'LIV Golf Players Wisely Taking The Money' - Gary Player

Speaking to Sky Sports, the nine-time Major winner also hoped that the PGA Tour and LIV Golf could settle everything in an amicable way

Gary Players answers questions whilst holding a microphone in his hand
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Following Charl Schwartzel's win at the inaugural LIV Golf Invitational Series, in which he claimed the largest paycheck seen at a golf tournament, many are still in the dark about the split that it is causing within the golf world, specifically the issues surrounding the PGA Tour and the players that are jumping ship to LIV Golf.

One player who has seen it all in the game is Gary Player, with the 86-year-old never afraid to voice his thoughts and views on the matter at hand. After the event at Centurion had finished, Player was interviewed by Sky Sports and his answers certainly got to the point.

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To begin with, Player couldn't understand why the two organisations were battling each other, with the South African stating: "That is the one thing I do not enjoy is to see people on both sides being really critical about the other. Golf is such a wonderful game and we must never forget this  - The heart of the game is with the amateur and not the professional. What saddens me is to see the fighting that is going on and it is unnecessary."

Despite the likes of Bryson DeChambeau and Dustin Johnson leaping to the LIV Golf Series, the PGA Tour still holds the trump cards regarding players inside the top 50. "The PGA Tour will always have the best and strongest players in the world," explains Player.

"This Tour (LIV), which the Saudis, who by the way are our allies, let's never forget that. I hear a lot of detrimental things being said, but remember this, the players that are playing there now, they need the money. They've got families and I don't blame them for playing there. There's not a lot of them who can win on their regular Tour anymore, so they are wisely taking the money, but remember the PGA Tour is the strong Tour."

Gary Player waits to tee off at Augusta National

Player doesn't blame players for taking the money at LIV events

(Image credit: Getty Images)

As the first shot was hit at Centurion, Jay Monahan, Commissioner of the PGA Tour, sent out a scathing letter which banned all players (opens in new tab) who are teeing it up in the LIV Golf Invitational Series and those who play in future events. The Tour also stated that LIV Golf players are "suspended or otherwise no longer eligible to participate" in PGA Tour tournaments. 

Player, who is a Golf Saudi ambassador, believes there is a place for both Tours to work together, with the 86-year-old hoping that they can "settle everything in an amicable way and go from strength to strength because golf is a passport to the world."

Matt studied Sports Journalism at Southampton Solent University, graduating in 2019. Now a freelance writer for Golf Monthly and the PGA, he covers all aspects of the game, from Tour news to equipment testing and buyers’ guides. Taking up the game at the age of six, Matt currently holds a handicap of 3 and despite not having a hole in one…yet, he has had two albatrosses. His favourite player is Rory McIlroy, despite nearly being struck by his second shot at the 17th during the 2015 BMW PGA Championship.