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Padraig Harrington on how LIV Golf could impact DP World Tour and Ryder Cup participation for players | Golf News

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The PGA Tour and DP World Tour on Tuesday announced a 13-year joint venture partnership, amid the ongoing threat posed by players switching across to the Saudi Arabia-backed LIV Golf Invitational Series

Last Updated: 29/06/22 1:54pm

Padraig Harrington spoke about the future of the DP World Tour and Ryder Cup ahead of the Horizon Irish Open

Padraig Harrington spoke about the future of the DP World Tour and Ryder Cup ahead of the Horizon Irish Open

Padraig Harrington fears for the future of the DP World Tour as the controversial LIV Golf series continues to send shockwaves through the sport.

A number of the world’s top names have defied sanctions from the established tours to sign up for the lucrative Saudi-backed circuit, which stages its second tournament in Portland, Oregon this week.

Harrington, the newly-crowned US Senior Open champion, believes the American-based PGA Tour is strong enough to survive the loss of these leading players but is less sure how its European counterpart will fare.

Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau have spoken out on their decisions to join the LIV golf series, with Koepka responding to Rory McIlroy's comments of players joining the series as being 'duplicitous'

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Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau have spoken out on their decisions to join the LIV golf series, with Koepka responding to Rory McIlroy’s comments of players joining the series as being ‘duplicitous’

Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau have spoken out on their decisions to join the LIV golf series, with Koepka responding to Rory McIlroy’s comments of players joining the series as being ‘duplicitous’

The Irishman said: “I feel for the European Tour because there’s definitely room for two tours, there’s no doubt about it, but is there room for more? It looks like the European Tour is the one who could come under pressure and be squeezed.

“LIV looks like it’s going to be here to stay. In three, four, five years’ time, all of this could be very normalised, and there could be the US Tour and the LIV Tour contending for the hearts and minds of the players. Let’s hope that the European Tour can keep up. We do need a very strong European Tour.”

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LIV Golf is trying to broaden the appeal of the sport with its streamlined 54-hole tournaments, simultaneous “shotgun” starts and a team element to its competitions. However, it is the extraordinary financial backing behind it that has allowed it to gain a foothold, with the likes of Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau reportedly offered nine-figure deals to sign up.

Harrington said: “As much as the media talks about the players who have gone, some of the players who haven’t gone don’t get enough credit. At the moment, it seems like the players who are staying are the ones who are feeling like their careers are going on an upward spiral, they want to win the majors and they think that’s their future.

PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan said they can't compete with the Saudi-backed LIV Invitational Series financially in a statement given before the Travelers Championship

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PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan said they can’t compete with the Saudi-backed LIV Invitational Series financially in a statement given before the Travelers Championship

PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan said they can’t compete with the Saudi-backed LIV Invitational Series financially in a statement given before the Travelers Championship

“I’m certainly impressed with some of the players who have turned down large sums of money. Fair play to them for turning it down and backing their careers.”

What does LIV Golf mean for Ryder Cup participation?

Marco Simone Golf and Country Club in Italy will host the biennial event from September 29-October 1 next year, live on Sky Sports, where Europe will be desperate to regain the trophy after their 19-9 reverse at Whistling Straits.

Paul McGinley, James Corrigan and Kyle Porter discuss the threat posed to the current golfing calendar, including to the Ryder Cup, by the LIV Golf Series

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Paul McGinley, James Corrigan and Kyle Porter discuss the threat posed to the current golfing calendar, including to the Ryder Cup, by the LIV Golf Series

Paul McGinley, James Corrigan and Kyle Porter discuss the threat posed to the current golfing calendar, including to the Ryder Cup, by the LIV Golf Series

One of the strongest draw cards the DP World Tour can offer European players is the opportunity to participate in the Ryder Cup, with Harrington – who captained Europe in last year’s loss – not yet sure what impact the split in the game could have on the biennial contest.

The 50-year-old said: “If there are two big tours it seems to be good for the majors – the only time the best players would play (each other) is in the majors.

PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan said they can't compete with the Saudi-backed LIV Invitational Series financially in a statement given before the Travelers Championship

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PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan said they can’t compete with the Saudi-backed LIV Invitational Series financially in a statement given before the Travelers Championship

PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan said they can’t compete with the Saudi-backed LIV Invitational Series financially in a statement given before the Travelers Championship

“That served the Ryder Cup really well over the years in the sense of a rivalry between Europe and the US. If I go back to when I played in ’99, I didn’t know the US players whereas now we all play the same tournaments, so we’re all quite friendly.

“It could add spice to the Ryder Cup, but I don’t know how that’s going to end up in terms of whether the players can play, or with the captains and vice-captains. It really is hard to know what is going to be the future of it.”

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Team USA will be captained in Italy by Zach Johnson, who gave the strongest indication yet ahead of the John Deere Classic that players competing in the LIV Golf series will not be able to be part of his Ryder Cup side.

“In order to play on the Ryder Cup team whether you’re top six or a pick, you must garner Ryder Cup points through the PGA of America,” Johnson said. “In order to garner Ryder Cup points through the PGA of America, you have to be a member of the PGA of America.

Rich Beem says Zach Johnson will do a great job as US Ryder Cup captain for 2023

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Rich Beem says Zach Johnson will do a great job as US Ryder Cup captain for 2023

Rich Beem says Zach Johnson will do a great job as US Ryder Cup captain for 2023

“The way that we’re members of the PGA of America is through the PGA Tour. I’ll let you connect the dots from there.”

Speaking about his allegiance to the PGA Tour, Johnson added: “I’m for the PGA Tour. I’m for the individuals that paved the way for me in this great tour, this platform in order to entertain, compete and I would say utilize for the betterment of others, not just my family.”

“When things start to settle down, the PGA Tour is going to be stronger. It can get better and we will get better.”





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