A lot has transpired in golf in recent times. Since the inception of LIV Golf, it has left the golf world divided with the PGA Tour currently being involved in a court tussle with the rival tour. The PGA Tour had recently countersued Greg Norman’s LIV, alleging that the rival golf circuit is using unfair practices by attracting players courtesy of whopping deals.
On the other hand, LIV Golf remains unperturbed by distractions or outside noises. Ahead of the 2022 LIV Golf event in Bangkok, Thailand (i.e. the sixth event of its inaugural season), WION’s Sports Editor Digvijay Singh Deo caught up with Spain’s Sergio Garcia. The 42-year-old, who has won 36 international tournaments as a professional and is arguably Europe’s greatest Ryder Cup player, spoke at length on the divide in the sport due to LIV Golf vs PGA Tour, on joining the Saudi Arabia-backed circuit and chances of playing in the Ryder Cup.
“We are super excited (about joining the LIV Golf series) about where we are headed. Yes (we are pioneers). LIV Golf has given us an opportunity to be that. We are really confident that this is the right decision. On being asked if there was there something in the game that wasn’t right, leading to LIV Golf Series, Garcia said, “Not really. I think some things could’ve been done differently with more energy and focus on younger generations. If you look at the age average for LIV, compared to the European or PGA Tour, it is much younger. At the end of the day, we try to encourage and get those young people to follow the game. LIV Golf is doing that. We are happy to do it.”
When asked if he is surprised by PGA’s ‘this is my turf, nobody can be on it‘ policy, the veteran Sergio said, “Well, the game of golf is global. It belongs to everybody. They tried to do something for their benefit, but we will also try to do whatever best is possible.” On the overall reaction and flak coming towards LIV Series, the Spaniard opined, “We knew something of this was going to happen. But that’s ok. We are all grown up. We all know what is best for the game and best for our families. Apart from that, it is all white noise.”
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LIV’s strategic alliance with META
On Thursday (October 06), a big announcement came in. LIV Golf players will now earn world ranking points starting this week after the developmental MENA (the Middle East and North Africa) Tour forged a strategic alliance with the Saudi Arabia-backed circuit.
“We are taking this mutually beneficial action to support the game at the developmental level and because of the importance and fairness of LIV golfers qualifying for OWGR points,” LIV Golf President Atul Khosla said in a MENA Tour news release. “We’re pleased to create pathways that give more opportunities for young players, while also giving fans rankings that include all the world’s best golfers.”
Regarding this development, Sergio stated, “It is big. Super exciting. For younger players who don’t have majors and want to hold onto their rankings and get rewarded for their good play, so that they can have eligibility to play the majors, thus, we are super excited about that.”
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Will Sergio Garcia feature in the Ryder Cup?
With Sergio joining LIV Golf, this could well lead to the end of his career competing in blue and gold. He signed off by saying, “I would love to (play). Unfortunately, that won’t come down to me. It depends on the European tour, the captain and the people involved there. We will see what happens.” It is to be noted that the superstar golfer has been given until Friday (October 07) to make a decision.