LIV pro calls out those who ripped Saudis: ‘Now they need to move to Japan’

Martin Kaymer

Martin Kaymer hits a shot in April at the LIV Golf event in Singapore.

Getty Images

Martin Kaymer says he’s wondering about the response of those who criticized him for joining Saudi-backed LIV Golf — in the wake of the proposed bombshell agreement among the same Saudis, the PGA Tour and the DP World Tour. 

“I’m really looking forward now to the reaction of all the people who said, ‘We don’t want to play for blood money. … ‘We don’t want to sell our soul,’” Kaymer told the Telegraph in a story published Saturday — and that you can read here

“Well now they need to move to Japan [and play on the Japan Tour], in order to stay true to their word.”

Kaymer’s comments come after the deal announced Tuesday that would create a new, for-profit enterprise that would be operated by the PGA Tour, DP World Tour and the Saudi Public Investment Fund, and end the pending litigation among the sides. At a minimum, the agreement was a shock. Since LIV started play a year ago, the series had attracted numerous pros with guaranteed, large-money deals, the Tour responded with a revamped schedule and beefed-up purses, and the sides each filed lawsuits. 

Criticisms were also said, with one attack on those who joined LIV being that they were playing for a group whose country has a poor human-rights record and has links to 9/11  — and that the golfers were “sportswashing.” In the interview with the Telegraph, Kaymer, a two-time major winner and former world No. 1 from Germany, said he heard those thoughts. 

“I stood up to my values and stood up to the feeling in my heart,” Kaymer told the Telegraph. “I was brave enough and stood up for myself to a lot of people, also here in Germany who criticized me and gave me ‘s***. 

“Funny enough, they have sent me nice messages [since the announcement]. It’s such a hypocritical world that we live in … so, it’s even more important to make your own decisions. Don’t judge too much because when all is said and done, you might do the same thing.”

Jay Monahan
Jay Monahan reveals to staff: PGA Tour can’t compete with Saudis’ money
By: Nick Piastowski

On the PGA Tour side, perhaps the most biggest LIV critic was Jay Monahan, the Tour’s commissioner. To that end, Rory McIlroy, himself also outspoken against the rival league, was asked this Wednesday: “During this back and forth over the past year, at one point Jay Monahan said a deal like this would never happen out of respect for the victims of 9/11. Obviously you’re not responsible for what Mr. Monahan says, but you can see why this has stirred up a lot of emotions in fans, right?”

McIlroy did.

“I said it to Jay yesterday: You’ve galvanized everyone against something and that thing that you galvanized everyone against you’ve now partnered with,” he said. “So, yeah, of course I understand it. It is hypocritical. It sounds hypocritical.

“The one thing I would say is, again, whether you like it or not, the PIF and the Saudis want to spend money in the game of golf. It is — they want to do this. And they weren’t going to stop. So how can — you know, the thing for me and this is the one thing that I’ve always thought about, how can we get that money into the game, but use it the right way. And I think that’s what this ultimately will do, hopefully. I mean, that’s my hope.”

Also in the Telegraph interview, Kaymer believed that LIV golfers should be allowed to play in the upcoming Ryder Cup, and he said that he had gotten a call on Tuesday from Yasir Al-Rumayyan, PIF’s governor. 

Kaymer is a captain in LIV, and it is not entirely clear what will happen with the series. 

“[Al-Rumayyan] congratulated me for making the right choice and trusting the whole product,” Kaymer told the Telegraph. “And I’m very proud of myself that I did that. For PIF to come in now and buy the PGA Tour, support the PGA Tour, surprised everyone, I guess.”

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Nick Piastowski

Nick Piastowski Editor

Nick Piastowski is a Senior Editor at and Golf Magazine. In his role, he is responsible for editing, writing and developing stories across the golf space. And when he’s not writing about ways to hit the golf ball farther and straighter, the Milwaukee native is probably playing the game, hitting the ball left, right and short, and drinking a cold beer to wash away his score. You can reach out to him about any of these topics — his stories, his game or his beers — at