Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner. Facebook Messenger An icon of the facebook messenger app logo. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Facebook Messenger An icon of the Twitter app logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. WhatsApp Messenger An icon of the Whatsapp messenger app logo. Email An icon of an mail envelope. Copy link A decentered black square over a white square.

TEE TO GREEN, STEVE SCOTT: Henrik Stenson deal shows LIV are literally throwing money away

Henrik Stenson, in happier Ryder Cup days in Paris in 2018.
Henrik Stenson, in happier Ryder Cup days in Paris in 2018.

There has been some petty stuff going on in golf’s civil wars between the established tours and the Saudi-financed LIV Golf. Last week hit a new low.

Despite some reactions, the recruitment of Henrik Stenson, the European Ryder Cup captain, to the LIV cause is not really a hammer blow to that event, nor to the DP World Tour.

It’s irritating and annoying, but we’re still 15 months out from Rome and there’s plenty time to get a new man in place.

Anger of the past captains

The primary annoyance is for the three men – immediate past captains Darren Clarke, Thomas Bjorn and Padraig Harrington – who picked Stenson, in good faith that he was going to ignore LIV’s platitudes.

They knew in the selection process that the Swede, due to previous financial misadventures, was low-hanging fruit for LIV. So they got the necessary verbal and written assurances that he wouldn’t jump ship.

The judgement of the three captains is now being called into question, and they’re unsurprisingly not at all happy.

Stenson’s statement that he thought both the captaincy and him playing LIV were possible is, at best, utterly disingenuous. He knew the consequences.

The Swede has clearly got a better deal than LIV were offering at the start of the year, some reckon as much as $10 million more.

Given that Stenson’s recent form – nor indeed his star quality – does not remotely warrant the rumoured $30m he was originally offered, LIV have basically paid an extra $10m to thumb their nose at the DP World Tour.

And for how long? The additional players named for LIV’s event in New Jersey this week are Charles Howell III and Jason Kokrak. Be still our beating hearts.

To be fair, there is likely to be a rush of a better quality of player after the PGA Tour playoffs.  Open champion Cam Smith and Hideki Matsuyama are frequently mentioned.

In a spectacular show of having cake and eating it, some players are definitely staying in for a chance at the FedEx Cup millions before they take the Saudi ones.

Squeezed out?

If these guys do jump, though, what’s in it for the likes of Stenson (ranked 173rd in the world), or Howell (169th)?

The money up front, for sure, but the more players who join up, the more likely they are to be squeezed out of the 48-strong fields, which will not change at least until the end of next year (we’re assured).

It makes you think that surely even the Saudis will balk at this humungous outlay just to make such petty points.

Mind you, when you read about some of their other ‘investments’, including a weird science-fictiony plan to turn the Arabian desert into a leisure playground, it’s clear they ARE in the business of simply throwing money away.

By the way, neither do I think that the absence of Sergio Garcia, Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter, Paul Casey and other ex-Team Europe LIV recruits is really that dreadful for Rome.

It’s only 10 months since we were sadly and tearfully waving them goodbye after Whistling Straits confirmed a changing of the guard was long overdue. LIV’s just made that decision a little more clearcut.

The new captain?

On one hand I agree with Paul Lawrie, who thinks the process should revert to the three losing candidates in the initial selection.

That would certainly seem fair. However, only Lawrie – a Tour board member – of those three candidates is a sure-fire certainty NOT to take a further counter offer from LIV.

The other contender who would certainly reject LIV is Thomas Bjorn. Which is probably why he’s being touted as a compromise stop-gap.

I’d have no problem with either. Certainly this qualifies as a special set of circumstances which may require a different approach.

Another opportunity at Fairmont

It’s fair to say 2022 hasn’t seen the further advance of Scottish pro golfers that we’d hoped.

After the wins in 2021, there was an increase to 12 players on the DP World Tour. We also hoped that Robert MacIntyre would make the jump to the PGA Tour and establish himself as a top 50 player.

It hasn’t worked out that way – yet. But maybe Richie Ramsay’s victory in a Cazoo Classic at Hillside is a harbinger.

Ramsay’s maybe a bit of an outlier anyway. Older than the new breed, Hillside was actually Richie’s fourth win on tour. That’s now as many as Stevie Gallacher or Marc Warren. He’s never been a long hitter, and it seems nothing’s ever come easy for him.

He’s ground out a decent career exactly the way he grinds out a round. That painstaking four on the last at Hillside was almost a microcosm of Richie.

Deep (some might say ‘over’) thinking, but pure grit and determination despite his athletic limitations. No wonder he had such a emotional reaction at the end.

Redemption for Belfry loss

I was at the British Masters at the Belfry in May when a similar situation went against Richie. He fronted up and spoke well afterwards despite the crushing disappointment. It would take the hardest of hearts not to have been rooting for him on Sunday.

There’s scope for another Scottish winner at the Hero Open at Fairmont St Andrews this weekend. Grant Forrest, third on Sunday, is defending. David Law played well here last year, Connor Syme knows the track well.

Sadly Calum Hill isn’t quite ready to return from the serious injury he suffered at the beginning of the year.

Runner-up here 12 months ago, it’s been a frustrating 2022 for the Perthshire player. A sizeable portion of his exemption for winning last year has seen him not even compete.

Hopefully he can make his comeback before the end of the year.