LIV Golf Players Dismiss Saudi Human Rights Questioning

A multitude of LIV Golf players have dismissed Saudi human rights questioning ahead of second Series event

LIV Golf Portland practice ground
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Ahead of the second edition of the LIV Golf Series in Portland, players have once again been presented with questions surrounding the Saudi Arabia investment and their response to the widespread criticism that participants are complicit in "sportswashing" the human rights atrocities within the Kingdom.

It was a similar situation ahead of the inaugural event at Centurion Club and players have continued to dismiss the line of questioning with a variety of responses surrounding the growth of the game and their sole responsibility of providing an entertainment product in the form of golf.

Bryson DeChambeau, who will make his debut in the Series and captain the Crushers team said: "Golf is a force for good and I think as time goes on, hopefully people will see the good that they [Saudi Arabia] are doing and what they are trying to accomplish rather than looking at the bad that's happened before."

The former US Open champion added: "I personally think that I respect everyone's opinion and decisions, just like I hope they would on our side as well. Everybody is entitled to their own opinions and from my perspective, we're golfers. We're providing entertainment globally and we'll continue to do so as time goes on."

Sergio Garcia and Lee Westwood responded in a similar fashion. The Spaniard insisted: "Golf just brings good things everywhere. Sports in general. Us as golfers and role models and stuff, that's what we try to do. We're trying to bring the best we have to everywhere we go and if we can help any country or any place in the world, that's what we're going to do. That's one of the reasons why we're here."

The former World No.1 however, was not quite as descriptive but agreed with his Ryder Cup teammate: "Pretty much along the same lines as what Sergio said, yeah."

Pat Perez, as well as aiming a barrage of criticism at the PGA Tour and Commissioner Jay Monahan before insisting joining the Series was like "winning the lottery", was considerably less forthcoming. When asked if he had any concerns about the ongoing complaints from politicians, 9/11 survivors and whether golfers should be participating in the Series, the American simply replied: "No." When asked to elaborate, he added: "I don't have any concerns. I understand the topics you're trying to bring up and they're horrible events, but I'm here to play golf. That's my deal."

Brooks Koepka jumped to the defence of his American counterpart: "Pretty much spot on what Pat said. Same thing. We're here to play golf. We're excited about it. We're going to go out there and put on the best show we can put on and hopefully one of us is up here on Saturday with a win. Our only job is to go play golf and that's all we're trying to do. We're trying to grow the game, do all this other stuff. And we're trying the best we can."

Garcia and Westwood were in the field in the first edition of the Series, whilst DeChambeau, Perez and Koepka are among a group of debutants this week in Portland.

James Hibbitt
James Hibbitt

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.