‘WTF is going on in some players head’: Pro blasts Saudi league players

Mike Lorenzo-Vera hits his tee shot on Thursday on the 6th hole at the Belfry.

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Mike Lorenzo-Vera, a longtime pro on the DP World Tour, voiced one of the stronger stances against the upstart Saudi league, questioning why players would join and saying that he never would, over a series of posts on Twitter. 

“WTF is going on in some players head ????” he wrote late last week. “Not enough [money emoji] on the @PGATOUR ??? Not well organized ? Bad schedule ? Bad courses ? Bad crowed [sp]? 

“Before the LIV , looks like they were happy ! UNGRATEFULNESS !!!! That’s the only word that comes to my mind. #education”

Lorenzo-Vera’s tweet, along with his responses to comments, appear to be in response to an incident involving Sergio Garcia at the Wells Fargo Championship. There, during Thursday’s first round, Garcia was told by an official that he had found a lost ball after the allotted three minutes, to which the Spaniard responded: “I can’t wait to leave this Tour. I can’t wait to get out of here, my friend. Just a couple more weeks and I won’t have to deal with you anymore.”

That comment appeared to be a reference to the LIV Golf Invitational Series, the Saudi-funded tour headed by Greg Norman, whose first event is in early June. Various outlets later reported that Garcia’s agent confirmed that the player had requested a release to play on the tour. 

After Lorenzo-Vera’s initial tweet, he responded to comments. 

Wrote TurnerWheelz: “Do you know what’s great? I watch golf 3 to 4 days a week, I just love the game. I’m recently a paraplegic from a rare autoimmune disorder. It’s great to hear people complain about how horrible it is to earn millions of dollars playing golf. That’s just so arrogant.”

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Responded Lorenzo-Vera: “Sorry to hear that man. I thing that plenty of player are against it , but are quiet , just in case they have a piece of the cake one day. Honestly , the guys should say. « It’s a s**t load of money. I have the opportunity to have it. I will go for it. »

“That would be more understandable than this attitude of spitting on the @PGATOUR and @DPWorldTour and the growing the game thing… That LIV is nothing more than an exhibition for the moment… it has nothing to do with a golf tour.” 

Wrote Kiwi Mick: “Yes & no I think.. Mike I ask u this, if you lost your card this year… do you go to challenge tour spend 150K to make very little prize money or try a new tour where you could win 5 million and remain playing golf at a high level.”

Responded Lorenzo-Vera: “Time to be a role model , and work my a** of to stay on Tour. I won’t play those events. Even if the money HUGE ! Btw if I loose my card , NO CHANCE I get invited there. [Laughing emoji] but anyway , I will never play there.”

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Sam Harrop, who has shared golf song parodies online, asked Lorenzo-Vera if he had been approached by the Saudi league to play. 

“But saying what I say in public , and if I manage to play better golf again , I guaranty I’ll never be contacted,” Lorenzo-Vera responded. “And I very happy about it.”

Lorenzo-Vera has won over $5.5 million on the formerly named European Tour, and notably, he was tied for second at the halfway point of the 2020 PGA Championship. His comments toward the Saudi league were also not his first, as he shared a 3-minute and 40-second video on Instagram in February, where he suggested that those playing in the league donate their money to charity.

“Hello, everybody. I’m doing this video because there is something that I don’t really like of what’s going on now with the Saudi league, and I would like to speak my voice on my social network,” he said in the video. “So I speak in English because hopefully this message goes a bit beyond the borders of France. I’m going to explain to you what has been going on through my mind the last week. I’ve been speaking with my agent about the Saudi league, and it was kind of like, well, imagine, man, if I play better and I can access to that league, it’s a huge amount of money that you can win. And it’s like a lottery ticket for the family, and that’s fantastic and stuff, OK. 

“And during the week after that, it’s crazy. I was at the players lounge at during the tournament and the BBC was on, on TV, and there was a documentary about what’s going on in Yemen. And I’ve seen the kids, plenty of kids dying of lack of food and so skinny and so sad and I mean … This is just insane, the situation there. And I am no journalist, war journalist. I don’t understand everything, but the thing that I could understand about that commentary is that Saudi’s involved and … Feels strange to look at this. So maybe I don’t understand everything but as we say in France, there is no smoke without fire. 

“And I would like to speak to the guys that signed for the league and that message. Maybe you could use that money, not all of it, but a good amount of that money, to give to charity for the kids in Yemen to bring some food to them. That would be pretty interesting. And at least I would do it. That is for sure. And I know I’m not in the situation and it can sound maybe jealous or whatever, but I think that sometime we need to come back to earth a bit. 

“And I’ve seen the comments of Andrew Coltart and I think that he’s just 100 percent right — sometime we lose the reality and I’ve done the same sometimes; look, I’ve played twice in Saudi. And the more the time passes and the more I feel uncomfortable with it and we just need to not forget where we come from sometimes. Like the European Tour, the PGA Tour have been here for us and we can thank them. I think that to go away from them just for money, it feels a bit strange. And that money feels even more strange.”

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Nick Piastowski

Nick Piastowski

Golf.com Editor

Nick Piastowski is a Senior Editor at Golf.com 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 nick.piastowski@golf.com.