Tony Jacklin on fears Ryder Cup legacy 'is done' and how LIV has left 'golf in a big mess'
Ryder Cup Europe are to announce a new captain "in due course", following Henrik Stenson being stripped from the role after joining LIV Golf; Four-time Ryder Cup captain Jacklin says "anybody that loves golf should be concerned" over the current divide within the game
Last Updated: 21/07/22 7:08pm
Former major champion Tony Jacklin believes golf is in a "mess" and fears the Ryder Cup legacy is under threat if LIV Golf players are prevented from featuring in the biennial contest.
Henrik Stenson was removed as Europe's next captain after confirming he would be joining the Saudi-backed circuit earlier this week, following on from several of his former Ryder Cup team-mates.
Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter, Sergio Garcia and Martin Kaymer are among the European stalwarts already on the breakaway tour, putting their Ryder Cup futures in jeopardy, while USA captain Zach Johnson has already confirmed that any LIV players will be ineligible to feature on his team in Rome.
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"The Ryder Cup legacy right now, as it sits, is done," Jacklin told Sky Sports. "We're not going to have a Ryder Cup and we're not going to have a Presidents Cup as we've come to know them - it's a mess.
"If players are getting banned and all of a sudden you've got 10 guys you can't pick, maybe more - who you going to end up with? It's not the best of America against the best of Europe, it just becomes any exhibition.
"Everybody's sort of thinking that the Ryder Cup brand is bigger than anything and that it's the crown jewel of our game, but how can it be that when you don't have their best representation?
"They [Ryder Cup Europe] are soldering on as if all is going to be fine and John Wayne is going to ride in with the cavalry at the end and save everything. Right now, from where I'm sitting, I don't see that."
The LIV Golf series consists of 54-hole, no-cut events offering huge prize purses, with guaranteed pay-outs regardless of finishing position and a team competition running alongside the individual contest.
"You can't replicate these [Ryder Cup] experiences and to say you can replicate that by putting four guys together for a week is a bit crazy, I'm not buying into that," Jacklin added. "I'm sad that the Ryder Cup will not be the same again unless some last-minute negotiations change things, and I can't see that happening.
"It will be a tournament, but it won't be what it has become. What made it was that it was pure, it was truth - you can't fake it. You can't fake what Poulter did a number of times when everything was on the line. You can't fake that Medinah moment, when Jose Maria Olazabal won a year after Seve Ballesteros' death. You can have a tournament, but this thing is messed up big time.
"It [LIV Golf] is an exhibition series, it's not proper golf. In golf tournaments we have cuts, that separates golf from other sports - if you play badly, you leave town early and get weekends off. Historically that's what it's about and people like to see that kind of competition."
Stenson will join Paul Casey, Jason Kokrak and Charles Howell III as debutants in the field for the next LIV event, taking place in New Jersey from July 29-31, with further PGA Tour players - including former Masters champions Hideki Matsuyama, Adam Scott and Bubba Watson - among those linked to the rival tour.
"If Greg Norman's idea was to screw things up for the PGA Tour, then he's done it pretty good," Jacklin said. "The PGA Tour has said that if it's money contest, they can't compete and they can't just dig another hole and a billion dollars pop up.
"It's a complicated mess, but ultimately, they need to get around the table as quickly as possible and sort this job out. I'm not sure if everything can be amicable anymore, that's my biggest problem. There's huge concern everywhere and anybody that loves golf should be concerned. I don't think anybody at this point in time knows what the outcome is."