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Brandel Chamblee has been one of the biggest critics on the newly announced LIV Golf Invitational Series, with the American not mincing his words whatsoever on the Super League and the way it is funded by Greg Norman's Saudi-backed LIV Golf Investments.
Speaking to Sky Sports' Jamie Weir (opens in new tab) in a video that also included Rory McIlroy saying anyone who thinks golfers are underpaid "need their heads examined", the Golf Channel Analyst said that the Super League isn't a profitable venture and criticised Saudi Arabia's human rights record and its attempt to sportswash. He also said he has "no respect" for players who "pretend" it's not about money.
Watch the video below:
🗣 @McIlroyRory: "Nurses and teachers should be paid a lot more... I wouldn't feel right saying that I get underpaid for playing a game"Rory McIlroy, Adam Scott, Kevin Kisner, Brandel Chamblee and Chris Solomon speak to @jamiecweir about the Saudi-backed golf Super League ⛳️ pic.twitter.com/mlNAakgf8XMarch 17, 2022
"The players it seems like, at least the ones that I've heard speak about it, are trying to rationalise the decision by saying that the PGA Tour is bad and the Super League is good, which is the most preposterous stance I've ever heard anybody take," explained Chamblee.
"If they wanted to say look, I'm being offered a ton of money, this is an existential question, I'm conflicted, of course I don't like where the money's coming from, but who amongst you could turn down $100-135 million dollars.
"Not that I'd have a lot of respect for them, but I'd have a little bit more, but I have no respect for them when they stand up there and pretend it's not about money and it's about some slight grievance that they have with the PGA Tour. It's not about what's wrong with the PGA Tour.
"All they're [LIV Golf Invitational Series organisers] interested in is not the betterment of professional golf, not the betterment of whatever professional golfers that they're trying to recruit to their tour. All they're interested in is hiding their image. Sportswashing."
This wasn't the only shot that Chamblee fired at the Super League, which kicks off in June at London's Centurion Club, with the American saying he would accept a new tour funded by the likes of Tesla founder Elon Musk or Amazon founder Jeff Bezos as competition.
"If a Tour comes along that's based upon market forces, that's called competition, and that's going to make everything better and I would understand that," he said. "But they would not be coming along and offering these players 20, 50, 70, 100, 130 million dollars because that is not a profitable venture. They're not in it to make money, the Saudis, they're not in it to make money.
"So, when I hear people say that this is inevitably going to improve the PGA Tour - look, market forces generally let you know what something is worth. When I hear Greg Norman get up and say, you know, the players aren't getting paid with their work. He reminds me of a communist trying to tell me what a loaf of bread should be worth. The market can tell you what a loaf of bread is worth, not Greg Norman and not the Saudis. The Saudis don't know what these players are worth.
"They're just throwing lavish amounts of money at them because they want to sportswash their reputation. So, if Jeff Bezos, or Elon Musk decides to start a professional tour, these are smart guys. They would figure out what the market could bear, what the ratings are going to bring, they would figure all that out and they would offer an appropriate price to these players which then of course would be an open competition, and who doesn't welcome that."
Chamblee admitte that the Super League will go ahead but thinks there could be court proceedings to come. "At some point they'll cobble together some players and they'll put on a golf tournament", he states.
"Some players that no doubt are members of the PGA Tour will play in the event and they'll come back and try to play the PGA Tour and so this will come to a loggerhead, and eventually, it wouldn't surprise me that it goes to court."
Matt studied Sports Journalism at Southampton Solent University, graduating in 2019. Now a freelance writer for Golf Monthly and the PGA, he covers all aspects of the game, from Tour news to equipment testing and buyers’ guides. Taking up the game at the age of six, Matt currently holds a handicap of 3 and despite not having a hole in one…yet, he has had two albatrosses. His favourite player is Rory McIlroy, despite nearly being struck by his second shot at the 17th during the 2015 BMW PGA Championship.
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