Six-time major winner Nick Faldo has questioned why any PGA Tour player would sign up to a breakaway competition.
The threat of a Saudi-backed golf league has reared its head again this week, with Greg Norman claiming the first events would be revealed this week.
But the new circuit has reportedly struggled to attract players, despite offering vast appearance fees, and the biggest names in the game have committed their futures to the PGA Tour.
Faldo, who won three Opens and three Masters, claimed players want to compete against the best.
In a lengthy video he posted on Twitter, he said: “For the Saudi tour to come along, it’s really giving you that banker that you have got X, and the X is a serious number, possibly tens of millions as you’re guaranteed to tee it up and play.
“I think that is not what you ever really started as a golfer. You wanted to compete.
“I can’t see how you can get the same amount of competitive determination if everybody has basically got a lovely bankload already.
“Why would the fan tune in?”
I believe one of the most rewarding feelings as an athlete is being able to compete with and alongside the best. You can still do it. Look at Tom Brady, for example.
My take on the proposed Saudi Golf League… pic.twitter.com/g9NVnk5Vi9
— Sir Nick Faldo (@NickFaldo006) March 16, 2022
“When you start as a lad, you go round the world but your number one goal is to make it to the PGA Tour,” he added.
“That is the number one tour, that’s where everybody wants to gravitate to for as long as possible.
“The ironic thing is you can only get on that Saudi tour to be paid loads if you’ve done well on the PGA Tour.
“I won six majors, I was world No.1 for 97 weeks and won 40 tournaments. I haven’t got a clue how much prize money I won because it doesn’t matter.
“You play to compete.”
The planned breakaway venture has been rocked in recent weeks by the commitment of players such as Bryson DeChambeau and Dustin Johnson to the PGA Tour – stars it was previously thought had been giving the switch serious consideration.
It has also been affected by Phil Mickelson’s conduct, with the six-time major winner referring to the Saudi backers as “scary m***********s” and admitting he had used the venture for “leverage” over Monahan.