‘The Concession’ Jack Nicklaus & Tony Jacklin at the 1969 Ryder Cup BSI

Tony Jacklin Warns Of LIV’s Disruptive Impact On Golf & The Ryder Cup

LIV has messed golf up. Those are the words of golfing legend Tony Jacklin in an exclusive interview here with us at BoyleSports.

Jacklin is the last English man to win The Open Championship on English soil with his victory in 1969. However, Tony Jacklin is probably best remembered for his legacy in the Ryder Cup where he represented Great Britain & Ireland/Europe seven times as a player and four times as a captain.

Jacklin was part of perhaps the most iconic moment in Ryder Cup history known as ‘The Concession’ when Jack Nicklaus conceded a 2-foot put to the Englishman on the final hole of their 1969 singles match which meant that year’s Ryder Cup would end in a tie.

Read all about Jacklin’s thoughts on the impact that LIV has had on the game of golf and what it means for the Ryder Cup.

‘LIV Has Messed Golf Up’

This is the second major and first Open since the LIV Golf and PGA Tour merger was agreed. Do you think there will still be a point to prove and some friction from both sides? 

The LIV players will definitely feel like they have a point to prove, the likes of Cam Smith, Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau are capable of winning this weekend (The Open Championship) but they have to be in a position to win it. LIV has messed golf up and it’s sad to see the impact it’s had and it’s not over yet.

We still don’t know what the future holds for the game of golf. It’s been a very disruptive time and there’s a lot of friction and friendships which have been shaken.

Jacklin’s Verdict On McIlroy’s Retirement Comments

What do you make of Rory’s comments the other week about if he were forced to play for LIV that he would retire? 

Those comments are his opinion. He wants to play competitive golf, he doesn’t want to play exhibition matches. They have concerts and play live music – that isn’t competitive golf to me.

Call me a dinosaur but some of the finishes on the PGA Tour have been spectacular and aren’t necessarily the biggest names in golf. It’s about needing a birdie or a par on those last two or three holes. It’s not about a shotgun start, not knowing the hole which the winner is going to finish on and having Elton John do a concert on a Sunday night, you shouldn’t have to do that to attract players to the game.

Not many people have had an opportunity to see LIV because it’s not been televised. I’m not going to go on my iPad to watch highlights of an exhibition match, that’s not what I do. They have offered obscene money.

It’s a different set of values to some. When I won my majors, one of the great things to me was that my name was never going to be erased from trophies. I became part of that family of winners with the likes of Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer. Clearly that means very little or nothing that took the money.

Impact Of LIV On The Ryder Cup

The Ryder Cup is also fast approaching this year. What do you make of the debate about LIV players being selected for Europe even if they don’t have enough points? 

I’m not even sure if LIV players are going to be included in either team. It’s quiet on the LIV front when it comes to the Ryder Cup. It wouldn’t surprise me if there aren’t any LIV players in the Ryder Cup. It all feels up in the air and there’s a lot of animosity and anger from different sides.

There are LIV players who are defending what they did and the powers that be say that LIV is here to stay, Rory wants it to go as far away as it can be. Greg Norman’s position looks precarious.

It’s all a complete mess. The thing that saddens me is that I’ve been around the Ryder Cup for almost 60 years, we’ve always had representation. The best of America against the best of Europe with the exception of one or two players, it’s been like that every year.

The Ryder Cup has become a huge brand. Even 10 years ago, it was bigger than the European tour brand.

Henrik Stenson was stripped of his captaincy, but should he be reinstated? Lee Westwood has said he’d love to captain the team one day, but won’t be held to ransom by his LIV tour decision. 

Henrik took the money. He needed the money. There’s a lot of other options for the DP World Tour. I don’t think for a start that any of them were going to want the money.

All they have done is assure that their children and grandchildren never have to work and I don’t think that’s a good thing.

There’s a lot of temptation involved.

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