Martin Kaymer wants golf tours to find 'solution' after LIV Golf Invitational series backlash
Two-time major winner Martin Kaymer hopes the PGA Tour, DP World Tour and LIV series can "sit down at the table and find a solution that is good for everybody and not bad for everybody", after the DP World Tour announced a ban and fine for its breakaway members
Last Updated: 24/06/22 7:29pm
Martin Kaymer has urged golf's leading bodies to come together to find a "solution" after the backlash to the launch of the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Invitational series.
A number of golf's top players, including former world No 1 Brooks Koepka, Phil Mickelson and Bryson Dechambeau, have signed up for the breakaway LIV series.
The PGA Tour banned all its members who competed at the opening LIV event earlier this month, and the DP World Tour has now acted by announcing that LIV players will be banned from future tournaments, including the Scottish Open in July.
Those who competed at the first LIV event at Centurion Club, including Kaymer, will also be fined £100,000.
"The fine is a lot of money, this is one thing, but I would be happy paying it, but I love to play golf," Kaymer told Sky Sports.
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"That's my job and what I love to do. They made the decision, is it right or wrong? I am happy to pay it, but I would love to play in Scotland, it's one of the biggest tournaments on the European Tour.
"Unfortunately there are so many spots given to the PGA Tour that some of the guys that love to play in Scotland, especially Scottish players, are not getting in. I would love to play, I have won it before, but that's the decision made and we need to live with it.
"I made my choice and I can live with anything that comes my way. I am happy to play golf anywhere in the world, I'm happy to support any tour because I believe in all the tours in different ways.
"If it comes down to this that we are not allowed to play any tournaments then it is what it is."
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The creation of the LIV series has caused controversy as several high-profile players have opted to sign up despite concerns over Saudi Arabia's human rights record.
The DP World Tour has confirmed that participation in further conflicting tournaments without the required release "may incur further sanctions" for players.
Former Scottish Open champion Kaymer says all the tours should be "working together for the big picture" and hopes the split doesn't "affect the Ryder Cup too much".
"Because that has a lot to do with emotions not only with players, but the tour and sponsors. Hopefully, everybody can sit down at the table and find a solution that is good for everybody and not bad for everybody.
"What I have heard is there were offers on the table to sit down and talk about the future and make a plan together. Who am I judge to what happened in those rooms? I just heard the ins and outs and things that were apparently being done and I find it very difficult to believe you can't find a solution together and there is no reason why you should be against each other.
"There is no tour that owns golf, we should be all working together for the big picture."
The LIV schedule will include 10 events next year followed by 14 events in 2024 and again in 2025.
Asked whether he can see why the PGA Tour and DP World Tour see issue with players signing up for LIV, Kaymer said: "I don't understand why it would be damaging, it's not like we would resign from the other tours.
"The pressure that comes from different tours, I am not saying LIV is the best out there, but the main thing is nobody is against each other but somehow it comes across like LIV is taking over and is against the PGA Tour and European Tour. I never heard that from anyone from LIV.
"You need to talk to each other and make a plan together."
'A measured response'
Analysis from Sky Sports Golf expert Paul McGinley:
"Something had to be done. I think there was a measured response from the European Tour in this regard. They've been very careful in what they've done and how they've gone about it. It's taken time to reach this stage unfortunately.
"The sanctions are proportionate to what's happened. The players have played one event and it's obviously a clear breach of our regulations. We're dealing with that situation one step at a time. If there's a second tournament we may well look at something else and a third tournament we may well look at something else. I think this is a step-by-step process and we don't want to jump too far ahead in anything we do.
"It is telephone numbers that's being put on the table for these players. I can see why a lot of players see the value in taking tens of millions and in some case hundreds of millions off the table to join this tour. But they have to protect the business of the European tour and they have to protect also the players who have stayed with the European tour, who have not gone and joined the LIV tour.
"We feel that £100,000 is a significant amount of money and we feel this is proportionate for the clear breach that has happened.
"There's a clear line in the sand here, that line is becoming clearer and clearer and it's really sad that it's come to that where players are having to make a choice what side of the fence they're going to be on.
"It is a big, big decision that the tour and [Europe's captain] Henrik Stenson and everyone involved in the Ryder Cup is going to have to make."
The R&A has announced golfers playing in the LIV series will be allowed to compete at next month's 150th Open.
The decision to allow those already qualified or exempt means high-profile players Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau and Phil Mickelson - a former Open champion - will be able to play in the final major of the year at St Andrews.
The R&A's decision echoes the USGA, who last month allowed qualified LIV golfers to compete at last week's US Open at Brookline.
Martin Slumbers, chief executive of The R&A, said: "The Open is golf's original championship and since it was first played in 1860, openness has been fundamental to its ethos and unique appeal.
"Players who are exempt or have earned a place through qualifying for The 150th Open in accordance with the entry terms and conditions will be able to compete in the Championship at St Andrews. We are focused on staging a world-class championship in July and celebrating this truly historic occasion for golf.
"We will invest the proceeds of The Open, as we always do, for the benefit of golf which reflects our purpose to ensure that the sport is thriving 50 years from now."
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