Report: Loyal PGA Tour Players To Be Compensated For Rejecting LIV Golf

The Times reports that the Saudi investors in the game will financially compensate the PGA Tour players who turned down LIV Golf

Jon Rahm takes a shot during a practice round before the 2023 US Open
Jon Rahm reportedly turned down hundreds of millions of dollars from LIV Golf
(Image credit: Getty Images)

PGA Tour players who rejected the chance to join LIV Golf are reportedly in line for a windfall thanks to a compensation fund the Times say is being planned by the game's Saudi investors. 

One of the burning questions following the shock deal agreed between the PGA Tour and Saudi Public Investment Fund that finances LIV Golf was how those who turned down millions of dollars to remain on the Tour could be compensated.

Golf Monthly understands that while talks are ongoing, nothing has been decided just yet.

PGA Tour policy board member Jimmy Dunne, who was a key figure in brokering the deal, has suggested that the players could receive “a piece of equity” in the new company that will be formed between the PGA Tour, DP World Tour and PIF.

However, according to The Times, players who rejected the overtures of LIV Golf will receive a payment under the plan so they "level up" with LIV Golf players, who will keep the money they were paid to join LIV Golf even if they return to the PGA Tour. 

The report also states that no agreement has been reached on the amount of money players will receive, while they remain in the dark on how the new partnership will work. Players including Tiger Woods, Jon Rahm, Hideki Matsuyama and Will Zalatoris reportedly rejected huge amounts of money to stay put

Hideki Matsuyama during a practice round before the 2023 US Open

Hideki Matsuyama is reportedly one of the PGA Tour players who rejected an offer

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Before last week’s RBC Canadian Open, Rory McIlroy was asked if loyal PGA Tour players should be made whole financially, and he replied: “I mean, the simple answer is yes. The complex answer is how does that happen, right. And that's all, that's all a gray area and up in the air at the minute. But, yeah, there is, it's hard to, it's hard for me to not sit up here and feel somewhat like a sacrificial lamb and feeling like I've put myself out there and this is what happens.”

Later, he reiterated the point to Sky Sports, saying: “There has to be something for those guys,” before adding that they probably felt that they were now “questioning that decision” to turn down LIV Golf.

Asked whether he was referring to some form of financial compensation, he added: “Yeah, I think so. Ultimately I think that’s what we’re talking about, yeah.”

During the interview, McIlroy also confirmed he was not one of the players in question as he “was never offered anything from LIV.”

A source close to the new entity also explained to The Times that there are still details to be ironed out, saying: “It is a plan that is not in final form or has final agreement. There are some people talking about this but it is not agreed yet or is it a fait accompli.”

A lot of players will surely be looking to cash in on the reported proposal. For example, after the first round of the RBC Canadian Open, World No.291 Chesson Hadley said his decision to remain on the PGA Tour should be rewarded. He explained: "I would like to be rewarded for some loyalty. I mean, I felt those guys didn't do the wrong thing, who went to LIV. They made a business decision. I don't hold that against anybody. But I would like to be rewarded for my decision to stay loyal.”

The report also says sources involved in the discussions believe LIV Golf will be phased out by the end of the year. In its place will reportedly be a smaller team event.

Dunne has claimed that if PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan "wants to disband LIV Golf, he can." Monahan has temporarily stepped away from running the PGA Tour due to a "medical situation."

A spokesperson for LIV Golf declined to comment on the report.

Mike Hall

Mike has over 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on a range of sports throughout that time, such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance staff writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the game's most newsworthy stories. 

He has written hundreds of articles on the game, from features offering insights into how members of the public can play some of the world's most revered courses, to breaking news stories affecting everything from the PGA Tour and LIV Golf to developmental Tours and the amateur game. 

Mike grew up in East Yorkshire and began his career in journalism in 1997. He then moved to London in 2003 as his career flourished, and nowadays resides in New Brunswick, Canada, where he and his wife raise their young family less than a mile from his local course. 

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.