The furore caused by the LIV Golf Series shows no sign of letting up, with Eddie Pepperell the latest to criticise the new Saudi-funded start-up and those who have defected to it.
In a candid interview with the Sunday Times, two-time DP World Tour Pepperell laid into the new circuit’s ‘rebel alliance’, in particular Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter and Sergio Garcia.
The Englishman blasted his compatriots for making the leap to the new Greg Norman-fronted venture, and for turning a blind eye to what the consequences might be for the DP World Tour and those who currently ply their trade on it.
“I don’t think Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter give a shit and they don’t need to care,” said Pepperell. “They’re going to be done with the game in three or four years. Greg Norman doesn’t give a crap. He can sail off into the sunset on a yacht. There’s no risk for Greg Norman. He’s done.
“The risk is on the shoulders of the younger players. They will be rewarded in the short-term but, ultimately, it’s a big gamble.”
One of those younger players is Pepperell’s close friend Laurie Canter. He admits that their relationship has been tested by Canter’s decision.
“Let’s say the worst comes to the worst and in fives years the European Tour no longer exists as it is today and LIV Golf has grown into something bigger and there’s 100 players out of work because of that,” added Pepperell. “There will be accusations thrown at these players, Laurie included, that they helped put these guys out of work.
“I don’t think I would feel very good about that. I don’t know if they’ve considered this.
“We’ve heard rumours that Westwood thinks our tour is finished. If this happens and we look back and conclude that LIV Golf put the knife into the back of the European Tour, how are Westwood and Poulter and Sergio [Garcia] and these guys going to feel about themselves knowing they have been complicit?
“I rooted for Sergio, the player. It’s hard to root for Sergio, the man. The way these guys speak, quite gleefully, about what they’ve done, well, it’s just disappointing.”
• Read the full interview with Eddie Pepperell in the Sunday Times here.