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Rickie Fowler speaks out against LIV Golf and supports punishing defectors: "Wasn't the best choice for me"

Rickie Fowler speaks out against LIV Golf and supports punishing defectors: "Wasn't the best choice for me"

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PGA Tour star Rickie Fowler has revealed his strong opposition to LIV Golf and said golfers who joined the Saudi-backed league should face punishment if allowed to return.


Fowler, who was previously rumored to be a target for Greg Norman's rebel circuit, has cemented his loyalty to the PGA Tour. In an interview on Netflix show Full Swing, the 35-year-old American gave his reason for rejecting LIV Golf in just six telling words - "[Joining LIV] wasn't the best choice for me."


"I'm not out there playing for a paycheck, I'm out there playing to compete with the best players in the world and I believe the Tour is the best place to be. I'd like to see it continue to be like that."


The six-time PGA Tour winner elaborated that he wants to compete against the best players in the world, and believes the PGA Tour remains the place for that. Fowler said he hopes the PGA Tour can continue to be the premier tour.


His comments come in contrast to those of former world number one Rory McIlroy, who said golfers shouldn't face punishment for joining LIV Golf. But Fowler disagreed, believing things have changed in the past few years since the Saudi league emerged.


"Probably not in the same spot that Rory - maybe we started in a similar area, but I think there's been a little rollercoaster ride on his part," Fowler stated.


"I feel like I've kind of maintained middle ground as far as learning about LIV when it was first coming about, and my belief in the Tour and that was always may dream to play the Tour.


Rickie Fowler clinched the Rocket Mortgage Classic title last year. (Image: Getty)


Fowler pointed to the work of players like Patrick Cantlay, Tiger Woods, and Jordan Spieth in elevating the PGA Tour. He feels golfers who defected to the lucrative but controversial breakaway circuit should face consequences if they try to return to the PGA Tour.


"Always thought it was the best place to play and wanted to see it continue to be that. We're in a different spot a few years down the road and I feel like when I talked about Cantlay, Jordan, Tiger, those guys, they put a lot of time and effort to put us in a better spot and make sure that the Tour continues to be the best place to play."


The 35-year-old will have a chance to back up his words this week at the Rocket Mortgage Classic, where he is defending his 2021 title. Fowler showed signs of rediscovering his form last week and will look to build momentum at Detroit Golf Club.


"I started to score a little bit better last week, which is obviously kind of the name of the game, putting up good numbers," he said. "Putted well last week. Yeah, kind of the first week to kind of see some good progress and kind of build some momentum and some confidence going into this week.


"Looking forward to being back and picking up where we left off last year. I haven't played quite that well since then, so yeah, it would be nice to kind of get things going again this week here at Rocket."


His strong stance in support of the PGA Tour and in favor of punishing LIV Golf rebels underlines where his loyalties truly lie in golf's divide. Fowler has cemented himself as one of Greg Norman's most high-profile recruits who got away.






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With a background in digital media and a passion for golf culture, Emily scours the internet and PGA/LPGA tour circuits for the most entertaining, shocking, and bizarre stories about professional golfers. She is skilled at curating viral golf content, from Instagram antics to tournament controversies, and turning them into shareable, humorous articles. Her readers appreciate her ability to find the fun and humor in the world of elite golf.

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