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Tony Jacklin Reflects on His Profession and on LIV Golf

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The members of the DP World Tour, whose next event kicks off on Thursday on the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship on Yas Links within the United Arab Emirates, owe an amazing deal to the European players who helped make the tour what it’s today.

That features Tony Jacklin, the winner of the 1969 British Open, the 1970 United States Open and eight tournaments on the European Tour, now the DP World Tour.

Jacklin, from England, also played an enormous role within the Ryder Cup. A four-time captain from 1983 to 1989, he led Team Europe to 2 victories, including the primary over the Americans since 1957.

Jacklin, 78, reflected recently on his profession, on the controversy over the Saudi-financed LIV Golf tour that guarantees entrants six-figure payouts and the sport that has meant a lot to him.

The next conversation has been edited and condensed.

While you won your two majors, what did that fame feel like?

A Guide to the LIV Golf Series

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A recent series. The debut of the brand new Saudi-financed LIV Golf series has resurfaced longstanding questions on athletes’ moral obligations and their desire to compete and earn money. Here’s what to know:

What’s LIV Golf? The series is an upstart skilled golf circuit bankrolled by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund. Its organizers hope to position it as a player-power-focused alternative to the PGA Tour, which has been the best level of professional golf for nearly a century.

Why is the brand new series controversial? The event has created sparks inside golf for upending the traditions and strictures of how the sport is played. It has also develop into a lightning rod for human rights campaigners who accuse Saudi Arabia of using sports to launder its status.

What’s attracting the players? The LIV Golf events are the richest tournaments in golf history. The primary tournament’s total purse was $25 million, and the winner’s share was $4 million. The last-place finisher at each event was guaranteed $120,000. That’s on top of the looks fees and nine-figure signing-on payouts some players have accepted.

I used to be achieving my goals, and it was a satisfying feeling, obviously, to be respected by my peers and by most of the people wherever I went. I felt like I earned that in that period.

Any downside to the celebrity?

Yeah. For instance, in England, I couldn’t go into pubs. If you happen to went anywhere where alcohol was sold, I used to be at all times aware that [people] could come up and say something negative and spoil things. I kept myself very much to myself. I wasn’t a celebration animal ever. I noticed as I went along, that’s it’s a give and it’s a take. You couldn’t do the things if you’re famous that you would have done if you weren’t.

Did one Open mean greater than the opposite?

[The British Open] was the one which I wanted probably the most. Having achieved that and to have the ability to realize the U.S. Open, it was like I owned the world. There was no substitute for that feeling. Putting your head on the pillow on those given evenings and knowing that you simply beat everybody who turned up, it’s an immeasurable memory.

Let’s say it’s 1970, 1971 after your two major wins. If someone had given you the form of money that LIV offers, would you might have listened?

I’d have probably listened, but I had every part I wanted in 1971. I used to be happily married. I had began a family. I had a Rolls-Royce. I had nice houses. I never made money the foremost criteria. I just desired to be one of the best player on the earth. I used to be smart enough to know that cash would follow if I achieved that.

How do you are feeling in regards to the players who’ve joined LIV?

I feel everyone has got to do what they think is true for them. It’s not my job to inform someone how much is enough. In regards to the only thing I’d ever look back on and have, if I’d had all the cash on the earth, is a non-public plane to take me where I desired to go.

Do you continue to hit golf balls?

I haven’t touched a golf club for six months. While you lose your flexibility, it’s no fun. Golf, it’s a battle, a disappointment as of late. My body won’t do what I would like it to do.

Do you think that you’ll ever play again?

I would. We do that [event during the Insperity Invitational] in Texas called the 3M Greats of Golf, and if I get the decision to arms, because it were, I shall hit just a few balls a few weeks before. If that doesn’t occur, it doesn’t worry me.

You’ve hit enough balls in your lifetime, haven’t you?

I definitely have and it’s been great.

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