'They Chose Money Over Competition' - Pro Slams LIV Golf Defectors

Mike Lorenzo-Vera says the LIV Golf players should be banned from Majors and the Ryder Cup

Mike Lorenzo-Vera believes LIV Golf's players have chosen money over competition and wouldn't be welcome back to the DP World Tour
(Image credit: Getty Images)

DP World Tour pro Mike Lorenzo-Vera would like to see anyone playing in a LIV Golf event banned from playing in Majors or Ryder Cups, accusing them of prioritising pay cheques over golfing glory.

And he warned any players that do defect to the Saudi-backed Series won’t be welcomed back to the DP World Tour if they change their minds. In an in-depth Twitter Q&A, the 37-year-old Frenchman, who joined the then European Tour in 2005, expressed his disappointment in the players that have jumped ship so far, something he would never do even if asked.

Video: What Is LIV Golf?

When asked his opinion on LIV Golf, Lorenzo-Vera said: “They are trying to take us down. And I try to protect an organisation that helped me have a fantastic living for the last 15 years. I’ve never been in contact. Honestly money is one thing, but my dream is the Tour. So I’ll never go!!!”

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Lorenzo-Vera, who hit the headlines recently calling another recent LIV Golf recruit, Patrick Reed, a 'cheat', said he can understand players near the end of their careers looking for one last payday, but warned them not to think it will be easy to come back to the DP World Tour. He was asked by one Twitter user if he agreed that players in their 40’s taking a big pay off was understandable, to which Lorenzo-Vera replied, “Oh yes , me too. But in that case , just stay there. Just don’t come back. They play for someone that try to take the DP World Tour down. I believe they’re not welcome back.”

Asked if LIV players, including six-time winner Phil Mickelson and four-time champ Brooks Koepka, should be excluded from Majors, the Frenchman replied: “Yes I do…I believe that they chose money over competition. Then why Majors ?” A follow-up asked him if LIV Golf players should be excluded from the Ryder Cup: “Without a doubt…”

Lorenzo-Vera added that the general feeling on the DP World Tour towards the Saudi rebels is “disappointed” but stressed that if LIV Golf fails for any reason and they ask to come back “I don’t think they should”. The most shocking player to have joined the LIV Golf ranks in Lorenzo-Vera’s opinion is Ian Poulter. “Biggest surprise, Poulter to be honest,” he said: I thought he loved more the European Team than the money. I was wrong.”

South African pro Oliver Bekker, who played in the first LIV Golf event at Centurion Club near London but not in last weekend’s follow-up at Pumpkin Ridge in Portland, joined the thread to put the record straight about his experience, given LIV Golf’s players were supposedly all fined £100,000 and banned from the Scottish Open, Barbasol Championship and Barracuda Championship

Bekker said: “Some of us were actually released by the DPWT, like myself and (Oliver)Fisher, and were allowed to play at Centurion. No fines, no sanctions, as we were not into the DPWT event in Sweden the same week at close of entries. Not a lot of people know this it seems.”

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Any future with all three golf groups working together - the PGA Tour, DP World Tour and LIV Golf Series - is just a pipe dream, according to Lorenzo-Vera. When asked if the three could co-exist and have the players free to choose which event to play, he replied: “No chance this happens. LIV wants us down. We’ll fight back!”

Jeff Kimber
Jeff Kimber

Jeff graduated from Leeds University in Business Studies and Media in 1996 and did a post grad in journalism at Sheffield College in 1997. His first jobs were on Slam Dunk (basketball) and Football Monthly magazines, and he's worked for the Sunday Times, Press Association and ESPN. He has faced golfing greats Sam Torrance and Sergio Garcia, but on the poker felt rather than the golf course. Jeff's favourite course played is Sandy Lane in Barbados, which went far better than when he played Matfen Hall in Northumberland, where he crashed the buggy on the way to the 1st tee!