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Featuring at the Horizon Irish Open, home favourite, Padraig Harrington, gave his thoughts on the players who have jumped ship to the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Invitational Series, with the 50-year-old stating: "I actually don't have any problem with the guys who have gone to LIV Golf. They have gone to do their thing."
Harrington, who recently claimed his first Major title on the Senior circuit, also revealed that: "Everybody's got to make their own choices. You make your bed and you sleep in it, that's it. It was very clear that the guys who didn't go, especially guys who could have gone, who possibly would have had offers on the table, they have taken a big decision not to take the money.
“I actually don’t have any problem with the guys who have gone to LIV Golf. But you make your bed and you sleep in it.”Padraig Harrington gives his views on the rebel players who have threatened the DP World Tour with legal action. #RTEGolf pic.twitter.com/A2zOC5DyP1July 1, 2022
"It was very, very clear that there would be severe sanctions for anybody who went," he added. "But I honestly don't judge the guys who went for the money. It's a pretty good offer. Certainly, if you turn around and they offer you that sort of money and, bear in mind, people at times are looking at the moral side of it, everybody has different morals depending what country you come from, what religion.
"There are so many different things. I don't know why we would impose. They have gone and happy to have gone, fair play to them. There's certainly room in golf, the rest of golf has started to prove, based on that tournament. I'm particularly happy that the European Tour and the PGA Tour have come out and started focusing on themselves to get better, instead of trying to pull down the other Tour.
"I wouldn't sanction them as far as letting them play in the Majors, if it was me. I don't have a problem with that. I see it as a competitive Tour. I grew up seeing the PGA Tour as a competitive Tour. I don't have a problem with another Tour being out there competitively.
"The players who have gone, that was their choice and they knew what was coming. To be honest, most of the players on this side will think that the sanctions are too light, way too light, so the players would be wanting more. And they are friends, we are all friends, like we know each other."
Before a ball was even struck in Ireland, Harrington had expressed his concern for the future of the DP World Tour following the emergence of LIV Golf, with the three-time Major winner stating at a USGA conference: "I feel for the European Tour because there's definitely room for two Tours, there's no doubt about it, but is there room for more? It looks like the European Tour is the one who could come under pressure and be squeezed.”
What's been the reaction from the DP World Tour? Well, on Friday, Keith Pelley hit back at the 16 LIV Golf players who threatened to take legal action after being banned from the Genesis Scottish Open and fined £100,000 for playing in the first Saudi-backed event without a release.
The DP World Tour CEO was given until 5pm today to respond to the letter, which was signed by the likes of Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter, that demanded the sanctions dished out be overturned.
Instead, Pelley called out the "many inaccuracies" in a scathing statement that also questioned claims that the players "care deeply" for what was formerly the European Tour.
For Harrington, who spoke to the media following the conclusion of his second round at Mount Juliet, the Irishman believes that: "LIV are going to be here for a time and there's room for it. I've always said that. I thought there was room for PGL and I think there's room for them in golf."
However, the 50-year-old is also "happy that the PGA Tour and the European Tour are starting to focus on themselves and improve what they are offering," with Harrington stating "I see great pathways for them."
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.
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