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Russel Knox, who is one of nine home players taking part in this week's Genesis Scottish Open, has had his say on golf's current affairs; describing the emergence of the LIV Golf Series and the subsequent impact it has had on both the PGA and DP World Tour as "bizarre times," per a report in the Scotsman.
“One potentially good thing for the European Ryder Cup Team is it’s got rid of all the old boys who were hanging on for dear life, hasn't it,” he said, referring to the likes of Ian Poulter, Paul Casey, Lee Westwood and Sergio Garcia who now face the possibility of being banned from any future involvement in the event going forward. “They’re gone now. So good, there’ll be a lot of great young players coming in and it might be the best thing that’s ever happened for us.”
Knox, who also sits on the PGA Tour Player Advisory Council said: "It is what it is, they’ve gone for the money and can you blame them for that? Not really. Is it good for golf and something I’d do? No. But I wasn’t offered 150 million! It leaves a weird feeling for me, I just don’t like it. I’m just not a fan.
“If they’re gone, they’re gone in my opinion. Never to be seen again, you won’t be missed. That’s the way I’ve looked at it from day one. They will have to try and claw their way back because they need to. If that Tour doesn’t get world ranking points, they’re going to have play somewhere, if they’re not just doing it for money."
The former World No.18 added: "I heard something Gary Player said, you can’t have your cake and eat it, too. If you’ve gone and you’re happy with the decision, own up to it, play that tour and be done with it. But the guys trying to double-dip, shame on them, actually."
The 37-year-old took issue with those that cited "growing the game" as their rationale for moving to the Saudi-backed venture and stated: "I loved Dustin Johnson’s attitude from day one; I’m gone, I’ve owned it, I’m doing it for my family and I’m happy with my decision. How can you not respect someone who has made their decision, even if you don’t agree with it? He’s made the decision and off he goes. All the guys saying we’re growing the game, it’s good for golf, come on.”
The PGA & DP World Tour responded to the emerging threat that the LIV Golf Series has placed on their future with the strengthening of their strategic alliance in a 13 year join venture partnership. Starting from 2023, the leading ten players on the end-of-season DP World Tour Rankings earn PGA Tour cards for the following season. The changes also see growth in annual prize funds and a clearly defined path for players to join the DP World Tour from the Sunshine Tour and ISPS Handa PGA Tour of Australasia.
Those changes were lauded by Knox: “Golf is so healthy right now, there’s so many great young players from all over the world coming through. It seems like it’s all just okay right now, but, if there’s a couple of big younger names who go, it’s not good, is it?
“Initially, the DP World Tour they were in a very sticky position sitting right there on the fence. They had to pick a side, so good for Jay [Monahan - PGA Tour Commissioner] and Keith [DP World Tour Chief Executive] to get it going a bit.”
James joined Golf Monthly having previously written for other digital outlets. He is obsessed with all areas of the game – from tournament golf, to history, equipment, technique and travel. He is also an avid collector of memorabilia; with items from the likes of Bobby Jones, Tiger Woods, Francis Ouimet, Arnold Palmer, Lee Trevino, Adam Scott and Ernie Els. As well as writing for Golf Monthly, James’ golfing highlight is fist bumping Phil Mickelson on his way to winning the Open Championship at Muirfield in 2013. James grew up on the east coast of England and is the third generation of his golfing family. He now resides in Leeds and is a member of Cobble Hall Golf Club with a handicap index of 1.7. His favourite films are The Legend of Bagger Vance and Tin Cup.
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