LIV Golf players cash checks they’ve never seen on the PGA Tour

Pat Perez finally figured out the real reason he joined LIV Golf.

“I doubled my earnings,” he said after his third LIV event that ended outside Boston on Sunday.

Perez was referring to his prize money this LIV and PGA Tour season. And, no, he didn’t double his winnings. It is close to tripling the total.

Notice that Perez didn’t say anything about his game…probably for the best.

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Perez has added about $2.8 million to his accounts in three LIV events, compared to just over $1.1 million in 19 starts this season on the PGA Tour.

Just 10 weeks ago, Perez insisted the move was about spending more quality time with his family. No one believed it then, and certainly not now.

As LIV’s inaugural season nears the halfway point – the series has four events left, including the season finale at Doral in October – the Saudi Public Investment Fund, which finances the league, has handed out 100 million dollars in prize money, not to mention committing around $1 billion in signing bonuses.

Still there this year is $125 million in prize money for the last four events.

Few LIV golfers have been upfront about why they joined. It’s not for playing events with 54 holes or for the shotgun tee times or the team competition or the champagne celebrations after each event. Sure, some of these aspects are appealing to many golfers, but the bottom line is, and always will be, about money.

Which is good, especially for a roster in which many golfers have either turned their careers around or aren’t good enough for big-time golf.

Harold Varner Gets Honest About Making Money With LIV

Here’s what Harold Varner said last week when he announced on social media that he was leaving the PGA Tour:

“The opportunity to join LIV Golf is simply too good a financial breakthrough for me to pass up. I know what it means to grow up without much. This money will ensure that my child and future Varners will have a solid foundation 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 pro 11 years ago, all without winning an event.

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The backlash Varner received was unfortunate: “It sucked,” he said. “Who likes to be hated? It’s awful. I’d rather not even be famous than be hated.

His honesty was refreshing.

For LIV golfers, the most important green is not on the course.

Anirban Lahiri lines up a tee shot on the 3rd hole during the final round of the LIV golf tournament on Sunday in Boston.

Anirban Lahiri turned pro 15 years ago, never won in 165 Tour starts and, until this year, hadn’t made $2 million in a 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 left the PGA Tour last week to join LIV. Among them, the world number 2 Smith.

“You are chasing your dream…and my dream has always been to play the best golf possible,” he said. “Playing at the highest level that I can play.

“You reach a point where you’re like, okay, I’ve been doing this for 15 years, I’ve been chasing this dream and everyone else on my team has had to follow and support and support everything centered around me. . , another direction that I change , it does not affect my ambition and it does not affect my dedication and what I want to achieve I still want to do it , but I can balance it much , much better , n isn’t it? now.”

Big payday for Anirban Lahiri of Palm Beach Gardens

In his LIV debut, Lahiri, 35, lost in the three-way playoff last weekend with Jupiter’s Dustin Johnson winning his first LIV event. Lahiri shared the second and third place prize with Joaquin Niemann of North Palm Beach and added an additional $375,000 to be part of the group that finished second in the team event.

The total: $2,187,500 for three days of work.

Perez played in three LIV events and finished no higher than 15th in the 48-man field. But he pocketed an additional $2.25 million for being on the winning team for three straight weeks, with Johnson, Talor Gooch and Patrick Reed doing most of the heavy lifting.

For Johnson, cashing the checks is expected. The Jupiter resident is third on the PGA Tour’s all-time money list with an estimated $75 million in prize money. With his victory last weekend, he tops the LIV money list with $9,962,500. He finished in the top 8 of his four LIV events.

Jupiter’s Branden Grace picked the best time to play the best golf of his career and it netted the South African nearly $7.4 million in four LIV events, more than half of what he earned ( approximately $12.3 million) in 183 tournaments since 2009.

Grace earned that money by winning the event with a first (Portland), second and third place finish.

Grace’s compatriot and Jupiter’s neighbor, Charl Schwartzel, also banked more than $5.6 million in four events. Schwartzel won the first LIV event in London and took home $4.75 million, more than he had pocketed in a year in two decades on the tour, including in 2011 when he won the Masters.

Gooch finished in the top 10 of all four LIV events, earning just under $5 million. He earned just under $9.2 million in 120 tour starts.

Reed performed in three LIV events, earning $4.65 million. The nine-time PGA Tour winner, including the 2018 Masters, has earned more than $4.65 million in one season twice since turning pro in 2011.

Henrik Stenson won the only LIV event he’s been to (Bedminster) and pocketed $4.375 million, more than he’s earned in 18 years on the PGA Tour but two.

Chase Koepka is the poster child for golfers who aren’t good enough to be PGA Tour members but hit the lottery with LIV. Koepka turned pro in 2016 and has $306,396 in career PGA Tour earnings.

He earned $701,000 in four LIV events without ever finishing higher than 17th and a world ranking of 1,615.

Money talks. Not gimmicks.

Tom D’Angelo is a journalist at palm beach post. You can reach him at [email protected]

Michael C. Ford