One of England's greatest ever golfers Tony Jacklin has slammed Henrik Stenson for "making a mockery" of the Ryder Cup after accepting a new deal in the region of $40 million to join Greg Norman's Saudi-funded LIV Golf Invitational Series.
Stenson was yesterday stripped of the 2023 European Ryder Cup captaincy as a result of being confirmed as one of the latest players to join LIV Golf ahead of their third Bedminster event next week.
With more and more of the world's best players making a move to LIV Golf, Jacklin, a two-time major champion, believes both the Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup are no longer "credible" events since they will not feature the very best players on their respected teams like they normally would.
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Dustin Johnson and Sergio Garcia are just two big-name players who will no longer be eligible to compete on the Ryder Cup as it stands due to them resigning their memberships on the PGA Tour and DP World Tour.
Jacklin fears even more players will resign from their respected Tours and just take the Saudi money over worry about being part of the Ryder Cup, just as Stenson has done this week.
"Stenson's decision makes a mockery of the matches," Jacklin, who won the 1969 Open and 1970 US Open, told Express Sport.
"It's the end of the Ryder Cup as we know it, it's bound to be. You cannot call it a credible event any more, and you can say the same for the Presidents Cup now, too.
"Once the teams involved are not represented by the strongest players and individuals, the credibility of the competition is spent.
"The whole thing is screwed up. It's all come down to money, how much of it the players can earn, and we're only at the first round of it.
"It's a complete disaster and an extremely sad state of affairs. The LIV players are laughing all the way to the bank – they are having a honeymoon with all the money.
"But what is very different at this point in time is figuring out what the long-term consequences will be for golf's officialdom, organisations like the R&A, the USGA, The Masters. All these institutions are affected by this crazy situation.
"They've got about 250 days until The Masters, the next major championship, to sort all this out. Who's going to be allowed to play in which events going forward, that's the next question."
Jacklin, 78, is fearful that his own legacy in helping build European golf as an 11-time Ryder Cup player will "fall by the wayside" should the great biennial sporting contest be hampered by the emergence of LIV Golf.
"Right now you've got the vast majority of people in the golf business walking around in a daze, with no idea how this is all going to end up," said Jacklin.
"I don't see an end game unless the Saudis are permitted to run their tour alongside the existing environment. That's the best we can hope for.
"If LIV can salvage a way to get world ranking points from Asian Tour events, that is what they will do.
"To be fair, I don't blame the players. Why do we all work? For money, of course, and to be better off. I don't blame them but the upshot of it all is that it puts the kybosh on the Ryder Cup and the Presidents Cup.
"I simply cannot see the PGA Tour or the DP World Tour letting them in as partners other than if the respective CEOs, Jay Monahan or Keith Pelley resign, or their boards resign, and why would they do that?
"If this whole situation scuppers the Ryder Cup, which it would seem is going to happen, then part of my legacy falls by the wayside. But I guess that is what happens in life sometimes – you just never know how things are going to turn out."