On Wednesday, the PGA Tour introduced a plan to punch again towards the menace from upstart tour LIV Golf. It did not take lengthy for certainly one of LIV’s key figures to punch again.
Chatting with Golf Digest, former world No. 1 Lee Westwood — one of many first gamers to decide to LIV — was blunt in assessing the PGA’s plan to create a 20-tournament schedule for the most effective gamers. Briefly, he’d seen all of it earlier than.
“I chortle at what the PGA Tour gamers have give you,” he mentioned. “It’s only a copy of what LIV is doing. There are plenty of hypocrites on the market. All of them say LIV is ‘not aggressive.’ All of them level on the no-cut facet of LIV and the brief fields. Now, funnily sufficient, they’re proposing 20 occasions that look quite a bit like LIV. Hopefully, sooner or later they’ll all choke on their phrases. And hopefully, they are going to be held to account as we had been within the early days.”
Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and different high PGA Tour professionals have spearheaded a marketing campaign to try to stem the circulation of gamers to LIV, the outcome being a 20-tournament schedule for the highest gamers through which they will compete for greater purses averaging round $20 million.
The tour additionally plans to double the bonus pool of its Participant Influence Program to $100 million unfold throughout 20 gamers, and it’s altering the standards, so it’s geared extra towards media publicity.
Gamers beginning out their careers will get $500,000 at the beginning of the 12 months that may rely towards their earnings till the quantity is surpassed.
Additionally, the tour already has suspended gamers who’ve joined LIV Golf — some have resigned — as quickly as they play in Greg Norman’s rival league.
LIV Golf, backed by the Public Funding Fund in Saudi Arabia, has been paying large names — similar to Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau and Brooks Koepka — huge signing charges mentioned to be price $150 million or greater.
Every occasion has a $25 million purse for a 48-man subject over 54 holes. The person winner of the LIV occasion will get $4 million. The cash has been interesting in attracting some two dozen PGA Tour gamers.
Westwood made it clear he stays completely blissful along with his resolution to hitch LIV. In contrast to a few of his LIV Golf colleagues who’re combating a authorized battle to retain their PGA Tour memberships, he’s tremendous with taking part in fewer occasions and touring much less as he approaches his fiftieth birthday in April subsequent 12 months.
“My age was clearly a part of my decision-making course of,” he mentioned. “Then there may be the truth that the LIV tournaments are 54 holes, not 72. I noticed that as a profit. I additionally had a have a look at the senior tour schedule. Even there they’re encouraging guys to play as many as 25 occasions. … That’s quite a bit for a senior. And, in fact, the LIV occasions are providing 10 occasions the prize cash.
“Anyway, the tip result’s that I’ve completed precisely what I mentioned I used to be going to do at the beginning of all this,” Westwood continued. “I’ve given up my PGA Tour card. There was no manner I may ever play in all of the occasions required to maintain it.”
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