‘Their tour is meaningless’: Nick Faldo rips LIV Golf, their ratings, Greg Norman
LIV Golf, Nick Faldo says, is “meaningless.”
Across a published interview and a video shared over Twitter by Sky Sports’ Jamie Weir, the six-time major winner and recently retired broadcaster continued a months-long assault on the Saudi-backed series, saying that their European players should not be allowed to play or captain in the Ryder Cup, criticizing their broadcast ratings and believing that the series’ CEO, Greg Norman, has “wrecked” his legacy. But maybe his pointed words were toward LIV’s format, which features three rounds, 48 players and guaranteed money.
“Their tour is meaningless,” Faldo said to Weir. “It really is. It’s a closed shop. …
“And what gripes me is, it’s not growing the game of golf. That really gets me when they fly across the world, and they suddenly say, oh, we’re growing the game of golf, to a country that’s been playing the game of golf for a 100-plus years.”
Faldo’s comments come as the PGA Tour and LIV Golf continue a near year-long fight that has seen LIV offer guaranteed money to Tour players, the Tour create changes in response, the sides sue each other — and Faldo blast LIV at various points. Notably, at the Canadian Open, which was played in June opposite of LIV’s first-ever event, Faldo opened CBS’ final-round broadcast with similar thoughts to those he shared with Weir.
“We’ve got two totally different golf tournaments,” Faldo said at the time. “One, we play for tournaments and national championships over here. And the LIV Tour is what, 54 holes and no cut, shotgun start, you know, sounds crazy.
“And the other thing that is very noticeable is the players that have left. Obviously they’re in mid-40s, they’ve been out here on Tour, they’ve been battling away and they probably know they can’t win out here against these youngsters. So they’re taking the easy option to go over and try and win a boatload of cash.”
In the interview with Weir, Faldo also believed that European LIV players shouldn’t be allowed in any way at the Ryder Cup, the biannual event that will be played again later this year in Italy. Currently, LIV golfers likely will not earn enough points to receive an automatic selection, and a pick by captain Luke Donald seems unlikely.
“They’re done,” Faldo told Weir. “It’s a rival tour. If you work for a company for 20 years, and you then leave to go to a rival company, I can promise you your picture won’t still be on the wall. You’ve moved on. Fine, off you go.
“They made that decision, and I’m sure they knew it was going to cost them. They were playing the math game. They were getting a huge chunk of money up front, and they knew it was going to lose them sponsors, but they thought, ‘I still win.'”
Faldo also touched on Norman, a longtime rival whom he called “a charismatic, exciting golfer,” but has now “absolutely wrecked all of that,” and he had a thought on LIV’s broadcasts. Last year, which was LIV’s first, their golf was shown on YouTube and their Facebook and home pages, and it was recently announced that the CW network will be LIV’s home this year.
“And it’s pretty embarrassing that there’s nobody — at the end of the season, nobody was watching,” Faldo told Weir. “Didn’t their numbers go down till they were — they’re streaming was like 17,000 people. So in the whole world? We did a streaming thing for my Faldo series — we put a camera on a par-3 — we got 100,000 people, you know, moms and dads and probably granny and grandads were watching their young lads or grandkids playing golf. We got 100,000 people watching the Faldo Series streaming. How about that?
“And they’re spending a fortune to get 17-odd-thousand people watching globally.”
Editor’s note: To read the published Sky Sports interview by Jamie Weir, please click here.