“Their tour is meaningless.”
That was one of many things Nick Faldo had to say about LIV Golf yesterday when he sat down for an interview with Sky Sports News.
Faldo pulled no punches when talking about the future of players who defected to LIV.
"They're done," Faldo told Sky Sports. "It's a rival tour. If you work for a company for 20 years and you 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. 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.'"
The six-time major champion also spoke from the perspective of someone who cares deeply about the Ryder Cup – Faldo played in every Ryder Cup from 1977-1997 – and doesn’t want to see the players who are now with LIV teeing it up for the Europeans.
"They shouldn't be there because they've gone off and you've got to move on," he said. “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."
When Faldo says, “they’re all at the age,” he’s clearly referring to stalwarts on some of the best European Ryder Cup teams the game has ever seen: Sergio Garcia, who is 43 years old, Lee Westwood (49) and Ian Poulter (47), just to name a few. Those three players – and other Europeans who now play on the Saudi-backed circuit – face an uphill climb if they hope to make this year’s Ryder Cup team. Without the ability to accrue world points in PGA Tour events and a schedule with LIV that will prevent them from teeing it up in a number of DP World Tour events, they will likely need to be selected as captain’s picks by Luke Donald, which is a tough ask when they will have been absent from the majority of golf’s biggest events in 2023.
Faldo wishes the LIV players would just move on and let “real” golf leave them in the rearview.
"Whatever they want to do, go and do it,” Faldo said. “Let these youngsters play what we deem is real, competitive golf. Once you've decided to retire, disappear, move on, or go to another job. No one's going to talk about you, so just go and do your thing and get on with it."
The former broadcaster also gave his thoughts on LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman. Faldo and Norman are forever linked in golf history after Faldo overcame a six-shot deficit at the beginning of the final round to win the 1996 Masters by five shots and claim his third green jacket.
"He was a great golfer,” Faldo said of Norman. “He really was a charismatic, exciting golfer and he's absolutely wrecked all of that."