Ernie Els: No, I’ve not had an offer from LIV, but I wouldn’t have said yes anyway

The South African is not someone who is impressed with LIV Golf and their system

by Sead Dedovic
Ernie Els: No, I’ve not had an offer from LIV, but I wouldn’t have said yes anyway
© Alex Slitz/Getty Images Sport

Since the arrival of LIV Golf on the big stage, reactions have been mixed regarding this Tour. While some believed that LIV Golf could offer much, the majority felt that LIV Golf's goal was to disrupt golf and tear down everything that had been previously built in the world of golf. 

Ernie Els, one of the legends of this sport, addressed the Tour supported by Saudi Arabia in an interview for Yellowhammer News, expressing dissatisfaction with their arrival. Els confirmed that he had not received an offer at any moment, and that in any case, his response would have been negative. Although he understands that Saudis love golf, he does not consider LIV Golf a satisfying format.

"No, I’ve not had an offer, but I wouldn’t have said yes anyway. Listen, I know some of the Saudi guys; they genuinely love the game of golf. But the LIV current format is not proper golf. It wouldn’t have been for me, whatever stage of my career I was at.”- Els said.

The story of the merger is still ongoing, as negotiations began last year. Although the last deadline for the agreement was December 31st, both sides continued to negotiate into this year, with the intention of coming together. 

Golf fans believe that unity is the best option for both sides, but they raise the question: When and if a deal will actually be reached? Els is one of those hoping that the PGA Tour and LIV Golf will compromise and find common ground. Moving into the future with a unified PGA Tour and LIV Golf is likely the best option for golf.

“Obviously I hope they can work out their differences, because this mess is not good for our sport. We’ll have to see."- Els continued.

Ernie Els
Ernie Els© Alex Slitz/Getty Images Sport

Els elaborated further, expressing his opinion that the current format of LIV Golf isn't effective in its current execution. He suggested that incorporating team golf into the global schedule might have potential, proposing a two-month season dedicated to this format. However, he emphasized the importance of maintaining traditional golf for the remainder of the year.

The 54-year-old is a traditional golfer who still holds onto old values. Els is someone who respects tradition and prestige, considering the PGA Tour the pinnacle of golf. The South African golfer's voice carries weight in the golf world, given that he was once No. 1 in this sport. His desires and intentions are evidently for the PGA Tour and LIV Golf to unite, but hoping that the philosophy of the PGA Tour will likely be emphasized more than that of LIV Golf.

Ernie Els disappointed with the behavior of South African golfers

This once brilliant golfer, earlier last year, reflected on South Africans who decided to join LIV Golf, disappointed that they didn't ask for his opinion regarding joining LIV Golf. Although he acknowledged that their friendship still exists, he admitted that things aren't the same as they used to be. Els is a golfer whom all South Africans looked up to while growing up. Even when they were boys, he worked with them, gave them advice, and seems disappointed by the way they repaid him.

“I was disappointed they never asked me my opinion. I had them in the foundation [in South Africa], looked after them as youngsters. They flew with me, they stayed at my house. Kind of nurtured them to get onto the PGA Tour. It just was done in a way I didn’t like.”- he said.

Although he is aware of why individuals choose to adhere to LIV Golf, he believes it is the wrong path they are taking. LIV Golf simply isn't the Tour or philosophy that Els believes can thrive in the world of golf and bring positive outcomes.Older colleagues share the opinion with this legendary golfer.

Els recounted that he had discussions with LIV Golf officials before its start, suggesting a partnership with the PGA Tour, DP World Tour, and PGA Tour Champions. However, his proposal was not taken into consideration. He conveyed to them the idea of playing globally, incorporating team golf, and securing television network deals that would benefit all tours involved.

It seems that neither side was particularly open to such an option. The arrival of LIV Golf was particularly hard for older and more experienced golfers, who did not expect such developments in the world of golf. Although a merger is not the preferred option for many, most consider it the only and best option at the moment, believing that LIV Golf cannot disappear. Most fear the financial power of this Tour and the departure of several stars from the PGA Tour.

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