Shane Laurie: I don’t play the game for money

Shane Lowry welcomes his comments earlier this year when he defended his participation in a golf tournament in Saudi Arabia by He stated, “I am not a politician.”

The Irish golfer, who won the BMW PGA Championship in Wentworth last week, has become a vocal critic of the Saudi-backed LIV Tour of Golf.

In February, he participated in the Saudi International Championship and ended in a tie in 14th place.

He said, “I always said I don’t play the game for money.” Laurie on the golf podcast, It is forbidden to lie down.

“Others are different. This newly formed tour divided the sport, with some players vehemently opposed, and others happy to take the dollar.

“My wife said to me, all this money (offered from the LIV Tour backed by Saudi Arabia) is not going to make you happy. I play the prize game. The reason I don’t go to the LIV Tour is because I don’t think it is good for the game.”

However, Lowry participated in the Saudi International Championship for three consecutive years.

In the podcast, he provided context for this decision.

When I made the remark ‘I’m not a politician,’ my first thought was ‘Why did you do that? It was the wrong thing to say. The thing is that I have played the Saudi International for the past three years. So, for me, I would have been very hypocritical if I went out and complained about the LIV Tour by mentioning something along the lines of ‘My opposition to LIV stems from the source of the money’.

“I just think the LIV round is bad for the game because it’s so divisive.

“I would love if DJ (Johnson), Bryson (Dechambeau), Brooks (Kupka), were playing against both of us (every week in the PGA Tour events) but the reason they aren’t there is because of LIV. I don’t think it’s good for the game.”

Laurie detailed his reasons for playing for the Saudi International, and explained that it was partly due to his desire for Ryder Cup points. He clearly regrets doing it now.

“I misjudged the room when I did that,” he said. “I definitely felt like this was the year when I was going there. I wasn’t one of the most beloved golfers in the world at the time but I had to fulfill the contract and that’s how I went.

“I’m one of the guys who thinks LIV shouldn’t (exist as a tour)

“I don’t like the idea of ​​that.

“It’s a difficult subject for me to talk about because I’ve never spoken out before. Rory (McIlroy) is candid because he stands every day in front of the media. I’m not. Nobody asked me about it before last week.”

The presence of the LIV players at last weekend’s PGA Championship at Wentworth caused a turmoil in the locker room.

Lowry put eighteen at Wentworth.

Source: PA

“It felt awkward,” Laurie said. “I personally didn’t like seeing a couple of friends out there at the tournament. Some of my closest friends joined LIV and although I don’t think it would taint our friendship, I won’t see many of them anymore.

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“If I was one of those guys who went to LIV, I wouldn’t have come at Wentworth, and I don’t have a chance to do that because it would have been very uncomfortable for me.

“They knew it was going to be devastating. For them to think that they could come back and play (in the DP World Tour events) when they wanted……. It’s a mistake. This splits the game and can piss people off.

“All the people talking about golf these days is money. It’s disgusting how much money is being made. General Joe Swab who loves the game and who is probably struggling to pay for his membership at his local club, this displeases him.”

Lowry went on to say he is optimistic about the future of the DP World Tour provided it continues to forge closer ties with the US PGA Tour. Lowry sees suggestions that some events on the DP World Tour could be sanctioned by the PGA Tour would have a huge positive effect.

“It’s been two tough years for the DP World Tour with Covid as well as the other things (the newly formed LIV Tour). When the rumors swirled with LIV, I was worried about the DP World Tour and wondered what they would do.

“PGA Tour compatibility is selfishly good for me, but it is also good for golf because with the support of the PGA Tour, the DP World Tour can become stronger and can take better care of its players. The problems players may have is that LIV golf throws a lot of money so that people feel that the DP World Tour could have taken that money (Saudi).

“But that’s a very quick fix when you’re talking about golf in general. We – as golfers – need to make sure we do what’s right for golf, not what’s right for us because we won’t always be here but the sport is.

“I feel that what the PGA Tour and DP World Tour did last year is better for the game of golf. I am very fortunate to have lived through golf, through the PGA Tour and the DP World Tour.

“It is not my God-given right to go and be a part of something that can bury those tours. It is up to me to take my place there and move it.”