Padraig Harrington was one of Ryan Tubridy's guests on The Late Late Show on Friday night, and had some intriguing comments in defence of those who have defected to the LIV Golf Series.
The three-time Major winner appeared on Friday night's show and, after giving the departing Late Late host a generous gift on arrival, he said that "friends" who had moved to LIV remained friends, despite leaving the PGA Tour behind.
Harrington also confirmed that he had turned down an informal approach to join the tour, saying he did not want to deal with the "temptation" of the huge sums of money on offer.
Padraig Harrington: Late Late Show appearance includes LIV Golf discussion
Ryan Tubridy will depart his role as host of The Late Late Show at the end of May, with speculation rife about who will replace him after his 14-year spell in the hotseat.
Padraig Harrington was one of Tubridy's guests on Friday night and, as a parting gift, presented the host with a set of golf clubs. When Tubridy revealed he had never played golf in his life, Harrington said, "this is a start!" in a wholesome moment between the pair.
"If I can get you to play golf when you retire, I can get anyone to play golf"
Lovely gesture from Padraig Harrington on the Late Late last night!pic.twitter.com/PsyKfkNZY7
— Balls.ie (@ballsdotie) April 22, 2023
The discussion between Tubridy and Harrington, understandably, eventually pivoted to the subject of the contentious LIV Golf Series.
The breakaway series has been the subject of much debate in the golfing world since its inaugural season got underway little under a year ago, and Padraig Harrington revealed that he had indeed been asked to join the series.
Harrington told Tubridy that he was not interested in the "temptation" that came with the huge sums of money on offer on the tour, with even those at the bottom of the standings guaranteed huge payouts from the series' events.
He did reveal, however, that he had not fallen out with any friends who had chosen to move to the tour. He also gave an intriguing take on the morality of the tour associating itself with Saudi Arabia, given the country's questionable human rights record:
I got a text message but I didn't want the temptation. If somebody comes around and offers you a hundred million, five hundred million, that's a lot of temptation. It's a lot of temptation and I didn't want it. Sometimes you just don't need it.
I'm not going but I've lots of friends who go and they're still my friends. I can see why people would go and I can see the good of it in terms of inclusion if things change.
Some of the guys have gone for free, but there's a lot of prize money. Whether they should go or not is up to the individuals - some of the guys who've gone wouldn't have been in good financial situations.
I wouldn't want to live in Saudi Arabia as it is now, but I do believe inclusion changes things. The more international inclusion of Saudi Arabia, the more the people will go, 'you know what - we want to change things.' It's not that long ago here we used to put pregnant women in mother and baby homes. 1996 was when the last of them closed so we're not that far away from it.
Despite the contention around the LIV Golf Series, Padraig Harrington argued that it had had a positive knock-on effect on the PGA Tour. He argued that the competition from LIV had improved the PGA Tour, and pointed to the increased interest in this year's Masters at Augusta as an example of the positive effect of LIV:
I also see that the competition for the PGA Tour has turned out to be very good. Everybody tuned in to the Masters to the LIV and PGA players.