When it comes to prize money, LIV Golf surprises PGA Tour with London debut

The PGA Tour has boosted golfers’ salaries this year, raising their average tournament winnings by 14 percent to $9.1 million. The Players Championship surged from $15 million to a record $20 million, and the majors, which are separate from the tour, followed, with the PGA Championship and the Masters paying record highs of $15 million each.

It’s all a piece of cake compared to LIV Golf, the PGA Tour debuting in London on Thursday with a course featuring Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson.

LIV received $2 billion in support from the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund and pledged $25 million in bonuses for its seven regular-season games. With $4 million set aside for each champion, all seven events will break the PGA Tour record of $3.6 million in first-place prize money set at The Players in March.

The PGA Tour does pay bonuses on top of its prize money, launching a player impact program last year that paid out a total of $40 million to Tiger Woods and nine other golfers for their commitment to the sport. interest and double the Tour regular-season prize pool. – Top 10 to $20 million this year. The FedEx Cup playoffs also have a $75 million prize pool, an increase of $15 million from 2021, with the champion taking home $18 million.

But LIV Golf also has its own prize money, including $18 million from the $30 million regular-season individual championship. LIV’s end-of-season team tournament will also bring in $50 million in prize money, which will be distributed among 12 teams, with $16 million going to the first-place team.

There are several important caveats. The LIV’s eight-event season pales in comparison to the PGA Tour’s 49-event schedule, which includes four majors. While the new tour plans to expand its roster to 10 next year and 14 in 2024 and 2025, the new tour will offer fewer opportunities to compete for prize money in the near future, and the PGA said it will instead use LIV risk suspension or expulsion. For now, though, players from both tours will be eligible for the U.S. Open and possibly three other majors, all of which are separate, with no LIV-banned golfers.

There is also no guarantee that LIV Championship results will count towards the Official World Golf Rankings. In addition to the PGA Tour, the circuit is applying for ranking recognition along with a number of other professional tours, including the European Tour, the Asian Tour and the Japan Golf Tour.But LIV Golf Investments COO Atul Kholsa admitted in an interview in May Golf Monthly The ranking committee is “really composed of the same people who have threatened players,” referring to the PGA Tour’s leadership.

The world ranking is important not only because it boosts golfers’ self-esteem, but also because players’ sponsorship bonuses are often tied to their ranking on the list.

On the other hand, the format of the LIV campaign provides two major benefits. The tournament doesn’t reduce the field after two rounds like the PGA Tour, ensuring that every golfer who takes part in a LIV event gets a big purse. Also, fewer hands will be dipping into the pie. The LIV’s London event has 48 players, while most of the high-paying events on the PGA Tour have at least 70 golfers getting paid.

LIV, led by CEO Greg Norman, announced the Invitational Series in March, in which golfers will compete individually and as part of a team in a 54-hole event. The London event will feature 18 of the current top 100 players, as well as veterans such as Martin Kaymer, Graeme McDowell and Charl Schwartzel.

Former world No. 1 Johnson, who expressed his allegiance to the PGA Tour in February, resigned from membership on Tuesday.His agent, David Winkle of Hambric Sports Management, said in a statement that Johnson ultimately felt “it was too convincing to give up.” telegraph Reports in London said Johnson was paid around $125 million for joining LIV, without naming the source.

Mickelson, who has not played since controversial comments made in February, expressed a willingness to ignore Saudi Arabia’s alleged human rights abuses in order to join a potential tour at the time. Golf Channel’s Brentley Romine, again without a source identified, report Mickelson received about $200 million to sign with LIV. Asked about the report on Wednesday, Mickelson, who made his first public appearance in four months, told reporters: “I feel like the contractual agreement should be private. It doesn’t seem like it is, but it should be.”

At least one other player, Matt Jones, admitted to receiving a signing bonus from LIV, but did not specify the exact amount.

In addition to criticizing LIV’s relationship with Saudi Arabia, some golfers have expressed doubts about the new tour for competitive reasons, including Rory McIlroy, who told reporters on Wednesday: “For me, I want to be on the PGA Tour. Play against the best players in the world. The world.” Meanwhile, Norman told Washington post Woods rejected a “high nine-figure” offer to join LIV.

However, the betrayal continued.Bryson DeChambeau’s agent confirmed on Wednesday Forbes The American star will join LIV later this season, with New York Post Reports say he has been paid more than $100 million.This telegraph Patrick Reed is also reportedly moving to LIV.Meanwhile, Rickie Fowler admitted in a recent interview New York Post He is thinking about jumping.

So far, the only big sponsor to explicitly penalize players for switching careers is Royal Bank of Canada, which dropped Johnson and McDowell last week. RBC is the title sponsor of the PGA Tour Heritage Championship in April and this week’s Canadian Open in Toronto.


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