HVIII slams PGA and (!) LIV but admits new tour: "Made me more of an a**hole"

LIV Golf League player Harold Varner III has slammed the bickering going on in the game, saying it's "going down the toilet".

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Wed, 1 Feb 2023
HVIII slams PGA and (!) LIV but admits new tour: "Made me more of an a**hole"

LIV Golf League player Harold Varner III says the game is "going down the toilet" as he slammed the fighting between his new employer and the PGA Tour. 

Varner was one of the few players who drew plaudits when he put pen to paper with LIV last August in a wave of signings that included reigning Open champion Cameron Smith

The American, 32, had previously suggested he wasn't going to leave the PGA Tour.

He even went as far as saying NBA legend Michael Jordan convinced him to stay put. 

Related: Mickelson "at peace" with uncertain Ryder Cup future

But in the end conceded the money was just too good to pass down

Varner, who is attempting to defend the PIF Saudi International in Jeddah this week, previously said it "sucked" that others may view him differently for joining a golf tour that has, and continues, to face sportswashing accusations. 

It's clear that some relationships on the circuit have gone south owing to the emergence of LIV Golf. 

Just think of Rory McIlroy and Sergio Garcia

Related: Garcia's explosive texts to McIlroy

Varner has experienced the same. Has he felt bad about the break down of relationships?

He said: 

"Man, I want to answer this to start off with something, but I'm going to leave that in my head.
"I think it's actually made things more clear. It's something I wanted to do. I made the decision. I enjoy it. I really enjoy it. I enjoy the money that comes with it. I enjoy the time.
"But what ended up happening is people you thought were your friends, colleagues -- you know who's legit when you do something they don't want you to do and you want to do it and it doesn't harm them, and they still reach out to you, they still talk to you."

What about the fighting between the PGA Tour and LIV? 

He continued:

"I've been super fortunate. I don't like -- I'm very transparent. I didn't like how some of the stuff came out where you started talking about people's family.
"I just don't like that. I also don't like the bitterness and the pettiness of both LIV and the PGA Tour. So there's things like that I just try to stay away. I don't think that's good for golf.
"I don't think golf is a very -- I don't think it's a sport where 50 million people are going to watch and we can afford to have people -- because some people are like, I don't really want to watch it because people are arguing.
"We don't have that luxury in golf to have so many people watching we can still get away with it.
"At the end of the day, it's golf. I don't care what tour it is, it's golf. But try not to take away from that.
"The arguing and the bickering and stuff like that, that's just not great for the game. People enjoy investing in golf because it's clean, respect and a gentleman's game, and that's going right down the toilet right now."

Varner will be teeing it in the LIV Golf League in 2023 with the Niblicks GC, captained by Bubba Watson

Watson has not played golf for nine months after suffering a torn meniscus in his right knee. 

Both Watson and Varner have resigned their PGA Tour memberships. Watson had some interesting things to say this week, particularly about how he would beg PGA Tour boss Jay Monahan to let him play the 2023 PNC Championship. 

Asked how signing with LIV has impacted his life generally, Varner said:

"I think it's made me a bigger asshole, but I have some unbelievable people around me that keep me grounded because I get set on something and I want to do it.
"Before, you would have to play a tournament, so you didn't have time to do it. You're like, well, I can't do it right now. Now that you have time, you have to sit back, you've got to sleep on it.
"You've got to do things -- I guess what successful and retired people do, they think about how they want to go about their life.
"When you're playing 40 weeks out of the year, it's like where's the next tournament?
"I'll get someone else to figure it out. Where's this person going to be? Those are things you're worried about, not so much like how I can impact it myself.
"One thing that people love is when they want to be a part of what you want to do, if you make the time to talk to them, fly somewhere to speak, whatever that is, you have a way better chance of sticking and a way better chance of raising more money.
"So that's been awesome for me."

Next page: Phil Mickelson stuns golf fans with dramatic weight loss