Would A Tiered Fine System For LIV Players Appease PGA Tour Golfers Who Missed Out On Millions? Would It Even Make Sense?

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The PGA Tour and LIV Golf now find themselves in a partnership after their shocking coming together via merger. And while that may be the present topic at hand, it doesn’t erase the very recent past.

Money was the first, second, and third reason behind the decisions made by every player who elected to join LIV Golf over the last year plus. The LIV players who stood in front of the media spewing nonsense about ‘growing the game’ ahead of the circuit’s inaugural event last June were being incredibly disingenuous.


Practically every player who signed a contract to join LIV Golf received a signing bonus for doing so. Phil Mickelson reportedly signed on for $200 million, Dustin Johnson reportedly joined for close to $100 million, and Brooks Koepka is rumored to have fetched $69 million.

This money was all guaranteed to those players, and many others, before they hit one single shot in a LIV event. Those, by the way, were guaranteed paydays with no cuts.

Now that the PGA Tour has joined forces with LIV and the Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund, the players that jumped ship for millions and millions of dollars look like heroes. The superstars that were offered those same millions, such as Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm, and others who stayed on the Tour look both foolish and much, much poorer than their ‘new’ co-workers.

That may not be the case for long, however.

Tiered Fine System Coming For LIV Players?

According to Barstool’s Dan Rapaport, who is very much plugged into PGA Tour happenings, LIV players who want to return to the new-look golf tour will have to pay a fine.

The question, as Rapaport hints at and many are wondering, is whether or not that would erase the nasty taste in the mouths of players who turned down millions if some of said fine would go back in the pockets of PGA Tour loyalists.

There is obviously more than one answer here given that some players will be seeking reparations for staying loyal to the Tour, while others won’t care as much about the money.

I guess the simplest answer is yes, handing out free money to players for simply staying with the Tour would appease those players. That’s not to say that the sum of money will equate to what they may believe they deserve, but free cash is free cash.


Jon Rahm Withdraws From The Players With A Stomach Bug
PGA Tour loyalists being paid by those who joined LIV Golf for doing so doesn’t make sense. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

While it’s a complicated, potential endeavor with a tiered fine system, I do believe there’s one way to look at the situation from a big-picture perspective.

Reality Then Vs. Reality Now

The past is the past. The players who made the jump to LIV Golf quite literally wagered their future in professional golf in doing so and were paid handsomely for it. Those that didn’t want to take that risk weren’t rewarded with signing bonuses, although the Tour did increase purse sizes, but that was the reality then.

The reality now shouldn’t have anything to do with reality 12-18 months ago, therefore paying back some players who stayed and didn’t really do anything doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.

Those players that joined LIV were paid to do so, they were a part of the wave that’s shaken up the entire professional golf world, and forcing them to donate money? Something doesn’t feel right about that.

Should Scottie Scheffler, Rahm, McIlroy, and every other superstar PGA Tour loyalist seek new bonuses in this new tour? Absolutely. But those funds shouldn’t come out of the pockets of players who already got theirs.

Follow Mark Harris on Twitter @ItIsMarkHarris

Written by Mark Harris


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  1. The merger happened because LIV players have won half of this years majors, and they’ve dominated the Top 5…Yes, the Top 5…Look at the numbers…

    And I’m sure the ratings for the majors far surpass regular events, $20,000,000 purse or no.

    Individual sports are like prize fights. We as fans want to see the best. You don’t have to be a major winner to be a Top 20 player on the PGA Tour. Fans aren’t tuning in to watch solid players who finish Top 10 often, they’re tuning in to watch stars who win majors and rise to the occasion.

    All of the real talent that went to LIV are major winners, and are beloved by the majority of golf fans. Rory can talk all the trash he wants. He hasn’t won a major in 10 years. Phil won the PGA in 21’ and finished T-2 at Augusta this year.

    LIV players have won almost half of all majors since 2017. The PGA Tour thought their branding was much stronger than it was in actuality. Merit based results dominate sports. Fans want the best. They could care less about what tour you’re from.

    If the guy from “The Fruit Loops Tour” wins at Augusta, he’s getting a standing ovation on 18 and a whole new legion of fans. We just want to cheer for and watch the best…Except Patrick Reed 😂😂😂

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