Tiger's former coach calls BS on LIV as he urges forgiveness for Lefty

Tiger Woods' former coach Butch Harmon has urged the LIV Golf players to cut the "BS" as he outlined his thoughts for what the PGA Tour should do next.

Ben Smith's picture
Sun, 28 Aug 2022
Tiger's former coach calls BS on LIV as he urges forgiveness for Lefty

Tiger Woods' former coach Butch Harmon has urged LIV Golf players to "cut the BS" as he called for the PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan to figure out a way to co-exist with the controversial series. 

Harmon, who coached Woods when he was at the peak of his powers, recently appeared on the Son of a Butch podcast, hosted by his son Claude Harmon. 

It's clear that Harmon has no issue with where the money is coming from with regards to LIV Golf. If you hadn't heard, it's being financed by the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia. 

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Not many people have mentioned that. The Kingdom faces accusations that it is trying to soften it's global reputation through sportswashing

Harmon, 79, also made no mistake of what he thinks about the players that have joined LIV Golf. He wants them to cut the BS and just say it's about the money. 

The legendary coach also believes his former pupil deserves credit. 

And he also has his own ideas of what he believes should happen next in golf's civil war.

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"I think the players that went to the LIV — you're probably not going to agree with me on this — they created the problem because they went for the money, there's no doubt about it," he told the podcast. 

"That's BS about I'm going to play less and I'm going to spend more time at home. No, you went for the money. So just say that. Because the average guy that works — if somebody is in a job and somebody comes up and says I'm going to give you 20 times more money to come over here, they're going to go over there.

"And then they're going to tell their buddies, hey, yeah, they offered me more money and I went. So to me that's the first problem — I think the PR of the LIV has not been good. The guys should have got together and be honest.

What about the money, Butch?

"Secondly, the thing that really bothers me is that the public — and I'm not going to say I'm pro- or anti-LIV — the public is coming out against these LIV guys because it's a Saudi-run thing. Our government does business with Saudi Arabia. Every large corporation in the world does business with Saudi Arabia. And so why they’re picking on golfers, I have no idea.

"Golfers to me have been the most underpaid superstars in all sport. Because they don't get big contracts. Yes, they make endorsement contracts. But you have to earn those. And as soon as you play bad, those go away. … So why you picking on us?

"Golfers are nice guys. We don't bother anybody. We just go play golf. Yeah, the guy had a chance to make $100 million — I tell you what, somebody offered me $100 million, I'm gone, I’m over there. Let's just tell it like it is."

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Phil Mickelson, who is seen as the de-facto face of LIV Golf and the plaintiff-in-chief of the antitrust lawsuit, has largely remained fairly reserved since he returned to the world of golf. 

His expletive-laden comments led to his exile from the golf world for a few months but now he has returned, reportedly being paid $200m by LIV. 

What does Butch make of Lefty?

"Well, Phil's very honest. I mean, he's got no filter. It's one of the things I admire about him, one of the reasons we were friends, because I got a lot of that in myself, too. … What we think is what we say. And I think, in all honesty, I'm going to give Phil some credit," he told the podcast. 

"People didn't like it, but a lot of the things he said about the Tour I think were true. And I think the Tour is now seeing that and they're trying to change a lot of that stuff. So you got to hand it to Phil for that. He has taken a tremendous amount of criticism for it. 

"You know there's things that have come out about him and his personal life that he hasn't done, and look, hey, we all make mistakes; nobody's perfect, all right. We all make mistakes; there's things in our past that I think bygones should be bygones."

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So what happens now, Butch? What would you say to the Tour commissioner Monahan and Greg Norman?

"First of all, I would say leave your egos at the door. Come in with no egos. let’s come in with an open mind and see what we can do to make it better. That would be the first thing. Second thing, I would think that there is a way for the European Tour, the PGA Tour, the LIV Tour, to get together and have four or five huge tournaments a year, where participants from all three get to play.

"You can make it a 100-man field, you can do it off world rankings, you can do it any way you want to do it, I don't care. For an amount of money, because that's what it’s all about. And go to iconic, fabulous golf courses around the world and have this true world event."

He continued: "Now, that going to happen? Probably not because I don't think Jay Monahan would even go to the meeting at the moment. So I think until things calm down — I've never talked to Jay about it, so I haven't had that opportunity.

"But I would love to see some kind of thing get together where it is a world event, a gigantic world event. Not close to the majors. The majors will always be the majors. They’re there. Ultimate in golf is winning a major.

"I don't care if you've 25 tournaments in your life; if you've never won a major, I'm sorry, you're not considered a great champion. But there's got to be a way that they can co-exist. … And I think these two organizations have to get together and do what's best for golf."

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