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paul mcginley

‘It breaks my heart’: McGinley vents as LIV stars prepare for Wentworth return

Ryder Cup legend Paul McGinley says he is 'really sad' to see tour golf fractured in the way it is, but he doesn't hold back on his feelings about LIV players showing up at the BMW PGA Championship
 

Paul McGingley has spoken out on the escalating friction between LIV Golf and the DP World Tour by claiming “not one” of the players on the European circuit want the “LIV guys” competing in their tournaments.

The victorious 2014 Ryder Cup captain took aim at the LIV golfers who will be returning to the DP World Tour to play in the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth, bashing the 18 defectors as “entitled” while criticising them for taking the spots of other players.

“The key to the anger felt by the ordinary, non-LIV members of the DP World Tour is that these guys who’ve taken the big money from LIV think they’re entitled to come back and take the places of players who support our tour week-in, week-out,” McGinley told The Times.

“The LIV players don’t turn up for €2 or €3 million tournaments in the Czech Republic or Switzerland, but they come for the £6 million tournament at Wentworth. This has led to a lot of resentment. Keith [Pelley] has spoken to virtually every one of our players. Not one wants the LIV guys in our tournaments.”

But while McGinley’s comments echo those of the likes of Rory McIlroy, not everyone agrees with the Irishman, including DP World Tour veteran Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano.

The backlash then prompted other DP World Tour players to weigh-in, with McGingley’s claims clearly proving divisive ahead of the Wentworth showdown this week.

 
 

McGingley soon responded to the backlash by insisting he meant to say “every player past and present that I’ve spoken to” do not want LIV golfers in their tournaments.

While Martin Kaymer has pulled out due to the hostility, two LIV stars who will be among the 18 players competing at Wentworth are Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter, the Ryder Cup pair who McGinley captained during Team Europe’s Gleneagles triumph.

With the three set to reunite this week, McGinley admitted it now saddens him that they are “on different sides” following their LIV switch.

“It breaks my heart because I have an emotional connection with every one of those players,” he continued. “I will see Poulter and I’ll shake his hand at Wentworth, the same with Westwood and all of those guys that I shared team rooms with. That bond will never be broken. But we’re on different sides now, and it’s really sad that it has come to this.”

George Cooper

George Cooper

A golf fanatic his entire life, George Cooper is NCG's man for all goings-on at the top level of the game, whether it's the PGA Tour, DP World Tour, LPGA or LIV Golf. He also looks after NCG's Twitter and Facebook accounts. George is a member of Woburn, but is not friends with Ian Poulter.

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