Graeme McDowell was the last golfer to win a major championship before the 2010 JP McManus Pro-Am. Twelve years later, he showed up this week at Adare Manor as one of the controversial faces of the new LIV golf series, which is backed by Saudi Arabia.
McDowell told Gazi Aman of Sportpaedia after his first round of 71 that he still felt like he had support out on the course, even though he had said he wasn’t sure how the crowd would react. McDowell’s score was 71.
The 42-year-old player said, “I’m here, but I don’t feel as happy and welcome as I did maybe 12 years ago. When I came here, I had just won the US Open.” “I’m here, but I don’t feel as welcome and happy as I did maybe 12 years ago.”
“Even though I’m here under a bit more bad circumstances than usual, I felt like it was a great time to celebrate at the moment. This is about how I feel about golf as a sport around the world right now, and it makes me sad.
“Irish people love golf, and their golfers are a huge source of pride for their country. I thought they were still proud of me when I went out there this morning.”
The winner of the 2010 United States Open thinks that this week is a time to celebrate golf and get away from all the bad things that have been said about it.
After that, he said, “There’s no attention on LIV, and there’s no attention on the bad things that are going on in golf.”
“These two days are a celebration of golf and a family that is very important to the people of Limerick and, of course, the whole island of Ireland.”
The man who used to be number four in the world says that the attention from the media and the hate on social media has not been easy for him or his family.
“Do you think that when my family sees me on the front page of the Belfast Telegraph, it makes them happy? You already know how to answer that. If you remember right, it was because of the guy from Amnesty International.
“I didn’t say anything back to what he said, and I don’t know what Amnesty International wants me to say. I’m not some kind of peacemaker. I’m just a professional golfer who does his job as well as he can.”
McDowell says he knows about some of the problems with human rights in Saudi Arabia and adds that the DP World Tour “brings these people to the table.”
“I won their tournament in the year 2020. When that $1 million came into my bank account, no one told me to “go die” on my Twitter account that week, which is surprising since this is a big threat to my business.
“I haven’t given much thought to the moral and ethical principles that are behind the dollar bills I’ve made during my career.”
McDowell says he knows he will be fined by the PGA Tour and the DP World Tour, but he thinks the LIV Golf Series can run alongside other tournaments.
McDowell also said that the tournament was put together by JP McManus, who was in charge of getting some of the best players in the game together. McDowell said that he was hopeful that the competition could help mend some of the broken relationships.
“JP McManus helped bring together five different tours and a number of the most important people in golf.
Someone said, “This might be the last time these people get together for a while. Let’s hope they can all sit down over a pint of Guinness tonight and maybe try to work things out a little bit.” “Let’s hope they can all have a pint of Guinness together.”