Gary Player calls for 'war' to end between LIV and PGA Tour: 'Golf is too good'

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South African golfer Gary Player
South African golfer Gary Player
Justin Reinecke/Supplied
  • South African icon Gary Player backed the LIV Golf Tour but pleaded for the ongoing war between the PGA Tour to cease.
  • Golfers who've signed up for the Saudi-backed LIV series have been barred from competing on the PGA Tour and some DP World Tour events.
  • Player, who has won nine major titles, says that respect needs to be given as the game of golf should remain a priority. 

Nine-time major champion Gary Player admits that he is not happy with the ongoing war between the PGA Tour and LIV Golf.

The LIV Golf Invitational Series, headed by Australian Greg Norman, has seen the golfing world divided over the rebel series, as many critics slam it as an attempt to "sports wash" Saudi Arabia's human rights record. 

Since June's London opener, 11 South Africans have participated, which was soon whittled down to four with Louis Oosthuizen, Charl Schwartzel, Branden Grace and Shaun Norris comprising the SA team, Stingers GC.

LIV golf has positioned itself as a disruptor in an industry mainly dominated by the PGA Tour and its strategic ally, the DP World Tour.

READ | Gary Player remains SA's global sporting icon: 'He is second to none' 

LIV golfers are also barred from playing the PGA Tour, while the DP World Tour has issued fines and suspensions at some of their events.

The Official World Golf Ranking organisation have not awarded LIV golfers with ranking points.

The PGA Tour also faces a few lawsuits as the legal battle over the conflict with the Saudi-backed series continues. 

Speaking at his two-day Gary and Vivienne Player Invitational at the Lost City Golf Course, Player admits that he dislikes the war in golf at the moment.

"I have no objection to people playing on the LIV tour. I think it's wonderful to give people the opportunity to make some money when they can't play anymore," said Player in Sun City.

"Many people are going out there with a new lease in life. But what I don't like is the war that is happening between LIV and the PGA."

Player insisted that the game of golf should take precedence but that LIV golfers cannot expect to just get back onto the PGA Tour.

"Golf is too good and it gave us our dream to start and [chance to] play the Tour. The word is respect across the board," said the 87-year-old golfing great.

"We've all got to have respect for each other and go on with our own lives. But if you're 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 just hope everything works out well and everybody is happy."

LIV golfers are welcome to play on the Sunshine Tour as Norris, Grace and Schwartzel will take part in next week's Investec South African Open at Blair Atholl Golf and Equestrian Estate from 1-4 December.

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