'The Professional Game Is Under Threat From A Rival League' - Paul McGinley

The 55-year-old has spoken of his fear for the game's future as the LIV Golf Invitational Series saga takes another turn

Paul McGinley competes in the 2021 Irish Legends
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Paul McGinley has expressed his concern over the future of the professional game in light of the latest twist in the saga of the inaugural LIV Golf Invitational Series.

The PGA Tour has officially declined LIV Golf releases, with the DP World Tour reportedly following suit. The PGA Tour's move led to an immediate backlash from series frontman Greg Norman, who vowed that the venture will not be stopped, and McGinley fears that the series threatens the very future of the professional game. 

Speaking on SiriusXM PGA Tour Radio, the 2014 Ryder Cup-winning captain, who sits on the board of the DP World Tour, said: “The professional game at the moment is under threat from potentially a rival league who kind of want to reinvent very much what golf has been and what it will be going forward, so it’s interesting.”

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The 55-year-old then explained that the decisions of the two organisations were not a surprise, and that he expects legal proceedings to follow. He said: “What’s my reaction? Not massively surprised. Obviously, the PGA Tour, as well as the DP World Tour, have got to look after their own interests, so not a massive surprise by all accounts. Reading between the lines, certainly from what Greg Norman and the LIV group have said, it may well instigate some court proceedings, and we could be in for a long road in that regard, which is obviously going to be a disappointment and it’s going to be difficult for the game”.

The upcoming series has never been far from the news in 2022, and was the subject of enormous controversy even before it was announced. Given that backdrop, McGinley isn’t surprised that the discord shows no sign of letting up. He said: “I think in some ways it was kind of inevitable after the last two years of what’s been said and what’s been going on in the backwaters of professional golf.”

The decisions to decline player releases come in the wake of the news that Norman has secured an extra $2bn of funding to grow the LIV Golf Invitational Series from its current eight-tournament affair to a 14-tournament super league by 2024. As well as that announcement, Norman also revealed he had received plenty of interest in the series from players eager to take part. The 67-year-old said that 36 of the top 150, 19 of the top 100 and six of the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking were due to participate in the opener.

The series is due to begin on 9 June at London's Centurion Club.

Mike Hall

Mike has over 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on a range of sports throughout that time, such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance staff writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the game's most newsworthy stories. 

He has written hundreds of articles on the game, from features offering insights into how members of the public can play some of the world's most revered courses, to breaking news stories affecting everything from the PGA Tour and LIV Golf to developmental Tours and the amateur game. 

Mike grew up in East Yorkshire and began his career in journalism in 1997. He then moved to London in 2003 as his career flourished, and nowadays resides in New Brunswick, Canada, where he and his wife raise their young family less than a mile from his local course. 

Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.