Sir Nick Faldo insists any Europeans who defected to LIV Golf should NEVER play in the Ryder Cup again… as he claims CEO Greg Norman has ‘absolutely wrecked’ his reputation by fronting the Saudi-backed breakaway
- Several legendary European golfers have joined the controversial LIV Golf series
- Sir Nick Faldo claimed they should never be involved with Team Europe again
- He also questioned what the point of LIV Golf was and called it a ‘closed shop’
Sir Nick Faldo has claimed any European golfers who have joined the controversial LIV Golf series should never be involved in the Ryder Cup again – as players or future captains.
The Saudi-backed competition has created a bitter civil war in the sport since it was set up last year and continues to cause significant debate.
Many legendary golfers who were part of various European successes in the Ryder Cup over recent decades have joined the breakaway competition such as Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter, Sergio Garcia, Martin Kaymer and Graeme McDowell.
Sir Nick Faldo claimed Europeans involved in LIV Golf shouldn’t be part of the Ryder Cup again
And Faldo believes these players have burned their bridges and shouldn’t be allowed to be part of Team Europe ever again in the biennial event.
‘They shouldn’t be there because they’ve gone off and you’ve got to move on,’ Faldo told Sky Sports News.
‘They’re all at the age where Europe needs to find a new breed of 25-year-olds that can play half a dozen or more Ryder Cups, and I think we’re going to have that.’
The likelihood of those in LIV Golf playing for Team Europe for this year’s edition in September in Rome seems unlikely – given those players are currently suspended from the PGA tour – and their position on the DP World Tour is reliant on a hearing that takes place next month.
Golfers like Lee Westwood (L) and Ian Poulter (R) have been part of European successes in recent decades, but they joined the Saudi-backed competition when it was set up last year
This means they are unlikely to earn the necessary points to qualify – with Team Europe’s selection consisting of three players qualifying from the European Points List and three from the World Points List – before captain Luke Donald adds six picks of his own.
Nevertheless, Faldo was scathing in his belief that those golfers who joined the Saudi-backed series have made their bed and must now lie in it.
He added: ‘They’re done. It’s a rival tour. If you work for a company for 20 years and 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 maths game.
Henrik Stenson (R) lost the Ryder Cup captaincy for Europe after he joined the LIV Golf series
Golfers involved in LIV Golf are unlikely to qualify for captain Luke Donald’s (R) team anyway
‘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, a former world No. 1 and an 11-time Ryder Cup representative for Team Europe, also slammed the competitiveness of LIV Golf and questioned what the point of it is.
The 65-year-old explained: ‘It’s a closed shop: 48 guys given loads of money. What gripes me is it’s not growing the game of golf.
‘That really gets me when they fly across the world to a country that’s been playing golf for 100 plus years and say, “we’re growing the game of golf”.
Faldo also questioned what the point of LIV Golf is and argued that the series is a ‘closed shop’
He also claimed Greg Norman (above), CEO of Liv Golf, has completely ruined his reputation
‘If they keep saying they want to grow the game of golf, go and take it to new regions. Countries in the early days of being interested in golf now. Try that rather than just trying to antagonize everybody.’
Faldo’s former long-term playing rival Greg Norman is CEO of LIV Golf and the Englishman was equally withering in his assessment of what Norman had done to his reputation.
He said: ‘He was a great golfer. He really was a charismatic, exciting golfer and he’s absolutely wrecked all of that.’
The 44th edition of the Ryder Cup will take place from September 29 to October 1 this year at the Marco Simone Golf and Country Club in Rome.