It went quiet for a few months, but the great LIV Golf Ryder Cup debate is now alive and kicking again as we get nearer to the biennial showdown in Rome. And this time it’s been Sir Nick Faldo’s turn to voice his anguish, blasting the breakaway league as “embarrassing” while insisting Greg Norman’s players should be banned from the tournament altogether.
Echoing the stance adopted by many, Faldo has gone all in on LIV Golf and its ensemble of Ryder Cup legends, calling for the likes of Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood and Sergio Garcia to “move on” and make way for “a new breed” as Europe builds towards the 2023 edition.
“They shouldn’t be there because they’ve gone off and you’ve got to move on,” Faldo told Sky Sports. “They’re all at the age where Europe needs to find a new breed of 25-year-olds that can play half a dozen or more Ryder Cups, and I think we’re going to have that.
“They’re done. It’s a rival tour. If you work for a company for 20 years and you then leave to go to a rival company, I can promise you your picture won’t still be on the wall. You’ve moved on. Fine, off you go.”
The likelihood of LIV golfers representing Team Europe at Marco Simone now seems incredibly implausible given the form of the before-mentioned players on top of the fact they are now banned from the PGA Tour.
Any such outcome is now reliant on a court case which takes place next month, one which will determine whether LIV golfers are similarly banned from competing on the DP World Tour – the body responsible for administering the Ryder Cup
On the flip side, the likes of Matt Fitzpatrick and Jon Rahm have said they have no “no issue” with LIV golfers teeing up in the biennial tournament, insisting they “just want to win”. But Faldo – who made 11 Ryder Cup appearances throughout his career and was a losing captain in 2008 – is in stern disagreement with the two European stars.
“They made that decision and I’m sure they knew it was going to cost them,” the six-time major winner explained. “They were playing the maths game. They were getting a huge chunk of money up front, and they knew it was going to lose them sponsors, but they thought ‘I still win’.”
Faldo – who was recently unveiled as the new long-term host of the Betfred British Masters – wasn’t finished there either, taking his displeasure towards LIV further by blasting the Norman-led series as “antagonistic” and “pretty embarrassing”.
He continued: “It’s a closed shop. 48 guys given loads of money. What gripes me is it’s not growing the game of golf. That really gets me when they fly across the world to a country that’s been playing golf for 100 plus years and say, ‘we’re growing the game of golf’.
“If they keep saying they want to grow the game of golf, go and take it to new regions. Countries in the early days of being interested in golf now. Try that rather than just trying to antagonise everybody.
“Whatever they want to do, go and do it. Let these youngsters play what we deem is real, competitive golf. Once you’ve decided to retire, disappear, move on, or go to another job. No one’s going to talk about you, so just go and do your thing and get on with it.
“They’re antagonistic, pitching events up against big events on the PGA Tour – and it’s the same here in Europe. “It’s pretty embarrassing.”
The 2023 LIV Golf season tees off on February 24 in Mayakoba, Mexico, with the Saudi-funded series yet to announce any new signings ahead of its season year.
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