Ken Green minces no words on LIV Golf, PGA Tour and its defectors

Ken Greene never turned back, whether it was a goal of a tuck pin or a golf setting.

His language was usually as colorful as his golf wardrobe (think of his nickname).

The five-time PGA Tour champion and former Ryder Cup member has played little competitive golf since losing his right leg in an RV accident in 2009, but the West Palm Beach resident has turned his attention to the sport.

He’s not a fan of what’s happening lately, especially as Saudi-backed LIV Golf has changed the face of professional golf by wooing a dozen PGA Tour stars with nine-figure, guaranteed contracts.

“I have a theory that it’s all about revenge for the Saudis,” Greene spoke about his return to competitive golf at this week’s inaugural US Adaptive Open Championships in Pinehurst on Friday. “The (PGA) Tour spoiled them in some way, whether real or perceived. I think they are trying to undermine the tour. I think the Saudis care at all to damage the PGA Tour We do.

“I know (Greg) Norman has ideas,” Green said, referring to the Palm Beach Gardens resident, Hall of Famer and LIV president. “Does anyone really believe the Saudis will be in this for a long time? If the Saudis win, professional golf will be changed forever, and that is something no fan of the sport wants.”

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Greene has never been a big fan of Tiger Woods, but he praised the Jupiter Islander for turning down LIV’s offer—possibly over a quarter billion dollars—to join. Woods has been one of the biggest supporters of the PGA Tour, and possibly also the most important.

“As much as I’ve beaten Tiger over the years, he must have saved the tour,” Green said. “If Tiger moves, a lot of people will follow him. A lot of credit goes to them for that.”

However, Greene doesn’t hide his disdain for players like Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau, who took over $100 million to join LIV.

“How much money do these people need?” Green said. “Fifty to 150 million isn’t enough? I don’t mind taking money from little kids. But these big names who have turned their backs on tour with money? That’s ridiculous.

“I would never have taken the money, and you know I don’t agree with the tour on many things.”

Perhaps to prove his point, Green targeted the three most recent PGA Tour commissioners: Dean Beamon, Tim Finchem, and Jay Monaghan. He said they are the root of the PGA Tour’s problems.

“Professional golf is the most honest sport on planet Earth,” Green said, “and we’ve been controlled for 50 years by three of the most dishonest men around.”

The 63-year-old Green, who won all five of his tournaments in the late 1980s, has had more than his share of run-ins with Tour brass over the years. He once took pride in saying that he was the player with the most penalties in the game – probably until John Daly came along.

Greene also got into trouble with Masters officials when he once sneaked into friends at Augusta National who had been hiding in their trunks during a Magnolia Lane escape. The way we all used to as kids at drive-ins.

It’s been nearly 13 years for Greene, who lost his girlfriend, brother, and dog in a Mississippi Interstate RV accident when a tire burst and the vehicle hit a tree. Before the crash, he played 18 tournaments in the PGA Tour Champions, including nearly $150,000 in earnings and a top-10 finish. (He earned $3.74 million on the PGA Tour.)

Between his PGA Tour pension and a “small settlement” from the tire company, Green said he makes about $100,000 a year — enough to pay his bills. He said he only got a sponsor exemption on the 50 and older circuit after he lost part of his right leg.

“How I only got one waiver is mind-boggling to me,” Green said. “You can’t tell me that FinChem had nothing to do with it. I know I had a reputation, but I was one of the best players I ever played in Pro-Am. I’d teach them and they’d have a blast. I’m pro There was a home run at AIIMS.”

And he hasn’t stopped verbally swinging for the fence.

This article was originally featured on the Palm Beach Post: Ken Green: Tiger Woods ‘would have saved’ the PGA Tour from LIV golf

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