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Tony Jacklin twists the knife on Greg Norman: “Losing touch with reality”

Tony Jacklin has launched a scathing attack on LIV Golf’s Greg Norman as he described the controversial series as “a disaster” for the Ryder Cup.

Tony Jacklin has told talkSPORT he fears the Ryder Cup will be reduced to an “exhibition event” as he described LIV Golf’s impact on professional golf as “a nightmare”.

Jacklin, understandably, has strong views on the developing situation in the golf world as a four-time Ryder Cup Europe captain.

Speaking in July, Jacklin, 78, claimed that Henrik Stenson had made a “mockery” of the biennial event after he decided to sign up for the LIV Golf Invitational Series in spite of apparently being warned it would cost him the captaincy in Rome next year.

Now Jacklin believes that the Ryder Cup “is done in the form I knew”. “It was the jewel in the crown of tournaments,” he told the radio station.

“Once you can’t pick the best players available then it’s a compromise and it becomes an exhibition.”

He described the impact of the controversial tour, which has announced it will host 14 global events in 2023-2024 with $405million in prize money being handed out, as a “nightmare.”

“Never the same again,” he said. Jacklin also went as far as claiming LIV Golf is being anti-competitive. It is a central issue in the forthcoming court battle that is scheduled, tentatively, to begin sometime in September 2023.

Jacklin added: “It saddens me big time. You know they tried to eliminate history, golf is separate from other sports — you don’t play well, you get the weekend off every week, you’ve got to compete.

“This sort of mindset that everybody needs to be paid before they start, given first prize before they kick off. It’s insane.”

Jacklin says LIV Golf chief executive, Greg Norman, is also “losing touch with reality”.

Last week Norman fired back at Rory McIlroy after the Northern Irishman twisted the knife on the Australian after winning the RBC Canadian Open earlier in the season.

“And of course, he has had a vendetta with the [PGA] Tour for 20 odd years. And I think he’s just trying to get his own back in some sort of perverse way, I don’t know,” said Jacklin.

“The guys that took the dough, they’re not going to give it back. And you have to remember that all of these guys, before they took the LIV money, are very wealthy individuals.”

“I mean, it’s not like they’re paupers. You know they are making huge money and have been for years. It is, of course, nobody’s business to tell somebody else how much is enough.”

Three LIV Golf players, Talor Gooch, Hudson Swafford and Matt Jones attempted to get into the FedEx Cup Playoffs, which began last week.

They had asked a federal judge to grant them a temporary restraining order against the PGA Tour, allowing them to compete in the $75million postseason.

Judge Beth Labson Freeman denied the request with a scathing line in her judgment: “If LIV Golf is elite golf’s future, what do TRO Plaintiffs [Gooch, Jones and Swafford] care about the dust-collecting trophies of a bygone era?”

Jacklin thinks the early legal victory for the PGA Tour was a good thing, although it was anticipated by some legal experts.

“Some of them are trying to double dip, play both tours, but the guys that didn’t take the money said you have made your bed, you have got to lie in it now,” Jacklin said.

The next LIV Golf event will take place over September 2-4 at The International in Boston.

On the PGA Tour, the next event in the FedEx Cup Playoffs takes place at Wilmington Country Club in Delaware this week for the BMW Championship.

The FedEx Cup field was trimmed from 125 players to 70. The field will be cut again to 30 players the Tour Championship at East Lake.

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