Golf War: PGA Tour Challenges Saudi-Backed LIV with $160 Million Prize Event
After weeks of hemorrhaging top players to the Saudi-backed LIV Golf league, the PGA Tour has now offered up an eight-event series with up to $160 million in total prize earnings.
The PGA Tour reportedly discussed the major event his week during a mandatory meeting with multiple players ahead of the Travelers Championship, according to Golf Digest. The eight limited-field no-cut events will reportedly offer “purses of $20 million or more each, for the top 50 finishers in the prior season’s FedEx Cup standings.”
“Some of those events will be in the heart of the season, while others will be in the fall,” reported the outlet. “Those outside the top 50 will compete in an alternate series of tournaments, where they will fight to keep their cards and earn better status for the following season.”
During the meeting, which lasted about 90 minutes, PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan talked at length about protecting the tour, which he described as being “under attack,” while advising players to remain strong and united.
PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan (AP Photo/Marta Lavandier)
As LIV Golf began siphoning off top players from the PGA Tour, Jay Monahan previously threatened players with sanctions and suspensions should they participate in the series, which seemed to have almost no effect. As a result, top golfers like Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson have joined LIV along with Sergio Garcia, Ian Poulter, Kevin Na, Lee Westwood, Louis Oosthuizen, Martin Kaymer, Charl Schwartzel, Graeme McDowell, and Talor Gooch.
PGA Tour suspends current and future LIV players. pic.twitter.com/lKhxo27Ida
— Eamon Lynch (@eamonlynch) June 9, 2022
According to Fox News, “two-time PGA Tour winner Charl Schwartzel became the first-ever LIV Golf Invitational champion last week and took home a whopping $4.75 million, making it the richest tournament in golf history.”
Tiger Woods reportedly turned down a “high nine-digit” offer to participate in the LIV after publicly voicing his loyalty to the PGA.
“You know, [Phil Mickelson] has his opinion on where he sees the game of golf going. I have my viewpoint on how I see the game of golf, and I’ve supported the tour and my foundation has run events on the tour for a number of years,” Woods said.“I just think that what Jack [Nicklaus] and Arnold [Palmer] have done in starting the tour and breaking away from the PGA of America and creating our tour in ’68 or ’69, somewhere in there, I just think there’s a legacy to that,” he added.