Money talks for LIV Golf Series, but Nadal’s name will be shouted forever

There isn’t a single kid alive praying they’ll grow up to be just like Adrian Otaegui, Andy Ogletree or Hennie du Plessis.

Nor, dare I say, might anyone harbour ambitions to climb on the shoulders of giants like Ian Snyman, Laurie Canter, Oliver Bekker and Itthipat Buranatanyarat. And I’ll bet you couldn’t tell me the career highlights of Turk Pettit?

Nevertheless, these eight indivivuals will go down in history, as they represent one-sixth of the battalion doing the honest work in self-proclaimed mission to modernise and supercharge the game of professional golf through expanded opportunities for both players and fans alike.

The LIV Golf business model has some reasonable rigour to its design, which is non-reliant on out-and-out Nevilles. That said, it’s a money pit, where any return on investment could be decades away if the concept survives and doesn’t flame out.

Pay a few anchor drawcards, such as Dustin Johnson and Phil Mickelson, wicked retainers of $140 million and double that respectively, to weld themselves to the Saudi caravan of courage and people’s curiosity will inevitably follow. Right? Well, yeah, maybe.

Tiger Woods, it is reported, to sign on. Which itself demonstrates just how out of control the Saudis are with their seemingly limitless riches.

Woods is the greatest golfer to ever live, but he’s also borderline crippled. To put it into perspective, the LIV bagmen offered the equivalent of the total prizemoney available on the PGA Tour this season as an appearance fee for on four consecutive days.

Yes, Woods defecting would have constituted a destructive blow to the PGA Tour and golf’s establishment. Is that what Greg Norman and those who he dances to the tune of actually want? Quite why someone would be interested in watching the YouTube or Facebook livestream of LIV’s first tournament is beyond me. It has as much to do with actual golf as the Lingerie Football League as with gridiron.

Watching Martin Kaymer, Ian Poulter, Sergio Garcia and Graeme McDowell duke it out will not approach anything resembling a pure sporting spectacle.

Sure, all have won majors except for Poulter and yes, there’s been no greater talisman for the European Ryder Cup team than the Englishman, provided you leave Seve Ballesteros out of the equation.

But Kaymer has played dreadfully for years now. was a droll performance and fabulous accident all at once.

Garcia’s will only ever be matched by his bad manners. If go as well, good riddance

Are any of them the magnets LIV sorely needs if it’s to make good on its mission statement? No. Nor Mickelson and Johnson.

That LIV Golf, as a concept, has morphed from modernising and supercharging into a golden parachute platoon for the not-quite-immortal 40-somethings, is one thing. It’s nigh on impossible, though, to think that any of this will ever matter in anything aside from a money sense.

People are going to get really bored, really quick, if all that’s supercharged is the bank accounts of some competitors. And the confected, little league teams concept is unadulterated junk, viewed through whatever prism.

You have to ask whether the decisions made by Lee Westwood, Mickelson and Kaymer to take the money and join the revolution says more about their private reckoning with their dissipating abilities than it does about anything revolutionary.

If Mickelson has been plied with a $200 million retainer, good luck to him.

Same goes for Kaymer and Westwood, even if they’ve been secured just one-tenth of that amount. Each is a professional athlete; they do this for the money. Blame them at your peril, they’re not trained monkeys.

Nobody should for a second begrudge them navigating the rivers of gold. Not in circumstances where each of them surely must realise that their respective chances of continuing to compete week-in, week-out with Jon Rahm, have an ever-shortening half-life.

Not a single player will make anything other than money. And that’s not to criticise LIV from the perspective of citing the . The PGA Tour hardly eschews any interaction with China.

What a juxtaposition, then, is offered by Rafael Nadal’s improbable (and that’s no typo) . Indeed, what a blinding contrast. Because it mattered.

Sure, Rafa had won at Roland Garros a mere 13 times since 2005. And sure, he was playing with a left foot defect so chronic, and so needled-up, that if you took to his ankle with a buzzsaw he wouldn’t have felt it. And sure, nobody, ever, had won the French Open aged 36 (nor 35, for that matter).

Nadal’s was ferocious, incomprehensible and glorious. In cradling The Musketeers’ Cup yet again, Nadal won as many French Opens as Pete Sampras had won major titles, in a career that was the standard-bearer when he retired two decades ago.

If you were to aggregate the career records of Andre Agassi and John McEnroe, they won just one more grand slam than Nadal has won French Opens.

If you’ve not figured it out, I adore Rafael Nadal. What he’s defies any predictions for the final chapter of his career. Nadal is a remarkable athlete, who continues to leave a legacy which is uncharted.

By contrast, the only mark which the LIV International Series is destined to make is a gaping hole in the stratosphere, burned through by the billions thrown at this venture for no identifiable, sensible business purpose.

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