The world of men’s professional golf is in a tailspin, which shows no sign of equilibrium. Not yet anyway. The latest threat of legal action against the DP World Tour (aka the European Tour) by those who defected to the start-up and wealthy LIV Tour has drawn a strong backlash from the establishment and its players , including Padraig Harrington.
Speaking at the Horizon Irish Open at Mount Juliet, where he had shown character to survive the cut with a birdie-birdie finish in his second round, Harrington found himself immersed in the side of golf where to talk, rather than the mere art of titanium hitting rubber, remained the focus as the turbulence continued.
DP World chief executive Keith Pelley issued a forceful statement in response to the threat of legal eagles playing lead shots, after defecting players – including Lee Westwood and Serigo Garcia – sent him a message. letter claiming they “cared deeply”. on the European circuit.
“Before joining LIV Golf, players knew there would be consequences if they chose money over competition. Many of them at the time understood and accepted that…it is not credible may some now be surprised at the action we have taken,” Pelley said, adding that if they were talking about the tour “some of them could have been playing in Ireland this week in support of our new title sponsor.”
Sanctions imposed by the DP World Tour on defectors included fines of over €100,000 and bans from playing at next week’s Scottish Open (a co-sanctioned event with the PGA Tour), the fines ahead of increase in the future.
Harrington’s mind has been in a whirlwind for different reasons lately, after his brilliant victory at the US Seniors Open last Sunday and then dealing with jet lag and the emotions of that success while striving to be competitive at the Irish Open which he managed to reach.
Fines and bans
Yet the Dubliner – although surprised that the problem of those who had defected had resurfaced as it did – insisted that there was a strong belief among European Tour players that the Penalties against defectors should have been stronger than the fines and bans imposed. .
“From my point of view, from a general point of view, the players who didn’t go but could have gone feel that the sanctions didn’t go far enough. One hundred percent… but I wouldn’t that they’re banned from playing majors. I’m comfortable that it’s their tour [now] and it’s our turn.
“Anyway you want to look at it, there is definitely a separation and it could take five, 10, 15 years for that to normalize. Who knows? It certainly won’t be normal for a while. But I would definitely not recommend that they not be in the majors. On the contrary, I think it could make the majors bigger and better, having the best players everywhere and only playing together in the majors is a good thing. The majors are golf. I never want to see the majors affected. The best players should play,” said Harrington, who used the example of Rory taking on DJ in a major tournament as an example of his argument.
And, putting a positive spin on future results, he added: “I have no problem with guys having to play LIV, make their bed and they lay in it…I’m comfortable with the fact that they went to play there. I have no problem with them, they made that decision, there’s a lot of money there.
“Looks like [LIV] are here to stay. The rest of golf is starting to focus on themselves, it seems statements from the PGA Tour and European Tour are starting to focus on their tours. As far as I’m concerned, let LIV go and do their thing. I think it’s good for golf, this competition and other tours, and I think there’s room for that too!