Eddie Pepperell on LIV Golf defections and why he’ll never join
Eddie Pepperell doesn’t see himself as a golfer. In his mind, he’s just another person who happens to hit more fairways than you or me. If you are one of his 163k Twitter followers, you’d know that Pepperell is a dog lover (owner of Gus and Pip), a Stranger Things enthusiast and is honest to a fault.
He also has a unique ability to separate his character from his profession, allowing him to more honestly answer the tough questions asked by Drop Zone Podcast co-host Dylan Dethier.
When asked about what the rise of LIV Golf means for the state of the game, Pepperell didn’t hold back.
“It’s like they’re trying to deal the PGA Tour and DP World Tour a slow death by a thousand paper cuts,” he said.
When players make the jump, some sponsors have even ended deals. With ties to Saudi Arabia’s human-rights record, only 14 events and a smaller presence than the PGA Tour, they see sponsoring a LIV golfer as less appealing. However, players are finding ways to make sure this loss is offset.
The most recent defection is Henrik Stenson, who was then stripped of his Ryder Cup captaincy. Pepperell isn’t the only one who is upset about Stenson’s decision.
“A lot of the guys clearly played a relatively clever negotiation tactic,” Pepperell said.
He mentioned Phil Mickelson as one of the LIV golfers who waited it out before cashing in. Later in the episode, he alluded to why Mickelson was looking for the extra dollar.
“Some of them have obviously had life experiences who have meant they’ve lost money along the way,” he said.
Despite Pepperell’s disappointment, he understands why an older player who is past their prime might join. For younger players, forget about it.
“I’m somewhat exasperated why anyone who’s under the age of 35 would go,” he said.
But Dethier wondered what would happen if LIV Golf extended an offer to the 31-year-old Englishman. He pointed out that Pepperell’s followers are calling his bluff; they argue that if LIV paid him, he’d go in a heartbeat.
Currently ranked 551st in the world and, in his words, often “traveling home on Friday nights,” there is still no scenario in which Pepperell would take an offer. He has made less than €100,000 in prize money this year, but his recent struggles will never change his values.
“I don’t play golf for money,” he said.
If you’d like to hear more about Pepperell’s real-world comparisons to LIV or how he plans to revitalize his golf career, check out the full episode below.