Golf Saudi ambassador Gary Player has blasted LIV Golf and those players joining the breakaway league, insisting anyone jumping ship to LIV lacks “confidence in their future”.
In an interview with BBC Radio 5Live, Player, a nine-time Major winner, tore into the 54-hole no-cut format on the LIV circuit, insisting it could never usurp the PGA or DP World Tour under its current guise.
“I wouldn’t take a billion dollars for my nine majors on both tours,” Player said. “I worked hard. I had desire. I travelled the world. It was an education, I met wonderful people.
“How can you ever be a champion playing a tour with 54 holes and no cut? What sort of tour is that? 54 holes, no cut, a team event nobody understands.
“It’s a tour for people who don’t have confidence in their future. They don’t have the confidence they can be winners.
“It’s never going to compare to the regular tour. No chance.”
Player backed the PGA Tour’s decision to suspend any of its members who decide to join LIV, taking it a step further by calling on the Majors to do likewise from 2023.
“They’ve declared war on the PGA Tour,” said the 86-year old. “They must not expect to play in the Ryder Cup, the Presidents Cup, play in the majors and all those things.
“You can’t have your cake and eat it. That’s the bed you’ve chosen, that’s the bed you’ve got to lie in.”
LIV Golf’s latest recruit, world number two Cameron Smith also felt the scorn of Player. The reigning Open Champion cited financial reward and scheduling as the key drivers to his move to the Saudi-backed circuit and while Player understands why some golfers go, notably Henrik Stenson, he can’t fathom Smith’s motivation.
“Here’s a young man I really thought was going to be a superstar. Now what sort of future does he have?,” Player said.
“Will he be able to realise this great dream of being a champion? I don’t know.
“I don’t blame [Henrik] Stenson for going. He had no money, so he had to go. But this is a potential superstar. I think his advisors have given him the wrong advice.”