‘We Have To Work Together’ – Colin Montgomerie On LIV Golf Rift
The Scot thinks it’s inevitable compromise will be needed following the emergence of the Saudi-backed venture
Colin Montgomerie has said that he believes the only way to resolve the fracture at the top of the game through the emergence of LIV Golf is to work together.
Speaking at a Variety Club event, the 59-year-old acknowledged that the Greg Norman-fronted venture was here to stay. He said: “This was on the cards 20 years ago with Greg Norman. He didn't have the backing so it went away. Now he’s come back with serious backing – the deepest pockets we’ve ever known. I mean, we’re not talking hundreds of millions, we’re talking tens of billions. There’s nothing that we can do about that right now. We have to accept that and work with that and we haven’t worked with it yet. We've got to work with it now because they’re not going away, or else there’s a them and us situation.”
Video: What Is LIV Golf?
The PGA Tour and DP World Tour have been hostile towards LIV Golf so far. The two organisations have strengthened their alliance amid the LIV Golf threat. Meanwhile, the PGA Tour has extended its suspension of LIV Golf players for the 2022/23 season, while an ongoing legal battle, to be concluded with a hearing next February, will determine whether LIV Golf players can continue on the DP World Tour.
However, Montgomerie thinks it’s inevitable that the powers-that-be will need to work together to heal the divisions in the game. He said: “Legal costs are up in the seven figures for the European Tour. That money is coming out of the purses for the European Tour. So those players are taking money from their own peers that they were sharing locker rooms with before. It’s a very, very difficult situation – them and us – and we have to somehow bring those two groups together and I can’t see it happening overnight because the Saudi money is such that it’s changed our game and is changing our game, and there’s more to come. It’s a very difficult situation we find ourselves in. We have to work together and we’re not working together yet.”
Montgomerie enjoyed a glittering career that included 31 European Tour wins. He also reached World No.2 in 1996 and, even though he famously never won a Major, the Scot finished runner-up five times. Such a record would have surely made him a strong candidate for an approach to join the Saudi-backed Series had it been around when he was at the top of his game.
However, he insists that even a big-money offer wouldn’t have been enough to tempt him to sign up. He said: "I wouldn’t have gone. I was earning money at that stage far beyond my wildest dreams. No, I wouldn’t have done. What legacy I have, which might be small, whatever it may be, I would like to maintain, whenever it might be.”
Montgomerie also discounted the idea that he’d be tempted by a seniors version of the Series. He said: “You can only really eat three meals a day, wear one watch, one pair of shoes and how much is enough? So I wouldn’t have gone and if someone came to me now and said: ‘Look, we want a seniors LIV Tour – we want you, Langer, Els, Couples,’ or whoever it might be, no, not for me.”
Colin Montgomerie was speaking at a Variety Club event. Variety Club has been supporting disabled and disadvantaged children for over 60 years by raising money for Sunshine Coaches and other schemes. If you would like to help Variety Golf improve more children’s lives – either by donating, making Variety Golf your charity of the year, becoming a member or sponsoring an event – please get in touch with director of golf Jamie Little on 07801 098101, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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