YOU may have noticed the other week that a morning breakfast show on the tele wheeled out good old Jimmy Tarbuck for his insight, expertise and hard-hitting analysis on the treatment of Liverpool supporters at the Champions League Final on the basis that he is a Scouser.

With this spectacularly tenuous rationale in mind, I’m now expecting to see Tarby voicing his opinion on this week’s highly contentious LIV Golf Invitational on the flimsy basis that he used to play in Pro-Celebrity events and would guffaw himself hoarse as little Ronnie Corbett sized up a 7-iron to the third while chortling a cheery anecdote about standing next to Shakin’ Stevens in the BBC urinals.

The shake up of men’s professional golf, meanwhile, continues and after all the parrying, jousting, to-ing, fro-ing, speculation, rumour, controversy and legal threats, the multi-million dollar, Saudi-backed LIV Golf thingamajig will finally become a reality in the golfing paradise of Hemel Hempstead.

That it has got to this stage has perhaps surprised many sceptics. It wasn’t that long ago, after all, that that the game’s leading lights were resolutely nailing their colours to the mast of the status quo and stating their loyalty to the established tours in a rousing show of collective support. Rory McIlroy, meanwhile, had suggested the whole LIV Golf rebellion, spearheaded by Greg Norman, was “dead in the water”.

Well, here we are in early June and the rebels have emerged. When Dustin Johnson confirmed that he would be playing at The Centurion Club this week, not long after initially declaring his commitment to the PGA Tour, the gasp of widespread astonishment just about whipped up a tsunami in the mid-Atlantic.   

"Ultimately he decided it was in his and his family's best interest to pursue it,” said Johnson’s manager as he explained the former Masters champion’s decision to chomp on the Saudi Public Investment Fund carrot.

Johnson has earned upwards of $70 million from the game down the years. One can’t imagine his family are living in penury. Listening to multi-millionaire golfers almost pleading poverty, while us mere mortals look anxiously at the thermostat and nibble on raw turnips washed down with a ladleful of our own tears during a cost of living crisis, is quite preposterous.

The manner of Johnson’s commitment to the LIV cause, meanwhile, was all rather unedifying. His sponsor RBC, the main backer of this week’s Canadian Open on the PGA Tour, seemed to be completely blindsided by his decision and the company swiftly cut ties with both Johnson and Graeme McDowell, who is also heading to The Centurion Club. It was a monumental slap in the face to RBC from two major champions. Johnson’s own face was splattered all over the promotional bits and bobs for the Canadian showpiece. It was a classless move from the former world No 1 who wept when he won The Masters but has shown that personal enrichment matters more than major wins, his reputation and any golfing legacy.

Be prepared for the usual, tiresome “growing the game” soundbites in the build-up to this Liv Golf opener and some squirming interviews in which various players attempt to justify their decision to jump into bed with the Saudis in the same awkward way you see mealy-mouthed Tory MPs attempting to justify what the actual point of Boris Johnson is.

The golfing Johnson - who apparently was offered upwards of $100 million just to sign up for this whole Saudi cash-grab - and others are set to earn astronomical sums from a series of events that really have no competitive validity. 

Kevin Na, a player so slow his clubs actually gather a light dusting of stoor during his pre-shot routine, made the unprecedented move of resigning from the PGA Tour at the weekend in order to join the LIV Golf gravy train. He may be a relative nonentity but his was a highly significant decision and one which may yet be mirrored by others.

The fare on offer this week will see a variety of veterans – Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter, Sergio Garcia et al – doing battle with a few decent amateurs and some rank-and-file pros who have struggled to make any real headway on the professional stage.

Chase Koepka, the brother of multiple major champion Brooks, is a lowly 1562nd on the world rankings. Even if he finishes last in this week’s 48-man field, Koepka would earn £120,000 which is more than he has made in any year since he turned pro, except 2017 when he racked up about $140,000. You can see why players in the toiling classes of the pro scene would be wooed by the quite staggering finances available.

As for the future of the professional game in the upper echelons? Who knows? Will the PGA Tour carry out its threat to suspend players who compete at The Centurion Club? And will the top brass who run the four major championships then follow suit with similar disciplinary actions?

In this $25 million, 54-hole, no-cut bonanza, the winning shot could come on the sixth, the 12th, the 17th or any other green due to the shotgun format. It’s a messy element to proceedings. Rather like the mess the global men’s game finds itself in.