Tour pro explains 'anger' at European LIV Golf pros: "They had been my idols"

DP World Tour pro Mike Lorenzo-Vera has opened up on why he was angry at his idols Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter after they joined LIV Golf.

Ben Smith's picture
Thu, 25 Jan 2024
Tour pro explains 'anger' at European LIV Golf pros: "They had been my idols"

Aside from Rory McIlroy, perhaps only DP World Tour pro Mike Lorenzo-Vera has been LIV Golf's harshest critic. 

Over the past two years, the 38-year-old Frenchman has routinely taken to social media to get some thoughts off his chest. 

Even before a tee shot was struck in LIV's inaugural event in June 2022, the veteran pro went viral for blasting the golfers considering leaving the establishment. 

"Ungratefulness," Lorenzo-Vera said down the camera in one video. "That's the only word that comes to mind."

His words were clearly aimed at European stalwarts Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter, Sergio Garcia, Henrik Stenson and Graeme McDowell

Stenson recently asserted all of his peers still wanted to compete on the European-based circuit. 

Although at the time, it was argued the rebels shouldn't be allowed to have their cake and eat it too. 

Times have changed and the landscape of men's professional golf has shifted considerably. 

The future remains uncertain and Lorenzo-Vera, speaking to The Scotsman's Martin Dempster, claimed the world's top golfers have now turned into 'businessman'. 

"It doesn't look like a sport anymore," he told the publication. "It looks more like a business.

"Plenty of guys are making business decisions in golf now and I think it's a very American way to see it.

"It feels like the historical part of the game has gone a bit. Maybe it's because of a change of generation as well.

"I was angry at guys like Lee [Westwood], Sergio [Garcia] and Ian Poulter for going to LIV Golf because they had been my idols.

"At the end of the day, we need idols and guys who build golf through the years and I think this is what is now missing a bit."

He continued: "I'm nostalgic about the European Tour as it was.

"It's a new product we have now and I think the players have to adapt to that.

"Now I think the guys are building a new part of history with all the LIV stuff and all the talk of a global tour."

There was further disruption to the DP World Tour in November 2022 when the Saudi-backed league pinched Valderrama, the famous Spanish venue intrinsically linked to the European-based circuit. 

Lorenzo-Vera continued: "I loved the final [old season-ending Volvo Masters] in Valderrama with Colin [Montgomerie] and all of it.

"This is what made me practice and Tiger [Woods] as well, of course.

"I loved playing in Gleneagles. I loved playing in Celtic Manor. I loved playing Valderrama. I loved playing in the Irish Open at some old courses.

"I think there's a lot of bull---- about what apparently works now.

"But, at the end of the day, we have kids to feed and we have to adapt and play good golf."

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