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Add Ernie Els to the list of players unhappy with some of his fellow pros for jumping ship to LIV Golf.

Specifically, the four-time major champion is unhappy with his fellow South Africans who have joined the Saudi-funded league.

The Stinger GC side is captained by Louis Oosthuizen and comprises former Masters champion Charl Schwartzel, as well as Dean Burmester and Branden Grace.

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Speaking to the Palm Beach Post, Els revealed how those players’ decision to align with the Greg Norman-fronted organisation had changed his relationship with them.

“I was disappointed they never asked me my opinion,” he said. “I had them in the foundation (in South Africa), looked after them as youngsters. They flew with me, they stayed at my house. Kind of nurtured them to get onto the PGA Tour.

“It just was done in a way I didn’t like.”

Els added that, whilst he still plays occasionally with Grace, he no longer sees Schwartzel and is not in touch with Oosthuizen.

“They have gone about it the wrong way,” he added. “They’ve really up-ended a lot of good the game stands for. The whole thing just doesn’t sit right.”

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The former world No.1 also rejected the idea of LIV Golf getting world ranking points, saying there’s “no way” that can happen.

“How in the hell can you give that any serious consideration?” he said. “It’s not a strokeplay event. You’re playing a team event with 48 players. There is no way they can get ranking points.”

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Michael McEwan is the Deputy Editor of bunkered and has been part of the team since 2004. In that time, he has interviewed almost every major figure within the sport, from Jack Nicklaus, to Rory McIlroy, to Donald Trump. The host of the multi award-winning bunkered Podcast and a member of Balfron Golfing Society, Michael is the author of three books and is the 2023 PPA Scotland 'Writer of the Year' and 'Columnist of the Year'. Dislikes white belts, yellow balls and iron headcovers. Likes being drawn out of the media ballot to play Augusta National.

Deputy Editor

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