Majed Al Sorour has insisted the Saudi Golf Federation will create their own Majors should LIV Golf players be denied entry
If you're unfamiliar with the name Maied Al Sorour, then he is a golf-mad 12-handicapper. He is also the CEO of Saudi Golf Federation, Golf Saudi and Director of Newcastle United FC. This week his name popped up in a lengthy and brilliant piece in the New Yorker.
The most eye-catching and telling line came near the end when he was asked about the lack of world-ranking points in LIV events and the subsequent missing of the majors for those who will no longer be exempt.
This is generally regarded as the biggest downside of switching tours as, while the week-in, week-out tournaments are probably not seen as much of a miss, there are still four big weeks of the year and those are the ones where even someone as casual as Dustin Johnson will likely measure his career when he's all done.
Or, there might be a way round it, LIV style.
"For now, the Majors are siding with the Tour, and I don’t know why," Sorour told the New Yorker. "If the majors decide not to have our players play? I will celebrate. I will create my own majors for my players. Honestly, I think all the Tours are being run by guys who don’t understand business.”
Then, in a statement on Twitter, Sorour backtracked somewhat, saying that he had been misrepresented.
“I had a casual conversation with a New Yorker reporter at LIV’s Boston event a few weeks ago, during which I expressed my frustration at the unfortunate blackballing of LIV Golf players by the PGA Tour,” Sorour said. “When it comes to the majors, tournaments that stand alone and are independent of LIV, I have the utmost respect for the majors. The Majors are about history, heritage, true competition and honour.
“The story wrongfully expressed and misrepresented my views. The majors are indeed the best platform where LIV golfers and other tour golfers can compete, despite the PGA Tour’s suspension of our players. As a LIV Golf board member and managing director, I am here to accomplish our LIV Golf investment chairman and the board’s strategic direction by building a team, growing the game and defending player rights. That is my only interest.’’
As things stand the LIV exiles are free to play in the majors. To repeat the majors are all run by different bodies and, this far, they all stand as one in allowing the LIV players to play. But April is still some distance away and with things changing on a weekly basis, it wouldn't take a huge leap of faith to imagine the majors without the LIV players.
According to a lawsuit filed by 11 former PGA Tour players Augusta threatened to uninvite the LIV players from the 2023 Masters if they left the PGA Tour.
"Augusta National, the promoter of The Masters, has taken multiple actions to indicate its alignment with the PGA Tour, thus seeding doubt among top professional golfers whether they would be banned from future Masters Tournaments," reads the lawsuit. "As an initial matter, the links between the PGA Tour and Augusta National run deep. The actions by Augusta National indicate that the PGA Tour has used these channels to pressure Augusta National to do its bidding."
Open champion Cam Smith seems like a Masters champion in waiting and he is concerned about the possibility of not making the drive down Magnolia Lane.
“I hope [I can play],” Smith said. “Obviously, I can't speak for them [Augusta]. I'm hopeful that I'll be able to get back there. It's a place I love, and I've got a pretty good record around there, too. So it would be pretty heartbreaking if I couldn't get back there.”