'I Am Looking Forward To All The Servings Of Humble Pie' - Ian Poulter

The LIV golfers are in Spain this week and they're all confident that there is a future for the breakaway circuit

 Ian Poulter of Majesticks GC waits to putt on the 18th green during day three of the LIV Golf Invitational - DC at Trump National Golf Club
(Image credit: Getty Images)

On June 6 the golfing world was knocked even further sideways by the announcement that the PGA Tour was creating a new entity with the DP World Tour and the Saudi Public Investment Fund

The detail of this is scarce, with seemingly even the players left in the dark as to how this might play out, and one of the big talking points is what this now holds for the future of the LIV Golf League.

When asked at the original press conference in the first week of June the PGA Tour's commissioner Jay Monahan vaguely replied: "We're in a framework agreement. I don't want to make any statements or make any predictions. But what is in place is a commitment to make a good-faith effort to look at team golf and the role it can play going forward."

This week the LIV Golf League is at Valderrama and Ian Poulter, when asked by Telegraph Sport about the future, was buoyant over what's to come. 

"I am looking forward to all the servings of humble pie and it will not be us LIV guys doing the backtracking," Poulter said.

Martin Kaymer, captain of Cleeks GC, also believes that the breakaway circuit if here to stay.

"If I was PIF, for example, and I create this baby and that baby becomes an adult and a success, why would I get rid of it? I don’t understand. This is just my common thinking with the knowledge I have. I don’t know what the plan is, but I have difficulties believing LIV will go away in the next few years. I just don’t see any reason why it should."

Graeme McDowell, a one-time Ryder Cup team-mate and now a member of Kaymer's Cleeks quartet, added that it would be pointless putting all these millions into LIV only to see it now fade away.

"We don’t think that is going to happen, there is too much value. This is a product and real thing and it has a very compelling nature and we think the fans want this."

As to how it will actually play out then, while this is the biggest head scratcher in terms of fitting all the tours into the schedule jigsaw, there will be a seat at the table for LIV.

"I believe that the team/franchise model/LIV model, I think there is a place for it. There’s 48 guys that believe deeply in the idea of teams," McDowell added. “You’ve got South African teams, Australian teams, American, European. We believe in the value of that and we believe there is a place in the game of golf for that right now. 

"What does that look like though? There’s all these puzzle pieces in the game, Majors, which is the most important, you’ve got the LIV Tour, PGA Tour, DP World Tour, Asian Tour, you’ve got all of these pieces that need to fit together in one cohesive golfing environment where the fan gets to see the biggest players in the world more often."

See more

If LIV does continue then what of its CEO Greg Norman? He has spoken privately of having the schedule for the 2024 season almost wrapped up and he was pictured this week in Spain in a buggy with the PIF governor Yasir Al-Rumayyan.

His old adversary Sir Nick Faldo is on hosting duties at The Belfry this week and he had a different point of view, saying that he didn't see LIV surviving.

"I don't think so, because nobody's really interested. They're not going to get the sponsorship that they want. They call it a team (event) and it's not because it's strokeplay. You see your mates on the putting green and say 'play well' and you see them in the scorers tent and say 'What did you shoot?' That's it. A team is out there helping, shoulder to shoulder. That's a true team."

Mark Townsend
Contributing editor

Mark has worked in golf for over 20 years having started off his journalistic life at the Press Association and BBC Sport before moving to Sky Sports where he became their golf editor on skysports.com. He then worked at National Club Golfer and Lady Golfer where he was the deputy editor and he has interviewed many of the leading names in the game, both male and female, ghosted columns for the likes of Robert Rock, Charley Hull and Dame Laura Davies, as well as playing the vast majority of our Top 100 GB&I courses. He loves links golf with a particular love of Royal Dornoch and Kingsbarns. He is now a freelance, also working for the PGA and Robert Rock. Loves tour golf, both men and women and he remains the long-standing owner of an horrific short game. He plays at Moortown with a handicap of 6.