By Carl Markham, PA
Four-time major winner Ernie Els insists the LIV Golf Series cannot be taken seriously and it is just getting in the way of “real golf”.
The three latest additions to the Saudi-backed breakaway are set to be announced in the next 24 hours, with Ryder Cup captain Henrik Stenson controversially expected to be among them.
LIV’s third event of this year’s inaugural eight-match series is at Trump National Golf Club Bedminster in New Jersey next week where the new players will make their debut.
— LIV Golf (@LIVGolfInv) July 19, 2022
But Els said the breakaway lacked legitimacy and, without world ranking points, it was meaningless.
“Just because you are playing for 20 million US dollars a week doesn’t change anything,” the South African told Golf Digest ahead of the Seniors Open at Gleneagles.
“It’s still 54 holes. There’s no basis to it, there’s no substance to it.
“You can’t have a 48-man tour playing no-cut golf and expect the world to take you seriously. It’s not going to happen.”
Els believes the only way forward is for the PGA Tour, DP World Tour and LIV Golf to come to an arrangement which gives players the freedom to play in the breakaway without impacting the regular schedule.
“My view – and I discussed this with the Saudi people a long time ago – was always to do things with the major tours,” he added.
“And play it in the dead season (September to December). That wouldn’t interfere with any of the main tours. It wouldn’t interfere with real golf as we know it.”