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Gary Player defends LIV players saying ‘they need the money’

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“A lot of people are giving a lot of opinions, and know a hell of a lot about nothing!”

So says nine-time major champion Gary Player in an interview with Sky Sports News last week, in which he refers to the spat between the traditional tours and the new, rebel LIV golf series as something that “saddens me is to see the fighting that is going on and it’s unnecessary.”

Speaking about the decisions of the 48 players that signed for the first LIV event that finished on Saturday, Player was quite clear with his thoughts.

“But remember this, the players who are playing there now, they need the money. They’ve got families and I don’t blame them for playing there. There’s not a lot of them who can win on the regular tour anymore, so they are wisely taking the money.”

“There is a place in the sun for both tours. I just hope they settle everything in an amicable way and we go from strength to strength because golf is a passport to the world.”

On the day that Patrick Reed signed up to the rebel tour, Sky Sports News asked Player whether he felt the majors would accommodate those that have opted for the Saudi-backed series. His response was that, “I don’t know what the majors are going to do”, although we now know that the USGA has allowed all qualified players – LIV bound or otherwise – to take part in this week’s US Open at Brookline.

Admitting that the PGA Tour has the best players in the world, he defended the right to choose, saying, “If they so desire to play the LIV tour which is their choice and their freedom…..freedom is on the wane around the world, so they still have their freedom to choose and we should be grateful for that.”

“But…you can’t have both tours, you can’t do that, it’s not going to be allowed according to the rules, as far as I know.”

The 86-year old winner of the 1965 US Open considered there may be lawsuits – “I don’t know” – and concedes that, “you can’t have your cake and eat it.”

“I’d like the people that are playing this tour just to be open and say, ‘Look, I’m playing here because I want to make some money, I have a family’. There’s no disgrace in that. But you can’t have your cake and eat it.”

“Every businessman has a choice to say that….look, I’m leaving because I’m making more money…and don’t forget, the best players will always come from the US tour because that’s where all the international top players are playing.”

Speaking from St. Andrews, home of the 150th Open Championship in July, the three-time Masters champion was asked if he felt players would reconsider their options, should all the major championship organisations refuse to allow them in.

“No, once you’ve made the decision, that’s final, as far as I’m concerned. But remember this, the LIV tour does not have a points system that will enable you to keep playing the tours, so I don’t know what’s going to happen in the majors. If you’re not playing the majors, or the regular tour, where are you going to get your points to give you, and qualify you, to play the majors?”

“This is far more complicated than people make it out to be. A lot of people are giving a lot of opinions and know a hell of a lot about nothing.”

A known associate of Saudi Golf, Player was then asked if he had any reservations about the regime before becoming involved with them.

He responded, “Who are we to criticise people for human rights?” He continued, “If you look at what’s happening around the free world — killing policemen, killing people, burning cities down, shooting children, stabbing people. Are we really in a position to criticise people around the world?”

“People in glass houses mustn’t throw stones. We live in a world where everything is either lawsuits, quick to criticize, people on phones having nothing better than to do, media that manufacture stories.”

“We live in a very strange world today, it’s a very different world.”

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TaylorMade signs 15-year-old AJGA Rolex Junior Player of the Year to an NIL contract

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This week, TaylorMade Golf announced that they’ve signed AJGA Rolex Junior Player of the Year, Miles Russell, to an NIL contract.

In a statement, TaylorMade called Russell “nothing short of remarkable”.

“Miles’ record setting success at his young age is nothing short of remarkable and we are excited he chose us to support him in his growth as a golfer to continue to accomplish his career goals. Identifying and developing the top junior talent in the world has always been a priority for us at TaylorMade. Miles and his family epitomize the type of athlete and human being we are looking to add to Team TaylorMade.”

Russell has broken plenty of records in recent months. This season, he was named American Junior Golf Association’s Rolex Boys Player of the Year, making him the youngest male player to receive the award. The record was previously held by Tiger Woods who was about 10 months older than Russell at the time he received the award.

At age 14, J he became the youngest player ever to win the Junior PLAYERS Championship at TPC Sawgrass at age 14.

The 15-year-old also played in his first Korn Ferry Tour event on Thursday, the LECOM Suncoast Classic, and shot a first-round 68.

In the aftermath of the agreement, Russell released a statement.

“I have had a great relationship with the team at TaylorMade for years now and couldn’t be more excited to continue to work with them in the future. TaylorMade has a history of developing the top junior talent in the world to help reach their goals of becoming PGA TOUR and major championship winners. I am looking forward to working with the team to reach those and other goals I have laid out for my career.”

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Group of PGA Tour caddies sign endorsement deal with underwear company

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In an interesting turn of events, a group of PGA Tour caddies have signed an endorsement deal with an underwear company.

Geno Bonnalie (Joel Dahmen), Aaron Flener (J.T. Poston), John Limanti (Akshay Bhatia) and Joel Stock (Will Zalatoris) and John Ellis (Wyndham Clark) have signed a deal with the underwear brand, SAXX.

Here are some details about the endorsement deal:

  • The deal eclipses six figures in total value, extending what last year marked the first significant apparel agreement with a group of pro caddies. Of note, Geno and John Ellis appeared in the Netflix docuseries, Full Swing.
  • The caddies will wear SAXX underwear, shorts and polos on and off the course.
  • SAXX will donate $100 to the Testicular Cancer Foundation for every birdie made by the caddies’ players for the rest of the season.
  • SAXX will bring the Ball Masters to the masses at the Travelers Championship, hosting a fan activation with underwear giveaways, photo opportunities, appearances from the Ball Masters and more.
  • Fans can become an honorary Ball Master, which includes a year’s worth of underwear, among other things. Go to SAXX.com/ball-master-application from now until June 15 to enter.

The partnership is great for the caddies and also represents a great cause.

Check out the video they shared on YouTube:

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Man charged with stealing millions of dollars worth of memorabilia from Augusta National

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Augusta National

According to a report from the Chicago Tribune, a man has been charged in Chicago with stealing millions of dollars’ worth of memorabilia from Augusta National.

The man, Robert Globensky, was charged with transporting the memorabilia across state lines.

The report states that between 2009 and 2022, Globensky allegedly transported “millions of dollars’ worth of Masters golf tournament merchandise and historical memorabilia” from Augusta National “and transported to Tampa, Florida, knowing the same had been stolen, converted and taken by fraud.”

The document was filed Tuesday in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

Per the court records there is no mention that Globensky worked for the golf club.

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