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American Harold Varner III is one of six new LIV Golf signings, but while fellow signing Cameron Smith has cited several reasons behind his decision to join the start-up, Varner III was unequivocal on his primary reason for signing up – money.
In a statement, the 32-year-old first acknowledged the positive influence the PGA Tour has had on his life. He said: "The PGA Tour has been a life changer. It's given me, an ordinary kid from rural Gastonia, North Carolina, the opportunity to make something out of my life. From my fellow players to the volunteers, to the Tour employees, to the fans... it's been nothing but love.”
Video: What Is LIV Golf?
However, he then addressed his motive for leaving behind a Tour that had offered him so much. He explained: “The opportunity to join LIV Golf is simply too good of a financial breakthrough for me to pass by. I know what it means to grow up without much. This money is going to ensure that my kid and future Varners will have a solid base to start on and a life I could have only dreamt about growing up.”
While Varner III is keen to put the needs of his family at the forefront of his decision, he also said the money he will receive can be put to another use – namely, the HV3 Foundation, which he set up to help make access to sport more affordable for young people. He said: “It'll also help fund many of the programs I'm building with my Foundation. I'll continue to forge pathways for kids interested in golf. This note is a receipt for that.”
Varner III also acknowledged that, despite the worthwhile intentions he envisages for the additional wealth he will come into, his decision to join the Saudi-backed start-up is controversial. He said: “Your opinion of me may have changed because of this announcement. No lie, that'll be a tough thing to deal with. But haven't changed - I'm still me. I promise you that.” You can read the full statement here.
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Varner III is the current World No.46, and, while he hasn’t won on the PGA Tour, he joins LIV Golf on the back of a solid 2022 that included a tie for 6th in the Players Championship and a tie for third in the RBC Heritage. He also won the PIF Saudi International in February. He currently stands 203rd on the PGA Tour career money list with earnings of $10,403,266.
Mike has 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on sports such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the sport’s most newsworthy stories. Originally from East Yorkshire, Mike now resides in Canada, where the nearest course is less than a mile from his home. It’s there where he remains confident that, one of these days, he’ll play the 17th without finding the water. Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.
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