Paige Spiranac has slammed the LIV tour and its stars for their “greed”, and suggested that despite some positive ideas, it was likely to harm the future of golf.
The LIV golf tour, a start-up backed by Saudi Arabia, has aspirations of challenging the world-leading PGA tour. With the promise of riches, the new event has managed to attract leading names including Dustin Johnson and Kevin Na who have been forced to resign from PGA championships due to policies limiting participation in rival events.
The new tour launched with its inaugural event at The Centurion in Hertfordshire last week, and now golfing influencer Paige Spiranac – who boasts over 3.3 million followers on her Instagram account – has hit out at the event’s emphasis on quick cash taking precedent over passion for the sport.
Paige has already taunted the likes of Phil Mickelson who signed up to the Saudi-backed invitational event, and she reiterated her stance while speaking in the most recent episode of her Playing a Round podcast.
“You look at the LIV tour, and they’re fuelled by money, by greed. There’s no underlying storyline there that makes you want to root for these guys,” she stressed.
“It’s really interesting to see the people who are staying at the PGA tour and who are outspoken and really being advocates for them compared to the guys that are on the LIV tour.
“Most of the guys that are on that tour, I’ve had a really poor interaction with them. There’s either a story that I have behind them or I’ve heard really negative things about them.”
Paige has been in a public dispute with heavy-hitter Bryson DeChambeau after once describing him as annoying, and she suggested that the American doesn’t attract the same fanbase as Rory McIlroy.
“Look at Bryson [DeChambeau], and Patrick [Reed], and even Pat Perez, they don’t care. They just want to make money and they’re not well liked, besides Pat Perez,” she continued.
“I wouldn’t say any of them are fan favourites, they’re not Rory [McIlroy]. People love Rory, he is universally loved and you can just see the difference.
“Let’s just take everything else out of it, how can I get behind these guys who don’t care? Why do I want to watch people play when they don’t have a passion for what they’re doing?”
In fact, Paige went on to suggest that any positive elements of the event had been rendered useless because of their association with a tarnished brand, but emphasised that she supports the positive idea of encouraging a wider interaction with the sport through making championships into more well-rounded events.
She said: “I think it’s really sad, because some of their ideas aren’t bad. I love the fact that they stream through YouTube, I think that having team events is not a terrible idea. I think that there are certain things that they are doing that the PGA tour could pick up and it could really enhance the viewing experience.
“This is actually hurting the progression of golf, because we’re seeing people do something that is different and I’m all for that, but we can’t come out and say that we like this or we like that. And it’s also done so poorly that I don’t even think that the tour will look at this and be like, ‘that was a success and people want that’.”
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