22-year-old Christo Lambrecht, 2.06m, was the talk of Hoylake on Thursday after sharing the lead in the 151m race.street open yet Opening five under the age of 65.
He recently won the British Amateur, which secured him an invitation to Royal Liverpool and the Grand Final Championship of the 2023 season. And he seized the opportunity with both his big hands.
Lambrecht, who plays collegiate golf out of Georgia Tech, has no intention of turning pro for a while yet, which means he’ll have to wait a little longer to earn his share of the billions he’s set to touring the sport.
This is after the PGA Tour merged with the Saudi Arabia-backed Public Investment Fund to form a new entity. The details are not finalized but there is one certainty – there will be no shortage of money. The Public Investment Fund is worth $600 billion, with $1 billion already confirmed to fund the new body.
But the entire golf ecosystem lacks harmony With players still angry On how the PGA and PIF came to an agreement. They did it without inviting the most important part of the deal – the golfers – to courtesy.
Ernie Els, a four-time South African winner and former world number one, is furious at the betrayal. Coming from one of the greatest players of the modern era, his words carry weight, especially since he’s at the end of his career and not in line to be a PGA/PIF recipient. As the saying goes, “He has no real skin in the game.”
Els, who exited an opening round 75 at The Open, has called on the PGA Tour board to step down.
“If this happened in my day, in the prime of my life, there is no way it (PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan) would have it. No way. The board has to change,” the 53-year-old said. Sports Illustrated after his tour.
“I’m sorry, that’s not right. Talk to us, tell us what you’re going to do, and plan to negotiate. Don’t just be as evil as a board member and come back with a deal and think we’re all going to say ‘yes.'”
“You’re affecting people’s lives. You’re affecting the professional game. It’s too bad.”
It didn’t stop there. He derided the format of the separate LIV golf course, which is funded by the Public Investment Fund and the reason for forcing the PGA Tour to cut a deal with Saudi Arabia. It started an arms race for golf that traditional golf structures couldn’t match – at least financially.
“This (LIV) is a golf circus. Team golf is not working,” said Els, who won the British Open in 2002 and 2012. Perhaps he will succeed in a happy season for two or three months.
“Get those guys together, get the teams together and play all over the world. But then play real golf.”
“That’s what this thing is about. That’s what I’m proud of, like Tiger (Woods) and some of those guys, going into a major and a grind.
He added, “I’ve spent almost 30 years on tour, playing against Tiger… People don’t remember me, but I was there, and he needed someone to beat him.”
“There are a lot of guys out there who’ve done so much for this Tour; they’ve helped the Tour and helped build the game. Are you kidding me? Then that shit.”
Else challenged the head of the Public Investment Fund, Yasser Al-Rumayyan, to clarify his intentions.
“I know Yasir, I know some of these Saudi guys,” Els said. “They love the game. But this[LIV]is circus golf. That’s not where I stand.”
I think Yasser needs to come out and say what he thinks. He will be the Chairman of the Board of Directors of this NewCo, Chairman of the Board. Whoever the commissioner is and whatever the rest they will answer for. I don’t know how the hell they can’t see that.”
Lamprecht wasn’t going to become a professional right away
Meanwhile, Lambrecht lost confidence after his run which saw him share the lead with English favorite Tommy Fleetwood and Argentine Emiliano Grillo.
But he said he would honor his promise to his college coach to see his amateur career through whatever happens at the World Open.
“I really don’t think anything is going to change (no matter what happens), to be honest,” Lamprecht said. “At the beginning of my college career, I made a promise to our coach that I would stay for four years, and I believe you are as valuable as your word.
“I definitely plan to stay in college for next year and plan to go pro after that.” DM