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A number of big names like Bryson DeChambeau, Dustin Johnson and Phil Mickelson have made moves to the LIV Golf Invitational Series. Arguably, however, there is an even bigger talking point regarding signings: the World No.2 amateur, Eugenio Chacarra, has revealed that he has signed a three-year deal with the Saudi-backed series.
According to GolfChannel.com, the news was first reported by the Spanish newspaper, Marca, who were speaking to Chacarra. He is now expected to make his professional debut at LIV’s event in Portland, Oregon.
“My position is that of a player who is not a member of the PGA Tour or the DP World Tour, and I have not earned money while I have been an amateur, so I can play in this league without problems,” Chacarra told Marca (translated from Spanish). “This contract gives me peace of mind and ensures the future of my family. I had already achieved everything as an amateur, and now I will be able to gain experience as a professional.”
Studying at Oklahoma State, the Spaniard announced that he would return to complete his extra year. He did withdraw his name from PGA Tour University last season though, stating: “I am convinced that an additional year of hard work in Stillwater will allow me to continue to grow academically and personally, which will only prepare me better for the PGA Tour and my professional career
"The PGA Tour will still be there when I’m ready. You can only play four years of college and I did not play during the COVID-19 year. I don’t know if you saw Jon Rahm’s interview at the Masters, but he was talking about playing four years of college golf and how much better that made him. I feel like it will also help me develop as a person and player.”
Currently, Adrian Otaegui and Sergio Garcia are the two Spaniards in the field for the event in Portland, with 2017 Masters champion, Garcia, actually Chacarra’s mentor. For Chacarra, who told Marca "I had to take this,” he now becomes the first active college player to give up his amateur status and sign with LIV.
“They have given me an opportunity, and my grandfather always told me that when you have (an opportunity), to take the train. In this circuit, they not only wanted legends, but young players with projection, and Greg Norman has noticed me. Here the philosophy is that the players start with a contract and that gives security, so it would not surprise me that players continue to come in. There will be people who do not think it is good and there are others who have chosen this option.”
The Spaniard says he still plans to graduate from college and is expected to complete his dual-degree program in sports management and finance, and psychology in December.
He isn't the only young and upcoming golfer that LIV have approached. It was reported back in May that they had approached the top six amateurs in the world. Allegedly amongst those were Pierceson Coody, who recently rejected an offer from LIV, James Piot, who reportedly took $1 million to sign up, Alex Fitzpatrick, who turned down over $2 million and Arizona State senior, David Puig, who competed in the LIV opener at Centurion, but as an amateur.
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.
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