“Not proper golf” PGA Tour legend Ernie Els rips into LIV Golf League

Ernie Els unleashes his fury on the Saudi-funded LIV Golf League, having won four major championships.

In an interview with Yellowhammer News, PGA Tour legend Ernie Els attacked the LIV Golf League, calling it “not proper golf.”

Els, 54, acknowledges that he has never received an invitation to participate in the Saudi-sponsored circuit and that even if he had, he would have declined.

The four-time major champion and 19-time winner of the PGA Tour told Yellowhammer News:

“No, LIV Golf hasn’t made me an offer, but I wouldn’t have accepted it anyhow. Now, some of the Saudi men I know are true golf enthusiasts, but the way the LIV is currently structured is not appropriate golf. At whatever point in my career, it wouldn’t have been for me.”

Els harshly criticized several of his younger countrymen last season, including Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel, whom he has assisted in developing over the years as European Tour players, for taking large salaries to join LIV Golf.

Els, who goes by the moniker “The Big Easy” due to his incredibly smooth action, also publicly criticized PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan last year for his management of the circuit, particularly for having private meetings with the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF).

Last summer, the South African said to Sports Illustrated:

“There is no chance that he [Monahan] is still alive if this had occurred during my heyday. Not in a way. The board must also be replaced. I apologize, but this is not how you do s**t. Speak with us, let us know your plans, and let us know if you want to negotiate. Don’t you just walk away from the board, make a proposal, and then expect us to all say “yes”? You have an impact on people’s lives. You’re having an impact on the expert is just so bad.

After almost a full year has passed, Els’s position on the matter has not changed.

However, he does have hope that the PGA Tour and LIV Golf can work things out to improve the professional game.

Els told Yellowhammer News:

It goes without saying that I hope they can resolve their differences because this situation is bad for our sport.

“We’ll see. However, the fact still stands that, in my opinion, the LIV golf format is ineffective—at least not in the current iteration.

“Perhaps team golf could have a place in the global schedule. Teams could be formed and they could play a happy season that lasts for two months.

“But let’s play real golf the rest of the year.”

Els is participating in the first of five senior majors on the PGA Tour Champions in 2024, the Regions Tradition, this week.

With just one shot to spare before the weekend, he is also in a good position to win his first seniors major.

Steve Stricker, the two-time defending champion, is in the lead at 12-under par.

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