LIV golf players driven by negativity at 150th Open

The emergence of LIV Golf has played a huge part in the news cycle over the past few months and there’s a good chance one of Greg Norman’s men will lift the Claret Jug on Sunday.

Some fans will be licking their lips at the prospect of an upcoming LIV Golf headliner Dustin Johnson versus PGA Tour loyalist Rory McIlroy storyline. Rest assured, LIV would like that too.

The Saudi-backed circuit also has Talor Gooch, Abraham Ancer, Lee Westwood, Sadom Kaewkanjana, Patrick Reed, Sergio Garcia, Ian Poulter, Laurie Canter, Paul Casey, Bryson DeChambeau for the weekend with a shout of defiance on Sunday evening.

Video: What is LIV Golf?

Word on the street in St Andrews is that LIV players have been driven by negative feedback from other players, the R&A and the media. R&A chief executive Martin Slumbers and Tiger Woods were very vocal with their thoughts on LIV earlier in the week during their press conference amid the growing divide in the sport.

Abraham Ancer said there was a “really cool brotherhood” between LIV players and also said it would be “really cool” if a LIV player won the Claret Jug.

“I know there’s a lot of talent in the guys who went to LIV,” said the Mexican. “I’m not surprised or worried about it. I feel like they’re going to be up there in the big events. They’re great players. Yeah, but I mean, it’s definitely camaraderie really cool between us I guess And it’s been fun

“Yeah, that would be cool [a LIV player winning]. I think that would be really cool. But I think it’s enough to let the best player win.”

Talor Gooch admitted that LIV players have “catched a lot of flak” recently and said the negativity towards them has brought them together.

“I think there are strong players, no doubt,” Gooch said. “Everyone’s credentials speak for themselves. It’s obviously cool for me to see other guys playing well. We’ve gotten a lot of flak for what we’ve done here recently.

“Everyone, it seems, is against us, and that’s okay. Like you said, it kind of brought us together, I think.”

Sergio Garcia said he hoped the LIV players did ‘really, really well’ as it ‘helps us all’, while Dustin Johnson praised the crowd at St Andrews despite the fact that Ian Poulter received boos on the 1st tee Thursday and Friday.

“The crowds have been fantastic,” DJ said. “I’ve always had a lot of support here. Yeah, that’s how it was this week. Lots of support there, and the fans have been great.

Michael C. Ford