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Justin Rose has revealed that concerns over world ranking points convinced him against joining the LIV Golf League.
Speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live, the Englishman – fresh from ending a four-year title drought on the PGA Tour – revealed that he “heard the pitch” from Greg Norman’s Saudi-funded enterprise and had considered it.
Ultimately, however, he decided to resist.
“There’s been moments where it all sounds pretty good on paper,” said Rose, who won the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am on Monday. “But there was never a moment in time where all the top players could get behind it because there were too many unanswered questions around, specifically, world ranking points. That was probably the major hurdle that I faced.
“I couldn’t get away from wanting to play major championship golf. I don’t have exemptions down the line four or five years into the majors so my only way in is by maintaining a good world ranking. That became a bit of a non-negotiable from my point of view.
“I was a kid at home as a 10 or 11-year-old trying to knock in putts to win major championships and I felt like I still needed to honour that.”
Rose’ latest win has catapulted him into frame for what would be a sixth Ryder Cup appearance later this year. He rejected the idea that the event’s stature would be diminished if LIV golfers aren’t permitted to play.
“There’s so much strength and depth out there that I don’t think it will be devalued,” he said. “Listen, people like watching Dustin Johnson play golf, people like watching Bryson DeChambeau and Brooks Koepka play golf, and, you know, Sergio and Poulter. They bring a lot of passion. But it’s just the way it is.
“You’ve got the powers that be, the traditional people, that still have control of the game of golf, and you have an upstart league which is trying to bring in a fresh idea and a rival product. Can n both fit together in this scenario? Well, there’s a big hearing so I guess we’ll have to wait and see.”
Rose also said that his relationships with the likes of Henrik Stenson and Ian Poulter have not been impacted by their decision to join LIV.
“Everyone can make their own decision,” he added. “I do not think badly of them for doing that. They’re still my mates. But you know there’s going to be consequences to that decision and obviously the rulings will determine whether that’s good or bad for them, so we shall see. I think one good thing is that this decision will be made early enough where, whatever the outcome is, I think there’s time for everything to kind of balance out and for relationships to maybe heal or for guys to get over it one way or another.”
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