LIV has paid huge for retired golfers. Saudis care – SPortswashing is not intended to be profitable. This is the reason that no ordinarily operating corporation saw the need to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in a golf disruption strategy. With an apparently inexhaustible supply of money, Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) may strive to rebrand a country where the murder of a journalist and violations of human rights are frequent talking points.
The PGA and DP World Tours are aware that they will be outwitted if they get involved in a long-term marketing game with the LIV Series, which is supported by Saudi Arabia. However, recent events have served as a reminder of the advantage that players of a certain generation have gained from Saudis carrying gifts. There is reason to wonder whether the PIF, which is by definition accountable to someone, considers the worth of golfers who have started to lose importance. That day of judgment will come. The only question is when.
It was understandable for LIV to celebrate the removal of Henrik Stenson’s Ryder Cup captaincy responsibilities. Greg Norman delivered a crushing blow to golf’s anti-LIV establishment with this stroke. The actions of Stenson and his representatives are disheartening; after agreeing to lead Europe against the United States in Rome the following year, he had a contractual duty to avoid LIV. If the Swede and his management were aware that a change of course was feasible from the beginning or even used their position as captain as leverage, they should be ashamed.
There is a significant level of naivete at work if this series of events caught Stenson off guard. The 2016 Open winner attempted to portray himself as the victim of being denied the captain’s post despite wanting to combine it with LIV appearances in an amazing public statement. Norman, the leader of LIV, won’t want to draw attention to the fact that Stenson’s on-course results have plummeted. If he breaks 72 today, that is a victory. The 46-year-old’s major record is as follows since sharing ninth place at the 2019 US Open: T20, cut, cut, cut, T38, T64, cut, cut, cut, cut. He hasn’t triumphed since 2017.
In terms of making a statement, Stenson helps LIV, but he doesn’t actually contribute anything to the game. And yet, in addition to a signing-on fee that is apparently worth tens of millions of dollars, he will be guaranteed at least $120,000 (£100,000) for each event. Along with Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood, Phil Mickelson, Paul Casey, Sergio Garca, Graeme McDowell, Martin Kaymer, and Charl Schwartzel, Stenson belongs to the group of LIV converts. Their peak years have passed.