Shane Lowry said discerning golfers need to focus on what’s right for “golf, not what’s right for us” amid the large sums of money being offered to players to join the breakaway Saudi-backed LIV Golf Tour.
Speaking on the No Laying Up podcast, Lowry said he doesn’t play golf for the money, but for the prizes and that money being “thrown into golf is absolutely disgusting.”
“I’ve always said I don’t play the game for money, I never did,” Lowry says. “I feel like that’s why I didn’t enjoy it even to be honest.”
“If you play the game for money, you should probably go there [to LIV]. If you’re playing the jackpot game, you shouldn’t. When I looked at the cup at Wentworth and saw the names on the cup, it was who the European golfers were. It’s unbelievable that my name goes on, I don’t care how much money I win.
When I had some drinks on Sunday night [after Wentworth] Someone asked me “How much money did I win today?” Frankly, I have no idea. They didn’t believe me but I had no idea. I had to go to a text from the European Tour to check how much I won.”
In the bigger scheme of things, says Lowry, golf isn’t as big a sport as the NBA and the NFL, which is very fortunate for American companies that love golf which is why the PGA Tour has big bags.
“What LIV did was cause a split in the game, that would upset people, people would stop watching, and I think the money being thrown away is disgusting at the moment.
“So I feel like all the people talking about is money now. Watching the Tour Championship all the commentators kept talking about how much money they were going to win, I was like ‘Are you just going to talk about the cup or the title’ or how many times Tiger has won it. I think. It’s just disgusting amounts of money.
“General Joe Swap, who makes 50k a year, has to struggle to pay his membership fee, and that probably displeases him more than anyone else. That is the wrong thing to do.
“I’m lucky to have the life I have, it’s not in my God’s right to be a part of something that will bury those rides. It’s just up to me to keep my place there and pass it on to someone else when it’s time to sail into sunset.”
Lowry says he may have “misjudged the room” by agreeing to play for the Saudi International for three years on the DP World Tour.
“It would be very hypocritical to me if I said that [the reason I was against LIV] It was because of the money source. Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Saudi Arabia, they are all contiguous, I will play them at the beginning of the year and go back to America.
“I’d say I don’t play the game for the money but I’ve been taking good care of going there. But since it was also a European Tour event, in a Ryder Cup year, you collect points and all that. Maybe you misjudged the room.”
Upon his win at Wentworth, Lowry said he enjoyed his reputation as a great golfer at tournaments.
“Hopefully it stays that way for the next few years and I can pull off a few more big ones. I’m not going to trade the Open for 20 wins. Big tournaments are what I get up for in the morning. I love preparing for it and I love the heat of the moment.”