LIV golf tour: above-par rewards come to the fore for veterans


Investment banks have vice-chairs. Professors attain emeritus standing. And in males’s golf, prime professionals go on touring into their forties, properly previous their prime years for successful Grand Slam tournaments. Public nostalgia for stars’ previous glories ensures respectable however unspectacular rewards.

That monetary calculus has been upended by the upstart LIV Golf group. Its first event drove off on the Centurion Club close to London this week.

LIV, whose public face is Greg Norman, says it’s making an attempt to supply a snazzier professional golf expertise for followers. Attention has been targeted on its patron, the Saudi wealth fund PIF. Critics see LIV as a flagrant try by the Middle East autocracy to “sportwash” its repute.

A event that includes pub quiz-style workforce names is novel sufficient. The prize cash is one thing else. The 48 gamers are competing for a staggering purse of $25mn, roughly twice what final 12 months’s US Open paid to 71 golfers final 12 months. 

That pot of gold has to date failed to influence Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm, and world primary Scottie Scheffler to defect from the US PGA Tour, the world’s hardest circuit. Instead, LIV has bulked up its participant checklist with {golfing} nonentities, supplementing such well-known veterans as Sergio García, Lee Westwood and Phil Mickelson. These professional golfers have been pushed from the highest of world rankings by twenty-something rivals.

Purses apart, look charges and assured payouts over a number of years might, based on golf business gossip, whole tens to a whole lot of thousands and thousands of {dollars}. LIV gamers have awkwardly and unconvincingly tried to disclaim their apostasy has something to do with money.

On Thursday, the US PGA suspended the 17 golfers who selected to play in London in violation of their contractual obligation to stay on their residence circuit.

The fear for the US PGA Tour and Europe’s DP World Tour is that the sight of straightforward LIV cash will finally seduce prime abilities that till now have stayed loyal. The previous guard are previous their greatest on the course. But their affect as enterprise position fashions stays robust in top-flight membership homes.

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