Pat Perez has finally gotten to the real reason why he joined LIV Golf.
“I doubled my earnings,” he said after his third LIV event that ended Sunday outside Boston.
Perez was referring to his prize money this season from the LIV and PGA Tour. And no, he didn’t double his earnings. He’s about to triple the total.
Note that Perez didn’t say anything about his game…maybe for the better.
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Perez has added about $2.8 million to his account in three LIV events compared to more than $1.1 million at the start of this season on the PGA Tour 19.
Just 10 weeks ago, Perez insisted the move was about spending more quality time with his family. Nobody believed her then, and certainly not now.
With LIV’s inaugural season halfway through—there are four events left for the series, including the season finale at Doral in October—the Saudi Public Investment Fund, which funds the league, has distributed $100 million in prize money, not to mention a commitment of about $1. Billion to sign bonuses.
This year there is still $125 million in prize money for the last four events.
Few LIV golfers have been vocal about why they joined. The 54-hole events, the start of the match, team competition, or champagne celebrations should not be played after each event. Sure, some of these aspects are attractive to many golfers, but the bottom line is and always will be about the money.
Which is okay, especially for the list where many golfers have either done their part in their careers or haven’t been good enough to play big golf.
Harold Varner is honest about making money with LIV
Here’s what Harold Varner had to say last week when he announced on social media that he was leaving the PGA Tour:
“The opportunity to join LIV Golf is simply a very good opportunity for a financial breakthrough for me. I know what it means to grow up without too much. This money will ensure that my two children and future Varners have a solid base to start with – and a life I could only dream of growing up “.
Varner, 32, has earned $10.4 million on the PGA Tour since turning professional 11 years ago, all without winning an event.
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The backlash Varner received was unfortunate, stating, “I’m tired,” he said. “Who likes to be hated? It’s terrible. I’d rather not be known than hated.”
His honesty was refreshing.
For LIV golfers, the most important green is not on the course.
Anirban Lahiri has been a professional for 15 years, has never won 165 innings at the start of the tour, and as of this year, he has yet to make $2 million in a single season. The highlight of Lahiri’s career came in March when he was runner-up to Cam Smith in the Players Championship and won $2.18 million.
Lahiri, who was born in India and lives in Palm Beach Gardens, was among six golfers who defected from the PGA Tour last week to join LIV. Among them, Smith is No. 2 in the world.
“You’re chasing your dream…and it has always been my dream to play the best golf I can,” he said. “Play at the highest level I can play.
“It gets to a point where you’re like, OK, I’ve been doing this for 15 years, I’ve chased that dream and everyone else on my team has had to follow up and support and deal with whatever it’s all about… I’m just moving my direction but it doesn’t affect my ambition And it doesn’t affect my dedication and what I want to achieve. I still want to do that, but I can balance it a lot, much better right now.”
Big Pay Day for Nirban Lahiri at Palm Beach Gardens
In his LIV debut, Lahiri, 35, lost in the three-man playoff this past weekend, with Jupiter’s Dustin Johnson winning his first LIV event. Lahiri shared the second and third place prize with Joaquin Neiman of North Palm Beach and added another $375,000 for being part of the group that finished second in the team event.
Total: $2,187,500 for three working days.
Perez has played in three LIV events and resolved no more than 15 on the 48-player courts. But he earned an additional $2.25 million for being on the winning team three weeks in a row with Johnson, Taylor Gotsch and Patrick Reed doing most of the heavy lifting.
For Johnson, checks are expected to be cashed. The Jupiter resident ranks third all-time for the PGA Tour with nearly $75 million in prize money. With his win last weekend, he tops LIV’s financials with $9,962,500. He finished in the top eight in all four of his LIV events.
Branden Grace of Jupiter picked the best time to play the best golf of his career, and this South African has made nearly $7.4 million in four LIV events, more than half of what he has earned (about $12.3 million) in 183 rounds since 2009.
Grace earned that money by winning the event with 1st (Portland), 2nd and 3rd place.
Charles Schwarzl, a native of Grace and a neighbor of Jupiter, also earned more than $5.6 million in four events. Schwartzell won the inaugural LIV event in London and earned $4.75 million, more than he’s earned in any one year in two decades on the tour, including in 2011 when he won the Masters.
Gooch finished in the top ten of all four LIV events, making less than $5 million. He earned just under $9.2 million in 120 tours.
Reed played in three LIV events, and grossed $4.65 million. The nine-time winner of the PGA Tour, including the 2018 Masters, has made over $4.65 million in a single season twice since turning professional in 2011.
Henrik Stenson won the only LIV event he entered (Bedminster) and earned $4.375 million, more than he earned in all but two of his 18 years on the PGA Tour.
Chase Koepka is the poster child for golfers who aren’t good enough for a PGA Tour membership but hit the lottery with LIV. Koepka turned pro in 2016 and has $306,396 in career earnings for the PGA Tour.
He made $701,000 in four LIV events without ever finishing above 17th and 1,615 in the world.
Money talks. Not tricks.
Tom D’Angelo journalist at Palm Beach Post. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.