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Curtis Strange has urged LIV Golf’s players to admit that the only reason they’ve joined the Saudi-backed series is because they were offered huge paydays.
Numerous reasons have been given when players have had their motivation for joining LIV Golf questioned, but two-time US Open winner Strange says it all comes down to cold hard cash.
“You know, there's one reason these players are going, and one reason only, and that's the appearance money," Strange told FoxNews.com. “I understand the players going. I do because it's so large, it's life-changing. Now, some people will say, ‘Well, they already make a lot of money.’ Yes, they do. But some of these players are at the end of their careers, and so they're not going to make huge amounts of money for the next, you know, number of years.
Video: What is LIV Golf?
“It isn't about not liking the tour. This isn’t about what the tour hasn't done. It isn't about I want to see my family more in a year. It is not about having more time to myself. These guys don't play that much anyway. It's all about this huge appearance money. And that's it. That's the bottom line."
While Strange understands individuals looking for personal financial security, he feels the launch of LIV Golf is bad for both the PGA Tour and golf in general, and questioned whether those jumping ship have considered that.
He told FoxNews.com: "Is this harmful to the tour? Yes, because it has taken some big player names away from the tour. Is it harmful for golf? Yes. Because it's diluting the whole system. It's a rebel system with extremely deep pockets, and they're buying their tour.
"This is one of the biggest things to ever happen in a negative way to our game. And so it's not good for anybody. But will it continue to happen? You know, as long as they continue to throw that kind of money, there's always a chance. Does that tour exist for longer than a couple of years? That's all up to them, how much money they want to put in it.
"I can't imagine turning your back on the organisation that gave you the platform to be who you are. At the same time, I do understand a guy who doesn't think he can play well enough anymore going. But I just have a tough time, after playing the tour for so long, turning your back on an organisation and actually being somewhat detrimental to it. But I get it. I get it. It's money."
The second LIV Golf Series event starts on Thursday at Pumpkin Ridge in Portland. As with the first event at the Centurion Club near London earlier this month, the players will be battling it out for an individual prizepool of $20million, plus $5million for the team competition. South African Charl Schwartzel banked $4.75million for winning the individual and being part of the winning team at Centurion.
Jeff graduated from Leeds University in Business Studies and Media in 1996 and did a post grad in journalism at Sheffield College in 1997. His first jobs were on Slam Dunk (basketball) and Football Monthly magazines, and he's worked for the Sunday Times, Press Association and ESPN. He has faced golfing greats Sam Torrance and Sergio Garcia, but on the poker felt rather than the golf course. Jeff's favourite course played is Sandy Lane in Barbados, which went far better than when he played Matfen Hall in Northumberland, where he crashed the buggy on the way to the 1st tee!
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