Former captain Bernard Gallacher believes LIV Golf is undermining the Ryder Cup and fears the organisation’s ‘confrontational’ CEO Greg Norman is not the man to broker any potential compromise with the established tours.
Players who have resigned from the PGA Tour to join LIV Golf will not be eligible for next year’s Ryder Cup in Rome, while Henrik Stenson was stripped of the captaincy for signing up to the Saudi-backed breakaway.
Scotland’s Gallacher, who captained Europe in 1991, 1993 and 1995, believes the PGA Tour and DP World Tour may be able to ‘weather the storm’ for now – but will be forced to try to reach a compromise if LIV Golf’s virtually bottomless pockets keep attracting more players.
‘If more and more money keeps getting pumped into LIV Golf, then more golfers will join, simple as that,’ said Gallacher. ‘The traditional Tours won’t be able to compete.
‘We’re in a tricky position now where major champions are switching to LIV Golf and hence potentially not being able to defend their crowns.
‘It’s undermining and devaluing golfing competitions on both sides of the Atlantic.
‘If things continue as they are, major championships will look completely different in years to come, and we must collectively ask ourselves if that’s what we want.
‘A conversation needs to be had and a compromise reached, but I’m not entirely convinced that Greg Norman is the man to have that conversation.
‘I think some see him as quite a confrontational character, and you can see why.
‘I’ve known Greg for many years and have played with him several times.
‘He’s a very ambitious, savvy businessman but I think he’s always had an alternative vision for golf, which has now come to fruition in the form of LIV.
‘Greg has a very bullish personality. His whole demeanour doesn’t lend itself well to having lots of friends, but we know he doesn’t care much about that.
‘For me, there needs to be somebody in charge that’s amenable to the PGA and European Tours for it to work – Greg isn’t that person.
‘He’s upset the apple cart and ruffled quite a few feathers already and LIV Golf is still in its infancy. It’s only going to get worse.’
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