Fri, 29 Sep 2023

Brandel Chamblee decries 'saddest days' in history of golf

Field Level Media
07 Jun 2023, 05:40 GMT+10

Golf Channel analyst and virulent critic of LIV Golf Brandel Chamblee called Tuesday's merger between the renegade circuit and the PGA Tour "one of the saddest days in the history of professional golf."

Chamblee added his belief that the tours - including the DP Tour - "sacrificed their principles for profits."

His comments came hours after the historic and transformational deal struck between golf's governing bodies and Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund.

PIF governor Yasir Al-Rumayyan will be the chairman of the new entity, and PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan will be its CEO. The PGA Tour will appoint a majority of a new board of directors and hold the majority voting interest.

"I was completely shocked," Chamblee said on Golf Channel. "After the shock sort of ebbed away, I was hugely disappointed. I think it is one of the saddest days in the history of professional golf. I do believe that the governing bodies, the professional entities, have sacrificed their principles for profits."

9/11 Families United also released a statement Tuesday afternoon, saying it was "shocked and deeply offended."

"PGA Tour leaders should be ashamed of their hypocrisy and greed," wrote chairwoman Terry Strada. "Our entire 9/11 community has been betrayed by Commissioner Monahan and the PGA as it appears their concern for our loved ones was merely window-dressing in their quest for money - it was never to honor the great game of golf."

9/11 Families United - as well as the PGA Tour before Tuesday - had excoriated LIV Golf for sportswashing human rights abuses.

Fifteen of the 19 hijackers that perpetrated attacks on 9/11 were Saudi citizens and Strada's husband, Tom, was among those killed. In addition, the Saudi government was linked to the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018.

"Now the PGA and Monahan appear to have become just more paid Saudi shills, taking billions of dollars to cleanse the Saudi reputation so that Americans and the world will forget how the Kingdom spent their billions of dollars before 9/11 to fund terrorism, spread their vitriolic hatred of Americans, and finance al Qaeda and the murder of our loved ones," Strada went on to write.

Chamblee zeroed in on how the merger might affect the integrity of the game.

"Will the game of golf still have its integrity? Will it still have this leadership that so many people point at as one of the most inspiring aspects of sport?" he said. "This is about the future of the game of golf, the legacy of the game of golf. This is so much bigger than any of us."

On that mark, Chamblee and Strada appear to be in agreement.

"Make no mistake - we will never forget," Strada ended her statement.

--Field Level Media

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