Shane Lowry said the “disgusting” sums of money in professional golf risked alienating fans and that he “never thought” of joining LIV golf Because he feels bad for the game.
Laurie said he didn’t know until hours later how much prize money he had won On Sunday’s victory in the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth, where he dumped his Ryder Cup teammates Rory McIlroy and John Ram. Although he admitted he was “well looked after” for signing a three-year contract to play with the Saudi international, he said he was never tempted to join the dissident Saudi-funded team headed by Greg Norman.
“We’re very fortunate that the corporate world loves golf and that’s why we have great sponsors and that’s why we play for a lot of money, but I feel like this is causing a split in the game and going to piss people off,” Lowry said. Podcast No Laying Up.
People will stop watching it. I think the sums of money being thrown are disgusting at the moment. I feel like all people are talking about is money now. Now we’re playing for FedEx Cup points, but I watched the Tour Championship and all the commentators were talking about how much money they’re going to win and I thought, are you just going to talk about the cup or the title or how many times we go through [Woods] won it.
“General Joe Soap, the guy who makes 50k a year, has to struggle to pay his membership fees to his golf club and loves the game so much, that probably pisses him off more than anyone else.”
“I’m a golfer, not a politician,” Laurie laments when asked about playing in Saudi Arabia despite the kingdom’s human rights record. “That was the wrong thing to say.
“I have played the Saudi International for the past three years and it was very hypocritical to say ‘I don’t like where the money comes from.’ Just thinking [LIV Golf] detrimental to the game. I always said I play for prizes, not money. That’s why I didn’t enjoy it, to be honest. The reason I never thought about it is because I don’t think it’s good for the game.”
Meanwhile, McIlroy recovered from a slow start to live up to his billing as the pre-tournament favourite in the first round of the Italian Open.
Starting in ninth at Marco Simone Golf and Country Club, next year’s Ryder Cup venue, McIlroy was one on par after eight holes and threw the ball away in frustration after a bogey on the seventeenth. Then the four-time main winner had to break through from 18 feet to save the equalizer on the 18th and from seven feet in the first, but he started his round by fortifying from 115 yards for an Eagle in third.
Fifth, eighth and ninth place Berdis completed an indoor 30-man half and a four-under-67 opener, giving McIlroy a share of the club’s early lead with Malaysian Gavin Green and Spaniard Adri Arnos.