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The 64-year-old, in action at the Senior Open at Gleneagles, can see why as professionals, players want to make money while they are fit and able to, but that doesn’t stop him worrying about the future of the game.
“It is in a way concerning, in another way, some people might think it is exciting,” said the two-time Masters champion. “I think some of my colleagues will make a lot more money in the future. That is the outcome. That is debatable whether that is great for the game or not.
“I think we had a wonderful product, a lot of history. I don’t think many of us would be complaining with the living we have made from this game so far. I mean if you go back 40 or 50 years ago when Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer were playing, they certainly didn’t make that much money considering how good they were in the game, right?”
Henrik Stenson has come under fire after his decision to join LIV Golf - along with Jason Kokrak and Chrles Howell III - cost him his position as Europe’s Ryder Cup captain. But former World No.1 Langer can see why players have been tempted to take the money on offer from the Saudi-backed series.
“Bottom line is we are professional, we do this for a living,” said Langer. “If someone gets injured or hurt or has the yips, nobody takes care of them right. That is the other side of the argument, we are not employed by anyone, we are independent contractors.
“And if we don’t perform, we are gone and we are history, and nobody cares about us. You might hear the argument from some of the players, I’ve got to make the money while I can, while I’m hot, while I’m good, while I am healthy and that may only last three years.
“But then you have the whole other side where you say how can this be good for golf? How can this be good for the next generation? How can this be promoting the game? I was very happy with what we had before.”
The third LIV Golf Series event will be held next week at the Trump National Golf Club Bedminster in New Jersey. Stenson, Kokrak Howell III and Paul Casey are all set to make their LIV debuts.
Jeff graduated from Leeds University in Business Studies and Media in 1996 and did a post grad in journalism at Sheffield College in 1997. His first jobs were on Slam Dunk (basketball) and Football Monthly magazines, and he's worked for the Sunday Times, Press Association and ESPN. He has faced golfing greats Sam Torrance and Sergio Garcia, but on the poker felt rather than the golf course. Jeff's favourite course played is Sandy Lane in Barbados, which went far better than when he played Matfen Hall in Northumberland, where he crashed the buggy on the way to the 1st tee!
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