looking at the reports surrounding potential partnerships being made with the LIV Golf Series.

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DP World Tour executive Keith Pelley says there has been little fact and much fiction when looking at the reports surrounding potential partnerships being made with the LIV Golf Series.

DP World Tour executive Keith Pelley says there has been little fact and much fiction when looking at the reports surrounding potential partnerships being made with the LIV Golf Series.

We are a group of professional golfers who are represented by an executive who organizes events and Tours for us and we play. If we choose to leave that collective, as these players have, and try to build a competitor that is going to hurt this collective, then you can’t come back and play both sides of the fence.

The guys who have stayed loyal to the Tour are very, very strong. There’s a growing determination to say ‘it’s not fair that these guys can go in there, hurt that collective and expect to come back and play our biggest events.’

Padraig Harrington says he is pleased to see the PGA and DP World tours focus on improving themselves rather than trying to 'tear down' LIV Golf.

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Padraig Harrington says he is pleased to see the PGA and DP World tours focus on improving themselves rather than trying to ‘tear down’ LIV Golf.

Padraig Harrington says he is pleased to see the PGA and DP World tours focus on improving themselves rather than trying to ‘tear down’ LIV Golf.

Let’s say you spark a court case and the players involved won it, they would come back and there would be a lot of animosity from the guys they left behind, that would create a horrible atmosphere. If it comes to a court case, we are moving into a no-win situation.

There’s really a big divide starting to show up now and it’s really sad that professional golf has come to this, all because of money and a business model that doesn’t make financial sense.

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July 7, 2022, 8:00 a.m.

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Reasons to keep a positive attitude?

There is a lot of guesswork in the game at the moment, as we know, but we have 14 of the top 15 players in the world playing at the Genesis Scottish Open this week.

It is the first time in golf history that we have an event sanctioned jointly with the PGA Tour, where half the course is from there and the other half from the DP World Tour. It’s a big step, it’s a big step forward and there’s going to be a lot of changes in golf over the next year or two.

Honestly, I think that at the end of it all, when things calm down again, golf will improve. I know it’s painful and difficult right now, but I think overall over time, when things settle down, golf will be in a better place and that can mean a positive change in its business model.

Watch the Genesis Scottish Open all week long live on Sky Sports. live coverage starts thursday with featured bands from 8 a.m. on Sky Sports Golf and Sky Sports Main Event, before full coverage from 12:30.

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