Just months after ripping LIV Golf, it looks like Gary Player is once again taking a softer stance on the Saudi-backed circuit.
Speaking to reporter Mahlatse Mphahlele two days ago, Player shared some quick thoughts on the ongoing rift between LIV and the PGA Tour, calling for respect and happiness while claiming he has no problem with players who have joined Greg Norman’s startup competition.
“I have no objection to people going to play the LIV tour,” Player said. “I think it’s great to give people the chance to make some money when they can’t play anymore. Most of them go there with a new lease of life, and that’s fantastic. But what I don’t like is the war going on between LIV and the PGA [Tour]. Golf is too good. Golf gave us our dream to start and play the tour. And so we have to have — the word is respect across the board. We should all respect each other and move on with our own lives. But if you have [membership on] the LIV tour, don’t expect to play and have the facilities of the regular [PGA] Tour. Because they are two different tours.
“I hope everything works out and everyone is happy.”
The comments echo what Player said in June, when he reminded people that “the Saudis … are our allies, let’s never forget that” and that he didn’t blame anyone for chasing money. But then there was Player’s TBEN radio interview at the end of August, when he took several shots at LIV.
Player, a Saudi golf ambassador, called LIV a “tour for people who have no confidence in their future … don’t have the confidence that they can be winners.”
Tapping into LIV’s 54-hole format, he added that “it never compares to the regular Tour. No chance.”
He mentioned Cam Smith for signing with LIV and asked, “What kind of future does he have?” He added that he thought Smith’s advisers “had given him the wrong advice.”
And finally, he argued that LIV members should be banned from majors, Ryder Cups and Presidents Cups. “All those things,” he said.
It is indeed difficult to gauge where Player stands in this ongoing debate. But one thing is certain: as has been the case throughout his career, Player is not short of opinions.