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The inaugural LIV Golf Invitational tournament kicked off this weekend, and the first event on the Saudi-backed series has a winner.
Charl Schwartzel, a two time PGA Tour winner and 2011 Masters champion led the field with a 7-under 65-66-72 run at the Centurian Club outside London.
Schwatzerl held off Hennie Du Plessis by one stroke, while Dustin Johnson finished in 8th place at -1. Sergio Garcia was 13 strokes off the lead at +6, and Phil Mickelson struggled at +10 for the tournament, shooting 69-75-76 over the weekend.
The event drew controversy with 911families.org criticizing the players for being complicit in helping the Saudis “whitewash their reputation.”
It’s unclear whether the Biden Administration will face the same type of criticism for announcing they will be trying to “move on” from past Saudi misdeeds.
The first place purse for the tournament was the largest in golf history, with Schwartzel receiving $4.75 million:
— Fox News (@FoxNews) June 11, 2022
$4 million as the individual winner and $750,000 as a member of the winning team. The highest paying PGA Tour event, The Players Championship, pays $3,600,000 for a first place finish.
This weekend’s RBC Canadian Open will pay the winner $1,566,000.
Schwartzel had earned only $772,000 so far this year on the PGA Tour, so the win today represents a significant increase for him.
The first LIV event is in the books. We’ll see how many more PGA stars jump ship after seeing record setting purses collected each week.