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paul casey liv golf

Paul Casey reveals ‘breaking point’ leading to LIV Golf move

Paul Casey gave his reasons for joining LIV Golf while also talking of his experiences working with Jay Monahan on the PGA Tour…

 

Paul Casey has revealed physical burnout was a key reason for joining LIV Golf two years ago.

The Englishman and former World No.3 attributed his decision to injuries and also his unhappiness with the state of the game and joined the Saudi-backed league in July 2022 for his “own sake” and “his family’s sake.”

Casey had won 21 professional titles before leaving the PGA Tour and the DP World Tour, having also represented Europe five times in the Ryder Cup and on the winning team three times.

As well as prioritising his own well-being, Casey took into account the health of his caddie John McLaren who underwent surgery last year which, to Casey, further exemplified the need to reduce his hectic schedule and strain that required him to play up to 30 events a year by his calculations.

“I was very much burnt out and it’s interesting listening to you guys – it’s all about the fan and I believe that in sport that’s why sport exists,” he told the Are You Not Entertained? podcast.

“But I had treated golf very much as a profession for a long, long time and I just got to a point of burnout, and with COVID and everything else and sitting on the Player Advisory Councils and the committees and the European Tour, DP World Tour and PGA Tour.

“Suffering injuries and basically being fairly unhappy with the state of the game of golf. I went for something new, plain and simple. For my own sake, for my family’s sake and that was a long answer to a short question, but I am actually pretty damn happy playing on LIV right now, I must admit.

“I will say this, and I’ll throw this into the mix, and this is something I’ve not talked about, but people know it on LIV and people know it on the DP World Tour and the PGA Tour as well.

“You know my dear caddy Johnny McLaren, Johnny long socks as he’s known? – Johnny and I have been best mates and a team for the last eight years, well Johnny had a brain tumour removed last April,” Casey explained about his caddie, who also took leave from carrying at the end of 2021 to focus on his mental health.

“So when you’re never quite sure what is going on in people’s lives, there’s a lot and that was something Johnny and I spoke about and that was another reason why we went to LIV because we couldn’t keep doing what we were doing.

“One of the breaking point moments was the end of the year in 2021, during the COVID protocols let’s say, testing, we were throwing out false positives on our way to a tournament in Japan where if you turned up in Japan, you were going to get locked up in a hotel room for 10 days, pretty small hotel room by all accounts, and both of us basically hit a breaking point and we just said, ‘We can’t do this anymore’.

“Knowing Johnny’s health issues at the time and what we were dealing with, that’s a little bit more of an insight into why I’m currently doing what I’m doing.”

paul casey liv golf

ALSO: How much has Paul Casey earned in the LIV Golf League?

ALSO: Where will Paul Casey play next?

Paul Casey: Podcast reveals Englishman’s relationship with Jay Monahan

Casey is now a member of Crushers GC with Bryson DeChambeau, Anirban Lahiri and Charles Howell III in the breakaway league which has now reached its third year of dishing out $25 million prize pots at each regular season event, as well as hosting a lucrative season-ending Team Championship.

Among the plethora of trophies he’s won since turning professional in 2000, the 46-year-old won three times on the PGA Tour and he used to sit on the tour’s Player Advisory Council and also the DP World Tour committee.

Casey believes players such as himself who left the PGA Tour to join the start-up circuit saw “the writing on the wall” as the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia, the group that bankrolls LIV Golf with its reported wealth of $700 billion, prepared to ramp up their involvement in the sport.

As much as he sang the praises of PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan on the podcast, Casey questioned if it was too late for the American to shift his priorities towards the fans in a bid to regain public support, something Monahan mentioned in his press conference at The Players Championship.

Since LIV Golf’s birth, it has been the enemy of the PGA Tour as more and more big names have flocked to the rebel league’s roster. The tour and the PIF have been in negotiations to ally since June 2023, negotiations that Monahan received harsh criticism for having U-turned his once-hostile stance towards LIV Golf and its Saudi investors.

Casey believes the blame for golf’s divide doesn’t just rest on the players who decided to jump ship and provided an insight into the discussions he used to have with Monahan as a member of the Player Advisory Council.

“There is a solution there and I think the guys there that made an early move to LIV, they saw the writing on the wall,” Casey said. “The horse had already bolted, this was happening with or without us to be honest. The players have taken the flack for this,” he added.

“I miss playing against these guys, and the fans have not been thought of. The fact that Jay Monahan in his press conference the other day mentioned the fan base and the fans dozens of times. It’s too late, this should’ve been thought of before. As I said, we take the blame for this as players, but I’m not sure the blame rests squarely on our shoulders. For the longest time, we’ve just tried to play golf, that’s it.

“I really like Jay. Jay as a person and as a husband and as a man, I’ve got a lot of time for him and I’ll sit and enjoy a glass of wine with Jay a lot, but when his compensation is based around increasing revenues.

“I sat on that PAC for a long time, we couldn’t ever get him to reduce the playing load, because his bonus depended on it, so why is he going to reduce the playing load when he’s going to take a hit?

“And we couldn’t change the structure, we couldn’t change the governance, we couldn’t just go, ‘Look we’ll give you your money, we’ll pay you accordingly but just do what actually the players want’, which is less golf and I think it’s what the fans want as well.”

NOW READ: ‘The conversation was constructive’: PGA Tour boss updates on talks with PIF chief

NOW READ: Tiger Woods led the way in crunch summit with PIF governor Al-Rumayyan

What do you make of this Paul Casey-LIV Golf story? Tell us what you think on X!

Matt Chivers

Matt Chivers

Now on the wrong side of 25, Matt has been playing golf since the age of 13 and was largely inspired to take up the game by countless family members who played golf during his childhood.

Matt is a member at Royal Cinque Ports in Deal playing off a 5 handicap, just a pitching wedge away from his hometown of Dover where he went to school and grew up. He has previously been a member at Etchinghill and Walmer and Kingsdown in Kent.

Having studied history at the University of Liverpool, Matt went on to pass his NCTJ Exams in Manchester a year later to fulfil his lifelong ambition of becoming a journalist. He picked up work experience along the way at places such as the Racing Post, the Independent, Sportsbeat and the Lancashire Evening Post.

Matt joined NCG in February 2023 and is the website’s main source of tour news, features and opinion. He has reported live from events such as The Open, the Ryder Cup and The Players Championship, having also interviewed and spent time with some of the biggest names in the sport.

Consuming tour golf on what is a 24/7 basis, you can come to Matt for informed views on the game and the latest updates on the PGA Tour, DP World Tour, LPGA Tour, Ladies European Tour and LIV Golf.

What’s in Matt’s bag: Cobra LTDx LS driver, Cobra LTDx 3-wood, TaylorMade P7MC irons, Ping Glide 4.0 wedges, Odyssey putter.

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