On Wednesday, the PGA Tour introduced a plan to punch again in opposition to the menace from upstart tour LIV Golf. It did not take lengthy for certainly one of LIV’s key figures to punch again.
Talking to 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 one of the best gamers. In brief, he’d seen all of it earlier than.
“I laugh at what the PGA Tour players have come up with,” he mentioned. “It’s just a copy of what LIV is doing. There are a lot of hypocrites out there. They all say LIV is ‘not competitive.’ They all point at the no-cut aspect of LIV and the short fields. Now, funnily enough, they are proposing 20 events that look a lot like LIV. Hopefully, at some point they will all choke on their words. And hopefully, they will be held to account as we were in the early days.”
Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and different high PGA Tour professionals have spearheaded a marketing campaign to try to stem the move of gamers to LIV, the outcome being a 20-tournament schedule for the highest gamers by which they will compete for increased purses averaging round $20 million.
The tour additionally plans to double the bonus pool of its Participant Affect 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 depend in opposition to 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 massive names — reminiscent of Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau and Brooks Koepka — huge signing charges mentioned to be price $150 million or increased.
Every occasion has a $25 million purse for a 48-man area 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 together with his resolution to hitch LIV. In contrast to a few of his LIV Golf colleagues who’re preventing 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 obviously part of my decision-making process,” he mentioned. “Then there is the fact that the LIV tournaments are 54 holes, not 72. I saw that as a benefit. I also had a look at the senior tour schedule. Even there they are encouraging guys to play as many as 25 events. … That’s a lot for a senior. And, of course, the LIV events are offering 10 times the prize money.
“Anyway, the tip result’s that I’ve carried out 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 approach I may ever play in all of the occasions required to maintain it.”
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