LIV Golf Players Motivated By Negativity At 150th Open

LIV players have been motivated by negative comments from fellow players, the R&A and media

Dustin Johnson looks on at The Open
Dustin Johnson leads the way for LIV at nine-under-par, four back of the lead at the halfway stage
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The emergence of LIV Golf has played a huge part in the news cycle over the recent months and there's a big chance of one of Greg Norman's men lifting the Claret Jug come Sunday.

Some fans will be licking their lips over the prospect of a LIV Golf headliner Dustin Johnson vs PGA Tour loyalist Rory McIlroy scenario coming down the stretch. Rest assured, LIV would be loving it too.

The Saudi-backed circuit also has Talor Gooch, Abraham Ancer, Lee Westwood, Sadom Kaewkanjana, Patrick Reed, Sergio Garcia, Ian Poulter, Laurie Canter, Paul Casey and Bryson DeChambeau in for the weekend with a shout of challenging come Sunday evening.

Video: What is LIV Golf?

The word on the street at St Andrews is that LIV players have been motivated by the negative comments from fellow players, the R&A and media. R&A Chief Executive Martin Slumbers and Tiger Woods were very strong with their thoughts on LIV earlier in the week during their press conference amid the growing divide in the sport.

Abraham Ancer said there's a "really cool camaraderie" between the LIV players and also said it would be "really cool" if a LIV player won the Claret Jug.

"I know there's a lot of talent in the guys that went to LIV," the Mexican said. "I'm not surprised or concerned about that. I feel like they're going to be up there in big events. They're big time players. Yeah, but I mean, definitely it's a really cool camaraderie between us, I guess. And it's been fun

"Yeah, that would be cool [a LIV player winning]. I think it would be really cool. But I think just let the best player win."

Talor Gooch admitted the LIV players have "caught a lot of flack" recently and said that the negativity towards them has banded them together.

"I think there's some strong players, no doubt," Gooch said. "The credentials of everyone speaks for themselves. It's obviously cool for me to see other guys that are out there playing well. We've caught a lot of flack for what we've done here recently.

"Everybody, it feels like, is against us, and that's okay. Like you said, it's kind of banded us together, I think."

Sergio Garcia said he is hoping the LIV players do "really, really well" as it "helps all of us," while Dustin Johnson praised the crowds at St Andrews despite Ian Poulter receiving some boos on the 1st tee on both Thursday and Friday.

"The crowds have been fantastic," DJ said. "I've always had a lot of support over here. Yeah, it's been that way this week. A lot of support out there, and the fans have been great.

Elliott Heath
Elliott Heath

Elliott Heath is our Senior Staff Writer and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016. He graduated in Sports Journalism in 2016 and currently manages the Golf Monthly news, courses and travel sections as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. Elliott has interviewed some huge names in the golf world including Sergio Garcia, Thomas Bjorn, Bernd Wiesberger and Scotty Cameron as well as a number of professionals on the DP World and PGA Tours. He has also covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as three Open Championships including at Carnoustie in 2018 when he was inside the ropes with Tiger Woods. He has played 31 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Old Head and Alwoodley. He currently plays at West Byfleet Golf Club in Surrey, where his handicap index floats anywhere between 4-6. His golfing highlight is making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, and he has made one hole-in-one.

Elliott is currently playing:

Driver: Honma TR20

3 wood: TaylorMade SIM2 Max

2 iron: Mizuno MP-18 MMC Fli-Hi

Irons: Mizuno MP5 4-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x