The Irishman has leapt to the defence of the DP World Tour once again with a passionate address at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship
If there’s something which sums up 2022 more than anything else, it’s money. The big bucks were at the forefront of everything good and bad over the last 12 months as LIV Golf burst onto the scene with a seemingly bottomless pit and changed golf forever.
But as LIV lured in player after player with obscene amounts of money – causing the PGA Tour and DP World Tour to respond with lucrative changes of their own to fend off the series alongside a “strategic alliance” – have we ended up losing sight of what really matters?
Well, one player who sure thinks so is Shane Lowry, who admits the golf world has became “sidetracked” by the vast money now on offer following the launch of LIV Golf back in June 2022.
“I think what’s happened in the last year or so, we’ve got side tracked in thinking that $20 million or $100 million is just normal,” Lowry said ahead of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. “And that’s what we should be playing for and that’s what we’re worth; and that if we are playing for $2 [million] or $3 million on this Tour, that is not enough.”
The Irishman was an ardent supporter of the PGA Tour and DP World Tour throughout 2022, defending his circuits on several occasions as the sport became plagued by a civil war. And with the latter continuing to face criticism over its alliance with the American league, Lowry has now stepped up once again to defend the European counterpart.
“I still think that this Tour has grown, I think with their alliance [with] the PGA Tour, with the prize money, guaranteed to grow in prize money over the next 13 years every year, I think that’s good for the Tour,” the Ryder Cup star said. “I think it’s sustainable, which is the big thing. I think having a sustainable product is something that you need to have, and I do think this Tour has that.
“Like I said, we got side tracked into thinking that $100 million is just normal. Everybody is throwing out these figures that are just astronomical. I think, you know, as a Tour, could this tour be better? Yeah, obviously, we could all be better in anything that we do. But I do think that with a steady growth over the next number of years, I do think this tour will keep improving.
“Look, even I’m going to Phoenix in a couple weeks to play for $20 million. It’s great to be involved in it. I just hope it’s sustainable and I just hope that in 30 years’ time, those guys that are playing on the [PGA] Tour are playing a better tour than I played. Because I think as a group of players, we need to be.”
Lowry, who’s last win came at the BMW PGA Championship last year, was speaking to press following his recent appointment on the PGA Tour’s Player Advisory Council (PAC).
Helping to advise and consult Commissioner Jay Monahan on issues affecting the PGA Tour, Lowry then explained his decision to join the group of 16 players – which includes the likes of Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler, Adam Scott and Scottie Scheffler for 2023.
He continued: “I said this, Jack [Nicklaus] and Arnold [Palmer] – and I’m talking about the PGA Tour now – and you even talk about The European Tour, you go like Seve [Ballesteros] and Jose Maria [Olazabal] and these guys passed the Tour down to Thomas [Bjorn] and all those guys, and they have passed it on to us, and it’s up to us to pass the Tour on to the next generation.
“Let’s say Jack and Arnold, they passed it down to… Freddie Couples and those guys, and they passed it down to Tiger. Tiger is passing it down to us and it’s up to us to pass it down to the next generation in a better place than we got it.
“So I think that’s what’s important for golf over the next while, and that’s why I am happy to be involved in the PAC on the PGA Tour and I am quite passionate about where golf is going and what’s right for the game over the next while.”
Do you agree with Shane Lowry? Have players lost sight of what’s really important in golf? Let us know on Twitter…
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