Report: Hideki Matsuyama 'Torn Between The Money And His Legacy'

The 30-year-old was reportedly caught in two minds before opting to remain on the PGA Tour

Hideki Matsuyama plays a shot during the first round of the 2022 Tour Championship
(Image credit: Getty Images)

LIV Golf has announced six new signings, bringing to an end weeks of speculation as to who would be the next high-profile players to join the Saudi-backed Series.

However, while Cameron Smith, Joaquin Niemann, Harold Varner III, Cameron Tringale, Marc Leishman and Anirban Lahiri will be teeing it up at the fourth event at Boston, one player who won’t be joining them is Hideki Matsuyama.

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The Japanese World No.16 had been persistently linked with the Series in recent weeks. However, according to Brian Wacker, at the recent Tiger Woods-led player-only meeting of PGA Tour members, "someone in the room" remarked he was "torn between the money and his legacy" on the PGA Tour. 

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The signing of Matsuyama would undoubtedly have been a huge coup for the Saudi-backed venture, as he’s the most famous and successful Asian golfer at the present time. The impact the 30-year-old could have had on LIV Golf was clearly not lost on the organisation, either, with some reports suggesting it was prepared to tempt him with an offer in the region of $400m to sign up, no doubt fully aware of the positive longer-term effect his presence could have had on its sponsorships, TV deals and audience figures.

Regardless, LIV Golf will be buoyed by its latest acquisitions, particularly World No.2 Cameron Smith. However, Matsuyama’s decision to stay put will be a significant boost to the PGA Tour. It revealed unprecedented changes to combat the LIV Golf threat recently, with increased purses and the desire to "bring the game's top players together more often” top of the agenda.

Whether Matsuyama’s decision to remain on the PGA Tour has been influenced by those proposals is unclear, but the 2021 Masters champion, who has eight PGA Tour wins to his name, is building an impressive legacy on the Tour. For now, at least, it seems the appeal of continuing to do that is more attractive than the financial incentives reportedly offered by the Greg Norman-fronted venture.

Mike Hall
Freelance Staff Writer

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.