Charl Schwartzel Secures Inaugural LIV Golf Invitational Series Opener

The 37-year-old picks up a cool $4.75 million for his efforts after securing a one shot win

Schwartzel acknowledges the crowd after his win
(Image credit: Getty Images)

At the first LIV Golf Invitational Series tournament there have been an awful lot of talking points. However, one thing that is for certain is the winner of the inaugural event, with Charl Schwartzel holding his nerve to pick up the largest pay cheque in the sport's history.

Not only did the South African secure the $4 million first prize, but also a share of the $3 million team aspect, with the quartet of Schwartzel, Hennie Du Plessis, Branden Grace and Louis Oosthuizen, or Team Stinger GC, picking up $750,000 each for their efforts.

"I'm honestly relieved, it was tough finishing there," explained Schwartzel, who averaged $84,324 per start on the PGA Tour. "I made a bad mistake on 12 which put me on the back foot. I needed to stay calm and get this thing in the house, but I made it a bit more difficult than it should have been. I'm proud of how I hung in and it is a great feeling."

The 37-year-old had begun the day three shots clear of his teammate and countryman, Du Plessis, with both men and Peter Uihlein beginning at the first hole in the Shotgun Start format.

Following seven straight pars, the South African moved to one-under-par for the day, with a birdie at the 8th extending his lead further. However, a costly second shot, which plugged in the bunker, soon led to a double bogey which saw Schwartzel's lead halved.

He recovered well though as a birdie at the next gave him a little wiggle room. A bogey then followed, as he remained two ahead with only a handful of holes remaining.

Schwartzel's Stinger GC teammate, Du Plessis, wasn't giving in though, but an array of limited chances halted the 25-year-old's progress. There was some consolation for the young South African though, as a par at the last secured a $2.15 million pay cheque. Previously, his biggest pay day had been $109,600.

After watching his countryman roll in his putt, Schwartzel duly tapped in for a closing bogey and a one shot win and a $4 million prize. “Hennie played some fantastic golf and at 25-years-old he has a bright future," commented the 37-year-old.

Schwartzel walks alongside teammates Branden Grace, Louis Oosthuizen and Hennie du Plessis of Stinger GC

Schwartzel walks alongside teammates Branden Grace, Louis Oosthuizen and Hennie du Plessis of Stinger GC

(Image credit: Getty Images)

"I’m proud of my teammates. This is a historical moment and being the first LIV winners is awesome. The guys (LIV Organisers) have put up an amazing show. What they have done is well beyond our expectations. The entertainment, the way they treat everybody, it’s out of this world.”

Along with the individual victories, Team Stinger GC dominated the team proceedings as their 20-under-par total was some 14 shots clear of second place, Crushers GC. The commanding win was good enough to secure the $3 million purse, with each man picking up $750,000 for their efforts.

Matt studied Sports Journalism at Southampton Solent University, graduating in 2019. Now a freelance writer for Golf Monthly and the PGA, he covers all aspects of the game, from Tour news to equipment testing and buyers’ guides. Taking up the game at the age of six, Matt currently holds a handicap of 3 and despite not having a hole in one…yet, he has had two albatrosses. His favourite player is Rory McIlroy, despite nearly being struck by his second shot at the 17th during the 2015 BMW PGA Championship.