Martin Slumbers, R&A Chief Executive, says LIV is "harming the perception" of golf
Ricky Gray | July 13, 2022
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Slumbers spoke on the negative effects the new league has on the sport.
Speaking before the 150th Open Championship at the Old Course at St. Andrews. Martin Slumbers, an R&A Chief Executive, criticized what LIV has been portraying the sport of golf as.
Slumbers said: “I firmly believe that the existing golf ecosystem has successfully provided stable pathways for golfers to enter the sport and develop and realize their full potential.”
Slumbers continued: “Professional golfers are entitled to choose where they want to play and to accept the prize money that's offered to them. I have absolutely no issue with that at all. But there is no such thing as a free lunch.”
Several LIV Golf players are competing in The Open, twenty-four in total. These names include Phil Mickelson, Brooks Koepka, Bryson DeChambeau, Dustin Johnson and Louis Oosthuizen.
It’s believed by many that money is the main motivation behind these players joining LIV. The PGA Tour suspended over 20 golfers who competed in the first two LIV events at Centurion Club outside London and Pumpkin Ridge outside Portland, Oregon.
The DP World Tour went on to fine and suspended its players from competing in three of its events that are co-sanctioned by the PGA Tour.
Slumbers added: “I believe the model we've seen at Centurion and Pumpkin Ridge is not in the best long-term interests of the sport as a whole and is entirely driven by money.”
He also said: “We believe it undermines the merit-based culture and the spirit of open competition that makes golf so special.”
Slumbers also seems concerned with the perception of the sport, stating: “I would also like to say that in my opinion, the continued commentary that this is about growing the game is just not credible and if anything, is harming the perception of our sport which we are working so hard to improve.”
This recent take on LIV Golf is considered to be the harshest yet by the head of a governing body.