'I've Never Looked At Where The Money Has Come From' - Schwartzel

Speaking after his LIV victory, Schwartzel also stated that 'if I start digging everywhere where we played, you could find fault in anything'

Schwartzel speaks to media with his trophy beside him
(Image credit: Getty Images)

On Saturday evening, the first LIV Golf Invitational Series event came to its conclusion at the Centurion Club, with 37-year-old Charl Schwartzel picking up the $4 million first prize, as well as an extra $750,000 after his Stinger GC quartet claimed the $3 million team prize.

Going into the tournament, a lot of the questioning had focused on the Saudi-backed nature of the series. After the tournament was over, that line of questioning was still in full effect, with winner Schwartzel asked: "How do you respond to those concerns raised that it's Saudi sovereign wealth funding, which is something human rights groups, and now 9/11 survivors and victims' families are protesting against, that you're earning from that and that's the funding of it." 

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Charl's response? Well, after a long pause, the 2011 Masters winner eventually replied: "I've never -- where the money comes from is not something that I ever -- that I've ever looked at playing in my 20 years career, you know. I think if I start digging everywhere where we played, you could find fault in anything. I -- you know, it's a question there that's just hard for me to answer it because it's really rhetorical at the end. We can argue this all day long."

It isn't just Schwartzel who has come under fire for their LIV Golf involvement. Before a tee shot was even struck in Hertfordshire, Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter were left speechless after a reporter asked them a question involving Vladimir Putin and if they would play if he held a golf tournament. 

The question, which was: “If Vladimir Putin had a tournament, would you play that?" made both players clam up for a moment, with Poulter the first to answer: “That’s speculation. I’m not even going to comment on speculation.” The journalist wasn’t done though, and reframed the question, asking: “In a generality, is there any way you wouldn’t play on a moral basis? If the money was right, is there any way you wouldn’t play?” After an awkward pause, Poulter simply said: “I don’t need to answer that question.”

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

Schwartzel with his Crusher GC team mates - Branden Grace, Louis Oosthuizen and Hennie Du Plessis

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Following the first tee shots on Thursday at Centurion Club, the PGA Tour and its Commissioner, Jay Monahan, banned all players who are teeing it up in the LIV Golf Invitational Series and those who play in future events.

In a strongly worded letter from the commissioner, the Tour says that LIV Golf players are "suspended or otherwise no longer eligible to participate" in PGA Tour events. They will be removed from the FedEx Cup rankings following this week's RBC Canadian Open and will not be eligible for the FedEx Cup or Presidents Cup.

"These players have made their choice for their own financial-based reasons. But they can't demand the same PGA Tour membership benefits, considerations, opportunities and platforms as you," the letter reads. "That expectation disrespects you, our fans and our partners."

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.