Remember when the PGA Tour and LIV Golf promoters were all smiles, announcing their peace treaty, how they managed to put aside their differences, however hypocritical?
Forget an olive branch, the whole tree extended.
That harmony may still exist between PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan and Yasir Al-Rumayyan, governor of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, which finances LIV Golf. But some of the members on both sides have not received the memo.
In the last week, a DP World Tour member trolled a LIV golfer and a LIV golfer tried to explain why it’s harder to win a LIV event than it is to win on the PGA Tour.
And we all know at least one LIV golfer is willing to bet that these guys will continue to defend their turf, whether or not this framework agreement between the PGA and DP World tours, and the PIF is finalized.
LIV’s Lee Westwood picked the wrong week to pick a match on social media. The Englishman posted a laughing emoji at the latest Official World Golf Ranking … after going 20-over to finish last in the 48-man field at Bedminster.
Maybe his problem was with Cam Smith dropping one spot to No. 9 after the Bedminster win, which means nothing since OWGR doesn’t recognize LIV. He certainly can’t surpass his No. 454 ranking during a season in which he finished in the bottom half of the field in all but two LIV events.
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Westwood won $120,000 on Sunday to stay within 32 shots of Smith, which caught the attention of Eddie Pepperell, who plays on the DP World Tour.
Pepperell responded to Westwood mocking OWGR:
“I’ll tell you what a joke is Lee. you earn 3x the UK average annual salary in one week for shooting +20 in 3 rounds.”
Westwood responded by citing the ways the PGA Tour has increased compensation through the TGL and Player Impact program. But Pepperell continued to pound his fellow Englishman.
“It’s all for laughs. From winning £100 last week to play like a turnip to TGL/PIP. Pro golf has degraded to being all about the money. Maybe it always has been and I’m naive, but it doesn’t do much to improve the sport and really ‘grow the game’.
Grow the game was one of the talking points given to LIV golfers when they joined the league. But I’m not sure that growing turnips was part of the teaching.
Westwood concluded by saying Pepperell was a “nodding donkey” during a private meeting last year between players and DP World Tour CEO Keith Pelley about the future of the game.
“Me and @IanJamesPoulter asked all the questions at the players’ meeting at Wentworth and you sat right in front of me bowing your head like a beckoning donkey…”
All about the money
Harold Varner III has been candid from the start about his decision to join LIV Golf. Varner never sugarcoated the lure of LIV and why his peers joined the startup league. And it had nothing to do with game development or spending more time with family.
LIV writes $25 million in checks for each event, with the individual winner earning $4 million.
This is all about money
“Man, we didn’t come here to grow the game,” Varner told Golfweek’s Adam Woodard last week, repeating his stance from the start. “We came here to make money and have fun and that’s what we do. say that’s what we do.”
Refreshing. But it should have stopped there.
Varner then added that he believes “it’s harder to win $4 million (in an LIV event) than it is to win a PGA Tour event.
“When you get into contention out here, it’s like, (expletive), this is life-changing money. And I’m playing for the money,” he continued.
But here’s the problem, it’s not just the winner cashing checks signed by the Saudis. The runner-up is paid $2.25 million, and then the last player in the uncut field makes $120,000.
Even if he shoots 20-over.
Varner’s only win in 12 years on the PGA Tour and LIV was in May outside Washington, D.C. He held off Jupiter’s Branden Grace by one shot.
If he finished second and took home $2.25 million instead of $4 million, Varner would have about $6.1 million in prize money this season (with three events remaining) instead of the $7.85 million he earned.
Every golfer has moments that are more “tough” than others, or feel the pressure, when victory is on the line. This is true for any sport.
But for the vast majority that has nothing to do with money, especially those who are good enough to make a very comfortable living from their sport.
And especially when you’re playing on the 48-player circuit, with no cuts, knowing if you finish in the top four, you’ll win more than $1 million (over half a million in the top 11), or if you shoot 20- and place last, you’re rewarded with a check $120,000.
Nor does money come into play while in contention for the 72nd hole of a PGA Tour event, which for most means only adding to the tens of millions, and for many hundreds of millions, earned in their careers.
If Varner thinks it was “harder” to keep Grace away because he’d have the means to make a million or two instead of four, and that his golfing earnings haven’t already been “life-changing,” then the 32-year-old needs a reality. control.
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