Anirban Lahiri Says LIV Golf Players Feel Ostracised

The Indian has said he thinks players who have joined the organisation are being shunned

Anirban Lahiri takes a shot at the 2022 LIV Golf Jeddah tournament
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Anirban Lahiri has claimed LIV Golf players feel ostracised after joining the start-up and suggested the media is biased in its coverage.

Lahiri was one of six new signings to the Greg Norman-fronted organisation in August and made an immediate impact, finishing runner-up in his first event, in Boston. However, the Indian, who also finished second in last week’s S.S.P. Chawrasia Invitational in Calcutta, told Sportstar (opens in new tab)that LIV Golf had been unfairly criticised despite being transparent about its intentions.

Video: What Is LIV Golf?

He said: “There are many different perspectives from which you can give the current golf scenario. I won’t just single out LIV Golf. There are a lot of different organisations that are not necessarily taking the high road of behaving in the most amicable manner. LIV Golf has been very black and white with what they are trying to do. There is going to be a new format, there is a big change, there is going to be a big disruption. With that comes negativity, nobody likes disruption.”

“Being a part of LIV, we almost feel a bit ostracised. I think a lot of the criticisms are invalid. Some of them are [valid], I understand. There are a lot of criticisms on the other side too, but nobody wants to talk about that because the media comes across as biased, let’s put it like that. Only time will tell where this goes."

Lahiri explained the game is in transition, and how it emerges will be critical to its future, citing the popularity of one of the shorter forms of cricket as an example. He said: “In four-five years, if LIV Golf becomes like a T20 format and people start enjoying it, then it will be a completely different story. On the other side, if it does not come up on all their targets, we will see how it works out. 

"Professional golf is in a transition phase, and everybody needs to be patient and mature in how to handle the situation. All three parties, the players, the fans and spectators, and the organisation, are three different stakeholders and they all have different views on the topic. We have to be sensitive to all of them.”

Nevertheless, the 35-year-old insists his experience with LIV Golf has been overwhelmingly positive. He said: “It has been a wonderful experience. Starting out, I had some reservations because I did not know what I was going into. I had spoken to my friends who had already transitioned. It has been fantastic, they have taken unbelievable care of us, and the golf courses have been immaculate. The attention to detail is very impressive. I can’t speak highly enough of how they have conducted the events and have taken care of the players.”

Lahiri played five LIV Golf events in its inaugural season, and won $4.2m in prize money, almost half his career money earnings on the PGA Tour, which stand at $9.3m from 165 events.

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Mike Hall

Mike has over 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on a range of sports throughout that time, such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance staff writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the game's most newsworthy stories. 

He has written hundreds of articles on the game, from features offering insights into how members of the public can play some of the world's most revered courses, to breaking news stories affecting everything from the PGA Tour and LIV Golf to developmental Tours and the amateur game. 

Mike grew up in East Yorkshire and began his career in journalism in 1997. He then moved to London in 2003 as his career flourished, and nowadays resides in New Brunswick, Canada, where he and his wife raise their young family less than a mile from his local course. 

Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.