American writers are still trying to come to terms with the fact that a real rival series from the PGA Tour is coming to life after decades of empty threats from a number of sources.
LIV Golf, the start-up funded by the Saudi Arabian government and led by Australian legend Greg Norman, kicks off Thursday after months of heated debate, criticism and controversy.
A field of 48 players gathered in London this week for the series’ launch – and it was not without some big names with Dustin Johnson and Phil Mickelson offering mega entry fees to play.
Watch every round of The 2022 US Open Live & On-Demand June 17-20 with FOX SPORTS on Kayo. New to Kayo? Try now 14 days free †
The general attitude among those who play and cover the game in the US has undergone a marked shift.
After being dismissive for a long time, there is an acceptance that LIV Golf does, in fact, pose an existential threat to the PGA Tour.
Still, it takes a while for the reality of the situation to sink in.
“I can’t believe today was real,” wrote CBS Sports golf writer Kyle Porter after the resignation of Johnson, Louis Oosthuizen, Charl Schwartzel, Kevin Na and Branden Grace from the PGA Tour.
“Absolute feverish dream of disbelief, parody and ultimately sorrow.”
Porter called the players nothing but greedy, chasing big bucks on a tour that offers over A$350 million in prize money and even more in entry fees.
“Nobody entering this competition really believes what they say,” Porter wrote. “It’s just rich people who pay other rich people tons of money to launder a government’s reputation.
“Prosport isn’t the most innocent arena, but this is all dirty, even to an already low standard. The golf in this competition hardly matters – it’s almost incidental – which makes me feel like I’m in the… Truman Showwhere everyone acts, and I continue to be the brand.”
Also a strong stance against the leading group is Golf Channel analyst and former pro Brandel Chamblee.
Chamblee, one of LIV Golf’s strongest and most outspoken critics, said its members have just sold “a little bit of their soul.”
“If the Saudi-backed LIV wave is a success, it will prove to be a plague to the game,” Chamblee wrote.
“The 48 players knocking off this Friday have exchanged a little bit of their souls for money and they are tilting the game in a very bad direction and everyone knows they are helping to sell a lie.”
In a separate tweet, Chamblee wrote: “They are not golfers, but instruments of deception.”
Golfweek and USA Today columnist Eamon Lynch takes a similar stance, calling LIV Golf and its participants complicit in Saudi sportswashing.
He was especially critical of some of the names speaking at press conferences this week, such as Graeme McDowell and Talor Gooch.
McDowell said: “If Saudi Arabia wanted to use the game of golf as a way to get where they want to be, and they have the resources to accelerate that experience, then I think we’ll be proud to help them on that journey. . †
Meanwhile, Gooch said he is “not that smart” in response to questions about sportswashing.
In response, Lynch wrote in his golf week column: “McDowell probably didn’t realize his words were an ignorant explanation of how sports washing works.
“It requires the three things he noted: an image creation target, cash, and willing front men.
Nor will he understand how that cowardly statement will stain his legacy forever.
“When Norman offered his players a bullsh*t bonus, McDowell won, despite the competition from Talor Gooch.”
Meanwhile, respected journalist and author Michael Bamberger also weighed in on those who have turned their backs on the PGA Tour.
Bamberger took aim at Phil Mickelson, whose career earnings ($94,955,060 USD) on the PGA Tour are surpassed only by Tiger Woods.
Bamberger wrote in the Fire Pit Collective that Mickelson “has been great for golf”, adding: “But he – and this is easy for me to say – shows a stunning lack of gratitude with this move. The PGA Tour made him. The big championships made him .
“It’s part of a continuum built by Walter Hagen and Julius Boros and continued by Jimmy Walker (yes, really) and Justin Thomas. Mickelson has contributed enormously to it, but has also benefited greatly from it.
“Somehow everything he had just 13 months ago when he became the oldest player to win a Grand Slam event was not enough. It’s hard to understand.”
He also said Norman is “blinded by all that Saudi money” to front LIV Golf.
#real #stunned #gross #million #wave #plague #sold #lie