Former Open champion launches fresh attack on ‘unwatchable’ LIV Golf

Three-time major champion Nick Price has a strong message for LIV Golf’s players who quit the PGA Tour after slamming the product served up by the breakaway circuit

 

Former PGA Tour star Nick Price is not a fan of LIV Golf, claiming the Saudi Arabia-bankrolled breakaway tour will continue to struggle to attract fans.

 

LIV is into its third season since poaching several top stars from the PGA Tour, and many more have followed including reigning Masters champion Jon Rahm and 2022 Open winner Cameron Smith. But Price, 67, believes commissioner Greg Norman and his paymasters have created a product that is not compelling.

 

LIV tournaments are played over 54 holes instead of the four-day, 72-hole format used by other elite tours in world golf, while also incorporating a team element throughout the season. But Price, a three-time major champion, is not a fan.

 

“Like everyone else, I don’t know what the end game is. The way the game is fragmented, nobody likes it,” he told the Bunkered podcast. “I’ve tried to watch LIV, but I don’t think the product they have is very good. I don’t know why they tried to reinvent the wheel.

 

“I think the IPL [Indian Premier League ] in cricket had a lot to do with the decision-making and the way they tried to set it up with the franchises – which I don’t think is a bad idea. But right now, I don’t think the product they’ve got is something people will rush to their TV to watch and it’s sad because they have so many great players.”

 

Despite boasting an impressive roster including Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka and Bryson Dechambeau, LIV’s viewership is dwarfed by the PGA Tour. In 2023, the PGA Tour raked in more than £400million in TV revenue compared to LIV’s estimated £2.4 million. 

 

LIV’s events are broadcast on YouTube internationally and on cable channel The CW in the United States. The final round of the LIV event in Las Vegas on Feb. 10 attracted 297,000 viewers on The CW, making it the 51st-ranked sports show in America that day. The third round of the PGA Tour’s Waste Management Open on the same day, meanwhile, totalled 1.7 million viewers.

 

Price admits he would have joined LIV Golf in the later stages of his playing career for the money, but he has been angered by players who took a parting shot at the PGA Tour on their way to the breakaway circuit.

 

 

“I feel bad that those guys were really aggressive in their criticism of the tour because it’s one of the premium sporting organisations that showcase golfers to the wealthiest corporate viewership that you can imagine.

 

“If you have an image out there on the PGA Tour, there are so many corporations that want to be a part of you and throw money at you, so to speak, so those guys all had that and turned their back on it.”

 

 

Gideon Canice

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