Former world number one Ernie Els said the PGA Tour board should step down over the decision to merge their commercial operations with the LIV Series and described the Saudi-backed breakaway circuit as “circus golf”.
Els said the way the PGA Tour went about the merger without player input was an “absolute shambles” and that PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan would not still be in the role if it was up to him.
“If this happened in my day, in my prime, there’s no way he is around. No way. And the board has to change,” the 53-year-old told Sports Illustrated in an interview at the Royal Liverpool Golf Club, where he shot a 75 in the first round of the British Open.
“I’m sorry, it’s not right. Talk to us, tell us what you’re going to do, plan on negotiating. Don’t just go rogue as a member of the board and come back with a deal and think we’re all going to say ‘yes’.
“You’re affecting people’s lives. You’re affecting the professional game. It’s just so bad.”
Els said he was no fan of LIV’s team aspect or its 54-hole, no-cut format.
“This is circus golf. Team golf doesn’t work,” added Els, who won the British Open in 2002 and 2012. “It works maybe in a two-month, three-month happy season.
“Get these guys together, get teams together and play around the world. But then play real golf.
- 'If LIV Golf was the last place to play golf on earth I would retire', says McIlroy
“That’s what this thing is all about. That’s what I prided myself on, like Tiger (Woods) and some of these guys, getting yourself into majors and grinding.”