Why Carrie Webb thinks the LIV Tour will be a mixed bag for Australian golf

The LIV Tour – the most controversial traveling circus in sporting history – will soon be on Australian shores, but will it be good for Australian golf?

The Saudi-backed breakaway golf league will descend on Adelaide in April for the third event of the inaugural LIV Golf League, where 48 of the world’s best players will battle it out for a staggering $20 million prize.

LIV, in which Australian legend Greg Norman serves as CEO, has ignited heated controversy since its launch. Australian golf legend Carrie Webb has been divided over whether she will be good for the sport in this country.

“I think it would be nice to have golf in Australia in April when it isn’t, and that puts golf in the headlines,” Webb told ABC Grandstand.

“Once the summer of golf is over here, the only headlines are whether the Aussie does well overseas.

“It’s good that Adelaide has such a big event, I loved it when we played there at the Australian Open all those years – the South Australian fans were a huge support, so it’s great for them and great to have the best Australian players back.

“But in terms of giving opportunities to other young Australians to play, it doesn’t. The 48 players travel around the world and play together and they don’t provide any opportunities other than [for] Those 48.

“If you look at it as good for golf, what avenues are good for golf? Some are good and some aren’t. You can choose it however you want.”

Webb said her main point of contention with the LIV concept was how the dizzying contracts offered to the world’s top players for defecting from the PGA Tour reinforced the worst side of golfing stereotypes.

Close-up of Carrie Webb swinging during the Vic Open at 13th Beach Golf Club.  She was wearing black with a black hat
Webb is one of the greatest golfers in Australian history. (Getty Images: Jack Thomas)

And while there are aspects of the new tour that could help attract a new fan base to the sport Webb loves, the 48-year-old is uncomfortable with the way the Saudi Arabia-backed tour has been funded.

“The messages from the LIV tour are not what I would like to see about golf. Jumping from the most lucrative round and going to another round to get more money, that’s the stigma of golf we’re trying to get rid of — it’s a rich man’s sport,” Webb said. These messages are not the best.”

“But there are things about the LIV Tour that I think are compelling. The team aspect is compelling and can create new, younger fans.

“At the end of the day, I’m not against new competition in golf or new tours, it’s just the way it’s being handled and, for me, quite frankly the way it’s being funded.

“The way you’re funded is the biggest hurdle for me.”

Developing the sport in Australia is something close to Webb’s heart and she believes the crop of incoming female golfers is among the strongest the nation has ever produced.

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