Scots pro-turned-pundit Andrew Coltart blasted “tone-deaf” tour stars for pleading poverty over a rumoured breakaway Super League.
A host of big names are understood to have been approached with a view to signing up for the Saudi-backed venture, with vast sums on offer to those who make the switch.
Ian Poulter is understood to have been offered £22 million, while Bryson DeChambeau could bank £100 million in exchange for fronting up the scheme.
However, speaking on Sky Sports’ golf podcast, former Ryder Cup player Coltart accused tour pros of being “tone deaf” and “detached from reality”.
“I’m a little bit disappointed with some of the language some of our own players have used where you are talking about multi-millionaires going ‘I’m just trying to feed my children’ when people over here are entering fuel poverty, inflation is going through the roof and people are struggling to pay their bills and put food on the table,” he said.
“Really guys? It’s tone deaf. You just need to be a little bit more aware. There is a complete detachment from the reality of the people who are going to these events, watching these events and helping put money in your pocket.
“You have really got to be a lot smarter with the words you use. It’s very unfortunate and I think they’re going to be talked about for some time.”
Former world No.1 Lee Westwood – Coltart’s former brother-in-law – revealed he had signed a non-disclosure agreement over his involvement in the controversial Super League.
The Dumfries-born pundit also directed his ire towards six-time major winner Phil Mickelson, who is another of those understood to have been contacted.
Mickelson claimed the PGA Tour was guilty of “obnoxious greed” after players considering breaking away were threatened with lifetime bans.
“The language Phil used was lamentable. He’s got this all wrong,” Coltart said.
“There would be no Phil Mickelson and there would be no Lee Westwood if it wasn’t for the tours. The tours exist and these players have earned their money on those tours.
“It’s like they’re living in fairy land. This ‘I’ve done it for the love of the golf’ or ‘I do it for the game’ and all this kind of rubbish – you’ve had the opportunity to do it because there’s been a platform created for you to go out and play on. That’s been the PGA Tour, it’s been the European Tour and it’s been the other tours.
“This is a real challenge to these tours we’re talking about and as a result, players have got to think hard about the future – not their future, but the future of the tour.
“Phil talks about these media rights, and that’s how the tour survives. It’s how the tour advertises itself, it’s how the tour pays its employees, it’s how the tour funds its infrastructure to put on more events.
“No other American sports league allows the individuals their own media rights so I don’t know the angle he’s coming from.”