'A Really Sad Day For Professional Golf' - McGinley On Prospective Legal Action

The "inevitable" legal battles will further damage the game of golf, according to the Irishman

Paul McGinley pictured at a press conference
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Paul McGinley has described the situation in men's professional golf at the moment as "really sad", as the war of words between the established tours and the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Series continues to escalate.

Sixteen players on the LIV Golf roster sent a letter to DP World Tour CEO Keith Pelley imploring him to overturn his decision to ban them from the Genesis Scottish Open and issue fines of £100,000 for teeing it up in the inaugural event on the breakaway circuit at the Centurion Club.

The letter also argued the recently strengthened strategic alliance would have "adverse consequences" for what was formerly the European Tour, before threatening legal action if the sanctions imposed weren't rescinded by 5pm today. 

In response, Pelley released a statement slamming the players' claims that contained "so many inaccuracies that it cannot remain unchallenged." He also rejected the idea that they "care deeply" for the Tour before reiterating his belief that the punishments handed out were "proportionate, fair and considered necessary by the majority of our members."

Now McGinley, a member of the DP World Tour Board of Directors, has weighed in, questioning the logic of those who think they're entitled to play both "sides of the fence" and expressing his dejection that the future of the men's game looks set to be fought out in a courtroom rather than on a golf course.

"Some players have chosen to leave the organisation, which they're entitled to do, and go and try to build up a rival to the the collective," he said. "I don't understand the logic where they think they can go and build up a competitor, leave the collective and then want to come back in the collective as well. 

"You can't be on two sides of the fence here, you've got to play one or the other.

"And the other thing as well I think to really bear in mind having spent a lot of time here now on the range and as well as at the US Open, there's a real resolve about the players who've remained loyal to the tours to say 'we don't want these guys back'.

"So there's a lot going on, it's not a good reflection on the game and it's a really sad day for professional golf that it's come to this.

Video: What is LIV Golf?

"All of us within the game for the last six months when we realised that LIV was certainly something that was going to happen, or maybe a year, [knew] that the inevitable court case was going to happen and we may well be now on such a collision course. 

"Again, it is really sad when lawyers get involved and even if the guys win their court case, I mean let's just take an argument that they do win a court case, and they do get to play back on the DP World Tour as well as the PGA Tour. Are they going to be accepted back? 

"As I say, there's a really strong resolve from these players to say 'you know, it's fine if you want to go and take your money and play this tour but you can't come back then and expect to take money off our table'.

"We've got a lot of moving dynamics going on here and none of them is a win-win situation. Hopefully a court is not ignited. If it is well again it's going to be a further poor reflection on the game of golf."

See more
Andrew Wright
Staff Writer

A lifelong golf fan, Andy graduated in 2019 with a degree in Sports Journalism and got his first role in the industry as the Instruction Editor for National Club Golfer. From there, he went on to enjoy a spell freelancing for Stats Perform producing football reports, and then for RacingNews365 covering Formula 1. However, he couldn't turn down the opportunity to get back into the sport he grew up watching and playing and now covers a mixture of equipment, instruction and news for Golf Monthly's website and print title.

Andy took up the game at the age of seven and even harboured ambitions of a career in the professional ranks for a spell. That didn’t pan out, but he still enjoys his weekend golf at Royal Troon and holds a scratch handicap. As a side note, he's made five holes-in-one and could quite possibly be Retief Goosen’s biggest fan.

As well as the above, some of Andy's work has featured on websites such as goal.com, dailyrecord.co.uk, and theopen.com.

What's in Andy's bag?

Driver: Callaway Mavrik Sub-Zero (9°)

3-wood: TaylorMade Stealth 2 Plus (15°)

Driving iron: Titleist U500 (17°)

Irons: Callaway Apex Pro '19 (4-PW)

Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM9 (50°, 54° and 58°)

Putter: TaylorMade Spider X

Ball: TaylorMade TP5x