Nick Faldo says he’s OK with players going to LIV Golf.
But it’s when they’ve left, he told the Telegraph this week, where he has an issue. Notably, Faldo had a story to illustrate his thoughts on whether players for the Saudi-backed series should be allowed to play in the Masters, which starts next week.
“Hey, if you want to go and do something different, fine,” Faldo told the Telegraph. “But this [playing in the Masters] is a bit like: You had a job in a store and now you’ve got a new one, then you’re calling the store demanding you get a bonus. I’ve got nothing against these guys; the grass is greener on the other side and all that.
“But don’t get all uppity if people object when you come back.”
Faldo’s comments come as 18 LIV golfers, including six former Masters winners, will play at Augusta National, though that has not come without controversy. To note, no LIV golfers are allowed on the PGA Tour. And Augusta chairman Fred Ridley, five days before Christmas, even issued a statement on LIV eligibility — along with a scolding.
“Regrettably, recent actions have divided men’s professional golf by diminishing the virtues of the game and the meaningful legacies of those who built it,” the statement said. “Although we are disappointed in these developments, our focus is to honor the tradition of bringing together a preeminent field of golfers this coming April.
“Therefore, as invitations are sent this week, we will invite those eligible under our current criteria to compete in the 2023 Masters Tournament. As we have said in the past, we look at every aspect of the Tournament each year, and any modifications or changes to invitation criteria for future Tournaments will be announced in April. We have reached a seminal point in the history of our sport. At Augusta National, we have faith that golf, which has overcome many challenges through the years, will endure again.”
Faldo’s comments to the Telegraph also continue his now-nearly year-long assault on LIV, which is playing its third event of the year this weekend.
At the PGA Tour’s Canadian Open, which was played in June opposite of LIV’s first-ever event, the then-CBS analyst started the final-round broadcast by ripping LIV’s format and roster. Then, in late January, he doubled down in an interview with Sky Sports’ Jamie Weir, whom he told that LIV’s European players should not be allowed to play or captain in the Ryder Cup, LIV’s broadcast ratings were “embarrassing,” and that the series’ CEO, Greg Norman, has “wrecked” his legacy.
“Their tour is meaningless,” Faldo said to Weir.
In the Telegraph interview, Faldo continued his thread.
“I’m not against them,” he said. “They decided the grass is greener on their tour. Fine. The gripes I get is when he [Norman] said these things about doing it to grow the game of golf. We’ve all been here 40 years or more, hang on, mate. The fact is they got a ridiculous cash offer, which for some of them was the right thing to do.
“But as we said, it’s gone very quiet. So good luck with changing the game.”
Also in the Telegraph interview, Faldo explained his recent decision to return to the broadcast booth. He had stepped away from CBS last August, but will help call the Masters — and potentially other events — for Sky Sports.
“I wanted to cut down from full-time commentary. It was too much,” Faldo told the Telegraph. “It’s a great job, don’t get me wrong. But you’re basically flying twice a week. You check out of a hotel and they say: See you again next year. And sure enough, another year goes by and you’re checking in again. And hey, that just hit me and I was like: I’m off. I have other things to do with my life.”
Editor’s note: To read the Telegraph’s entire story, please click here.