South Africa’s four-time Major champion and former no. 1 player in the world, Ernie Els, on Thursday after the first round of the British Open, handed out a few cross slaps to the golf bosses of the American PGA and LIV series.
The 53-year-old Els condemned Jay Monahan, CEO of the American money series, peace agreement with the LIV series and said that the Yanks’ golf boss would not have had a job in his good golf days if he had shown the same behavior then.
Els accused Monahan of negotiating with the LIV bosses afterwards and entering into an agreement with them without consulting any player in the matter.
“In my playing days it wouldn’t have worked like that at all. He (Monahan) would have been gone if he had done something like that. Directors can’t just do what they want either,” said Els, referring to the two board members of the PGA Series who assisted Monahan in the negotiations with the Saudi Arabian-financed series.
According to Els, he knows Yasir Al-Rumayyan, the governor of the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund (PIF), well and has met the two of them many times.
“Yasir must also play open cards about what his true plans are. Nobody realizes what power he will have if he is the chairman of the board of the new golf company of the PGA, LIV and DP World series,” warns Els.
The SA golf star does not like the LIV formula at all and calls it circus golf.
“It’s ridiculous… team golf doesn’t work. LIV golf is nothing but circus golf. If you want to do it right, get the best together for a short time and play in different places around the world. But play real golf… the way golf should be played,” Els said about the LIV series.
An upset Els says he, together with Tiger Woods, ensured that the PGA series grows and is where it is today. “I was there with Tiger all the way and also helped grow the game,” he said, tongue in cheek adding that there had to be someone who could play against Tiger and dig the underspite.
According to Els, the PGA series must reflect on their future plans and the players must not make any hasty decisions about a possible merger.
“At this stage it’s an absolute and total mess with no one actually knowing what’s going on. Yasir cannot be allowed to simply take over. We can work together with Saudi Arabia. They can become a junior partner for the time being in exchange for money to stabilize and develop the game. It must be made sure they are the right partners before final agreements are entered into,” says Els.
*South Africa’s Paula Reto and her playing partner Amelia Lewis are the leaders by one shot in this annual team tournament after the second round of the LPGA Series’ Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational Tournament.
Reto and Lewis completed Thursday’s second round in a magnificent 61 shots – nine shots less than the par – and are the top team at the top of the leaderboard on a score of 126 (-14).
The leaders are being chased by the team of Matilda Castren and Kelly Tan and the pair of Jody Ewart Shadoff and Emma Tally on -13.
The tournament ends on Saturday.