Lowry says LIV Golf 'should not exist', believes 'ridiculous' prize money will alienate fans

·2-min read

Shane Lowry never considered joining the LIV Golf International Series due to his belief the breakaway league is "bad for the game", suggesting the "ridiculous" prize money throughout golf will alienate fans.

Lowry edged past Jon Rahm and Rory McIlroy to win the BMW PGA Championship last week, before labelling his victory "one for the good guys" amid the presence of LIV players at Wentworth.

While the 2019 Open winner criticised the Saudi Arabia-backed circuit in the build-up to that tournament, he attracted criticism earlier this year when he defended his decision to play the Saudi International by declaring; "I'm not a politician, I'm a golfer."

Lowry admitted he was wrong to make that remark, though his main objection to the existence of LIV Golf remains its decisive impact on the sport.

"When I said the 'I'm not a politician' remark, my first thought was 'why did I say that?' It was the wrong thing to say," he told the No Laying Up podcast.

"The thing is, I played the Saudi International for the last three years. So, for me, I would have been very hypocritical if I sat here and said, 'it's about where the money is coming from'.

"Will I go back and play the Saudi International next year? No. But I just think the LIV tour is bad for the game because it is very divisive.

"I am one of the players that thinks LIV should not exist. I don't like the idea of it.

"It is a tough subject for me to talk about because I have never been outspoken. The reason I hadn't is because no one had asked me about it. Rory is outspoken because every day he is in front of the media."

Lowry also believes the huge financial incentives available on every tour could turn fans away from golf, adding: "We are very lucky the corporate world loves golf and that's why we have such great sponsors and that's why we play for a lot of money.

"But I do feel like this is causing a division in the game and it's going to p*** people off.

"People are going to stop watching it. I think the amounts of money that are being thrown around are absolutely disgusting at the minute. I feel all people talk about is money now.

"We play for points now in the FedEx Cup, but I watched the Tour Championship and all the commentators talked about was how much money they're going to win, and I thought, 'will you just talk about the trophy or the title or how many times Tiger [Woods] has won it?'

"The general Joe Soap, the guy who works his nuts off to make 50 grand a year and has to struggle to pay his membership at his golf club and loves the game so much, this probably p***** him off more than anyone."