LIV Golf pro: "Is it acceptable three-quarters of the field arrived on a plane?"

LIV Golf pro Laurie Canter has gone on the offensive about some of the criticism he has received before the 150th Open Championship. 

Ben Smith's picture
Wed, 19 Jul 2023
LIV Golf pro: "Is it acceptable three-quarters of the field arrived on a plane?"

LIV Golf player Laurie Canter says there have been points over the last 12 months where it has 'been embarrassing' to be a professional player. 

Canter was one of the first players to come under heavy scrutiny as he teed it up in the inaugural LIV Golf event at Centurion Club last June. 

It was a decision that saw him fined heavily from the European DP World Tour and even resulted in close personal relationships becoming strained. 

No stranger to voicing his opinion, his close pal and fellow tour pro Eddie Pepperell expressed his disappointment in Canter. 


"I could not quite fathom making that choice," Pepperell previously said. "But I can recognise it is a decision he can make, and they can all make." 

The pair, much like Sergio Garcia and Rory McIlroy, are much closer now. Fast-forward to July 2023 and things are extremely different. 

Canter, 30, is one of 16 LIV Golf players in the field for the 151st Open Championship at Royal Liverpool. 

In comments to Ewan Murray of the Guardian, Canter went on the offensive about some of the criticism he has received. 

Speaking about the last 12 months where the PGA Tour and LIV Golf waged an expensive court battle, Canter suggested it there have been points where it has been 'embarrassing to be a professional golfer'. 

"I have had teaching pros say to me that they have been embarrassed by some of the conduct that has gone on," he told Murray. "That is not what being a golfer is about." 

Canter was also keen to stress that he believes the likes of Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood and Henrik Stenson "still care" about the established tours. 

He explained:

"They have had way more to deal with. The burden those guys have had … they have done loads for the [DP World] Tour.
"Lee Westwood got to world No 1 as a stalwart member of the European Tour.
"Whatever he says about that tour, no matter what side of the fence you perceive him to be on … if you are not listening to him then you haven't done your homework. These players genuinely care about the tour, even now."

The topic of morality has been approached extensively since the emergence of the rival tour. 

And Canter has some thoughts of his own about this:

"My sister works in foreign development. She has lived in Africa and Asia for the last 12 years, working on behalf of women's rights. I can sit at the Christmas dinner table with her every year and look her in the eye.
"The month before I first played on LIV, I played in a US state that had just banned abortions; I don't agree with that. Some of the laws around guns in America, I disagree with.
"There are laws in the UK that are not consistent with what I believe in. If every place I went to, I had to do due diligence in that manner then I don't think I would play any golf.
"That was quite simple to me. If you are going to pursue this lifestyle, you can't have a hard line on what is acceptable. Is it acceptable that three-quarters of the field got on a plane to come here?"

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