LIV Golf Invitational Series: It’s all about money, money, money, says Sky Sports Jamie Weir | Golf News – NewsRaiser

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Dustin Johnson, Graeme McDowell and Louis Oosthuizen had to answer some tough questions at the LIV Tour opening event press conference

Dustin Johnson, Graeme McDowell and Louis Oosthuizen had to answer some tough questions at the LIV Tour opening event press conference

The LIV Golf Invitational series is a “motley crew of struggling players, ex-statesmen, officials and a few big names”, according to Sky Sports’ Jamie Weir.

“After months of speculation, attacks, wild promises that were sketchy in detail, and serious doubt as to whether it would happen at all, here we are, on the eve of a ball finally being hit in the highly controversial and controversial, Saudi-backed. LIV Golf series.

“This week at the Centurion Club in Hertfordshire, 48 players, divided into twelve teams of four, will compete over just 54 holes for a total purse of $25 million. The individual winner will pocket $4 million and the player will finish in 48th place and last to take home $120,000 for their three days of work. 5 million of the $25 million total prize pool will be reserved for the item of the team tournament.

“The Great White Shark” Greg Norman is the CEO of LIV Golf

“The field is a motley crew of players struggling outside the top 1000 in the world, young pros and amateurs making their way in the game, elder statesmen of the game whose careers are on a downward trajectory, fellow Asians and DP World Tour and a few “big names”, including six-time Grand Slam champion Phil Mickelson, who returns to competitive golf after four months in self-imposed exile.

Martin Kaymer admits that the extra money he'll earn from starring in the LIV series helps, but insists it's not the only reason for joining the tour.

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Martin Kaymer admits that the extra money he’ll earn from starring in the LIV series helps, but insists it’s not the only reason for joining the tour.

Martin Kaymer admits that the extra money he’ll earn from starring in the LIV series helps, but insists it’s not the only reason for joining the tour.

“The press conferences on Tuesday were fascinating. They started with a trio of great champions – Dustin Johnson, Louis Oosthuizen and Graeme McDowell – all justifying their decision to play on the grounds that it is a new, different and exciting format that will appeal to a different audience in golf. Many of them also used the now all-too-familiar mantra of “grow the game,” three words that drew audible groans from the assembled media.

“Let’s be clear, there is one reason and one reason only for those players who choose to play the LIV series and dissociate themselves from the PGA Tour: money. When I told you that it was surely not a revolutionary format, but above all the tempting sums of cash on offer, they eventually admitted that was their motivation.

“When asked about Saudi Arabia’s brutal human rights record and its attitude towards women and gays, a question they surely expected, there was an initial reluctance to answer, before McDowell stepped in to respond on behalf of the gang. with the now familiar chorus. We’re not politicians, we’re professional golfers.” Oosthuizen and Johnson just sagely nodded.

“In a subsequent press conference with Americans Kevin Na and Talor Gooch, who other than Johnson and Oosthuizen are the only other players in the world’s top 50 competing this week, the same question was raised again. Gooch’s response to whether he felt he was actively participating in sports laundering was: “I don’t think that’s fair. I’m a golfer. I’m not that smart. I am trying to get a golf ball into a small hole. Golf is hard enough. I’m trying to worry about golf, and I’m excited for this week.”

“It’s amazing that Gooch had weeks to anticipate this question and have an answer ready, and yet it was the best thing he could come up with.

“Yesterday’s announcement that Jessie J will headline the ‘after golf’ concert on Saturday night. Her biggest hit is, of course, ‘Price Tag’, which opens with the lines ‘Everyone seems to have a price, I wonder how they sleep at night'”.

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“Six players have now ‘resigned’ from the PGA Tour to show their loyalty to the LIV series; Na, Johnson, Oosthuizen, Charl Schwartzel, Branden Grace, and Sergio Garcia. Others, including McDowell and Gooch, have yet to take the drastic step of giving up their PGA Tour memberships altogether, opting instead to wait and see what possible penalties they face for doing so on Thursday.

“Na, in particular, passionately championed the breakaway league, proclaiming himself a pioneer, there for the start of an exciting innovation that would change the face of golf. When he and Gooch were asked about missing out on any opportunity to represent the United States in the Ryder Cup, they both replied that they didn’t think it would come to that; that the PGA of America would be forced to reverse its decision to disqualify those who go to LIV.

“European Ryder Cup stalwarts like Garcia, McDowell, Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood and Martin Kaymer, all on court this week, are in a similar position. The DP World Tour (previously the European Tour) has kept its powder pretty dry in terms of the fallout for defectors, but taking the Saudi money and joining a series that poses an existential threat to the DP World Tour is bound to turn out. in the chances of playing in a Ryder Cup or becoming a future Ryder Cup captain are being sacrificed.

Former professional golfer Wayne Riley thinks the LIV Golf Tour is bad for the sport, but he doesn't blame players for joining the tour.

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Former professional golfer Wayne Riley thinks the LIV Golf Tour is bad for the sport, but he doesn’t blame players for joining the tour.

Former professional golfer Wayne Riley thinks the LIV Golf Tour is bad for the sport, but he doesn’t blame players for joining the tour.

Rich Beem believes that more players are likely to take part in the next six Saudi Golf League events because of the money they could win.

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Rich Beem believes that more players are likely to take part in the next six Saudi Golf League events because of the money they could win.

Rich Beem believes that more players are likely to take part in the next six Saudi Golf League events because of the money they could win.

“There is certainly a hope among players that this doesn’t have to be the case. They seem determined to have their cake and eat it.

“As a golf journalist, it’s been amazing to cover this story, with new twists weekly, often every day. From a very public and increasingly bitter war of words between PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan and LIV Golf boss Greg Norman. , to the disembowelment of Phil Mickelson by Rory McIlroy, calling him “naive, selfish, selfish and ignorant”. From Dustin Johnson’s pledge of allegiance to the PGA Tour a few months ago to his explosive u-turn last week.

There was a rare moment during Tuesday's LIV series press conference when a reporter was denied a question for golfer Kevin Na.

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There was a rare moment during Tuesday’s LIV series press conference when a reporter was denied a question for golfer Kevin Na.

There was a rare moment during Tuesday’s LIV series press conference when a reporter was denied a question for golfer Kevin Na.

“There were moments almost beyond parody; Norman claims that “everyone makes mistakes” when asked about the brutal murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi by the Saudis; a downright embarrassing scenario last weekend when attendees uploaded videos to their social media accounts giving away unlimited free tickets to this week’s event, such is the lack of public interest; yesterday’s announcement that Jessie J will headline Saturday night’s ‘after golf’ concert. Her biggest hit is, of course, “Price Tag,” which opens with the lines “Everyone seems to have a price, I wonder how they sleep at night.”

“It seems clear that it is about money, money, money. And Wednesday will see Mickelson face the media for the first time in months. There are bound to be some interesting questions and even more intriguing answers. The golf world is eagerly awaiting what one of the greatest players of all time, and the poster boy for the menacing move to break through the game as we know it, has to say. »

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