Henrik Stenson Frustrated with Majors Executives Over LIV Golfers

“I am a little bit baffled by the stance the Majors have taken."

by Sead Dedovic
Henrik Stenson Frustrated with Majors Executives Over LIV Golfers
© Lintao Zhang/Getty Images Sport

The PGA Championship is underway, with many top players on the golf course. What has particularly attracted attention in the last two years is the participation of LIV Golfers in this competition. Sixteen of them have the opportunity to compete in this Major, but the majority will not have the chance to compete as LIV Golf is not eligible for ranking points. 

Henrik Stenson, a well-known figure in the golf scene and a member of LIV Golf, is one of those disappointed with the philosophy of the Majors, believing that their ambition should be to have the best players compete. Stenson clearly expressed his dissatisfaction in an interview with Golf Monthly.

“I am a little bit baffled by the stance the Majors have taken. I imagine the Majors all want to have the best players in the world in their tournaments, so not to make that happen is interesting."- he said.

Henrik Stenson: There should definitely be a pathway into those events

LIV Golfers have been facing problems for two years now, with the exception of those who have previously won Majors or received special invitations. Although the best golfers have always competed in Majors, the departure of individuals to LIV Golf has rapidly changed things. Stenson believes that the leaders of the Majors should consider freeing up spots for the best players on LIV Golf to compete there, regardless of the number of spots available. 

There are many quality players on this Tour, but many also point out that individuals from LIV Golf could have expected such an outcome when they joined LIV Golf.

 “The Majors should not take up someone else’s fight. With LIV golfers not earning world ranking points, you can build a strong case that there should be spots in the Majors for best LIV players who are not already exempt. Whether that is three or five spots, that can be debated, but there should definitely be a pathway into those events."- he continued.

Henrik Stenson
Henrik Stenson© Lintao Zhang/Getty Images Sport

The 48-year-old Swede emphasizes that LIV Golf boasts many quality golfers who have a much harder time securing a spot in Majors without ranking points, even when performing at the highest level. Stenson is aware of the reactions from fans, who often point out that LIV Golfers knew what awaited them, but he poses the question to the Majors: Do they want to maintain the necessary quality and give LIV Golfers a chance? 

In Stenson's words, one can sense how much emphasis he places on the (lack of) quality of the Majors now that LIV Golfers are absent. It is difficult to draw a definitive conclusion about whether things would look different if some other LIV Golfers were present alongside these ones, but it is certain that it would attract greater attention and interest.

Henrik Stenson, let's remind, lost the right to captain the Ryder Cup team after deciding to join LIV Golf two years ago. Ryder Cup Europe immediately confirmed via social media following Stenson's decision that Henrik Stenson would no longer be the captain. Although Stenson enjoyed such a role and hoped for success, his decision to join LIV Golf changed many things in the life of this Swede. Losing the right to captain the Ryder Cup team and the right to play in the Majors is the last thing a golfer wants. Stenson chose his path, and it seems he doesn't regret that decision.

Henrik Stenson and his colleagues want to play the Majors

Stenson isn't the only member of LIV Golf who shares this opinion. In fact, many of his colleagues believe that the absence of LIV Golfers is a huge problem for the Majors. The main figures of the Majors don't want to address such comments, considering that the rules are set and must be respected. They still believe that even with this roster, the Majors have the necessary quality and the best golfers in the world. 

It will be interesting to follow the future of this sport and see if there will be any changes in the rules. It seems that the only and best option for LIV Golf is a merger with the PGA Tour. It is difficult to determine any other way for LIV Golfers to compete in the Majors, considering that it is unlikely they will receive ranking points in the future.

We're left to follow the PGA Championship and see who will ultimately come out on top. There are many quality golfers in this Major, and LIV Golf executives and fans hope that one of their players could secure victory. It will be a tough task, but let's see what happens. We hope for good play and a positive atmosphere.

Henrik Stenson