Pádraig Harrington has defended his sport as new Saudi backed and controversial LIV Tour continues to gather momentum. Brooks Koepka is the latest high profile golfer to join the new competition, that now has over 20 major titles in their ranks.
Three-time major champion Pádraig Harrington has spoken out on the backlash that the sport of golf receives and believes that the new LIV Tour is another thing that is trying to disrupt and damage the image of golf.
The 2021 Ryder Cup captain is currently preparing to take part in the US Senior Open which starts on Thursday before flying back home for the 2022 Irish Open at Mount Juliet.
Speaking to Irishman Abroad podcast with Jarlath Regan, Harrington said:
"I'd worry what the fallout is for golf.
"It's amazing when you're sitting here, watching and listening to all this stuff.
"It's one of those things in life, golf, that you're allowed bash. It's golfers who seem to be getting the grief at the moment - all golfers, all of golf.
"It's the image, they make a joke (about it) - I've seen journalists involved in golf retweeting stuff and, like, it's anti-golf when it's a tiny few golfers who have gone there (to LIV).
"Like, how can you label everybody?"
With many of the golfers who have opted to join the breakaway tour which is fronted by former World Number 1 Greg Norman, is facing backlash from golf fans and media around the world, Harrington revealed that he was happy he had not been invited to join.
"Put it like this, it would be tough in five or six years' time if I'm sitting there feeling like I've left 50 million on the table."
While making an appearance on 'An Irishman Abroad' podcast with Jarlath Regan, Harrington spoke about the backlash that is constantly surrounding golf and referenced the 'golfgate' scandal that happened in Ireland during the pandemic.
Huge thanks to Padraig Harrington. He is back on the #IrishmanAbroad today to talk about the future of #LIVGolf, coaching, burnout, the #RyderCup & more. https://t.co/Q0KSqe49nG & https://t.co/PCaLv9TT4C. #FathersDay #golfpodcast #padraigharrington #irishabroad pic.twitter.com/c4yRqe80z8
— Jarlath Regan (@Jarlath) June 19, 2022
Harrington on LIV Tour and golf
Pádraig Harrington spoke about the controversy surrounding the Oireachtas Golf Society that held an event indoors in a Galway hotel during lockdown.
"I don't want golf and golfers to get a bad rap, a bad image,
"Like we know in Ireland, how about Golfgate? It was a hotel - it happened in a hotel!
"It had a vagueness to do with golf, but let's bash golf.
"Golf has been great for Ireland. The people who play golf...you do need to be rich to play golf: rich in time.
"That's all you need to play golf and yes, there is a bias over the years that the person who had time was thought to be the banker, the stockbroker, that type of person.
"But the reality is if you go to a golf club, it's taxi drivers, it's barmen, it's anybody on shift work.
"It's saved the lives of so many people who work odd hours and have time in the day, to stop them going off the rails their attention is put to golf."
With players like Collin Morikawa, Rory McIlroy, Matt Fitzpatrick and Jon Rahm all confirming their intentions to remain on the PGA Tour due to it's 'legacy', it will be an interesting couple of months ahead to see how the LIV Tour pans out.
You can listen to the full Pádraig Harrington interview here.