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Brandel Chamblee believes a number of leading stars failed to support Rory McIlroy in the PGA Tour’s feud with LIV Golf.

At one stage, McIlroy was LIV’s most vocal opponent, railing against the threat of Greg Norman’s Saudi-backed circuit to golf’s establishment.

But the Northern Irishman’s stance has evolved ever since a shock peace agreement between the warring factions last summer left him feeling like a “sacrificial lamb.”

He has since resigned from the PGA Tour’s policy board and has implored those in the corridors of power to expedite a deal that can unify the elite male game once more.

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Chamblee, a vehement critic of LIV’s surge into golf, has claimed that McIlroy was not backed by other key voices on the PGA Tour, name-checking Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Scottie Scheffler and Xander Schauffele.

“I felt like Rory didn’t get the support that he needed,” the Golf Channel analyst told Golfweek.

“I wouldn’t go so far as to say that players were selfish. But I felt like Rory was out there and was a force against the source of the money for LIV, and he was a formidable source for the PGA Tour, and he didn’t get the support from any of the players.

“I didn’t hear Jordan Spieth being vocal in support of him. I didn’t hear Justin Thomas. I didn’t hear Scottie Scheffler. I didn’t hear Xander Schauffele. I didn’t hear any of them as forcefully as Rory was speaking out on the issue.

“It was like he was taking most of the heat if not all of the heat, and I think after a while, I don’t know it to be the case, I haven’t talked to Rory, but I think after a while, it was listen, I’ve done everything I can do and I’m not getting any support, so I’m going to bow out. Why is it up to me to fight this whole battle myself?

“I would have loved to see more players come out and speak on behalf of the PGA Tour or just the traditions of the game and the foundation of the game and talk about how where the game has gone over the last couple years has been bad for professional golf. It’s been great for them from a financial standpoint, but they’re alienating the biggest stakeholder in the game of golf, which is the core fan.”

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Chamblee, meanwhile, also took aim again at the LIV product when asked if he was concerned that more PGA Tour players could follow in Jon Rahm’s footsteps and join the fledgling series.

“The fields suck,” he said. “They’re small fields. People want to make it out like Joaquin Niemann is a great player. Did you miss the part where he played for 3-4 years and never had a top-10 in a major championship? Yeah, he was a good player, he was on his way, maybe he was going to be a great player but what is he forced to do because he went to LIV?

“He’s forced to go play wherever he can to get world ranking points. Give him credit, he’s willing to do all that but in the meantime he’s whining that he doesn’t get world ranking points knowing full well he joined a tour that didn’t qualify for world ranking points.

“All these guys that go to LIV, it’s amazing, take the money and shut up. Why are you whining? You all knew the consequences of your actions, all of you. You all knew you were playing a tour with no ranking points for very explicit and defined reasons. Shut up! Take the money and by the way, don’t think that you’re a top-10 player in the world because you beat 12 guys. That’s who you’re beating.

“HE (His Excellency) was their player of the year. If Talor Gooch is your player of the year that should have an asterisk. Talor Gooch? I’m not saying that he’s not a good player but have you looked at his major record? There are no yellow marks if you look up his major record. Same with Niemann.”


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Ben Parsons joined bunkered as a Content Producer in 2023 and is the man to come to for all of the latest news, across both the professional and amateur games. Formerly of The Mirror and Press Association, he is a member at Halifax Golf Club and is a long-suffering fan of both Manchester United and the Wales rugby team.

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