The PGA Tour will end a tumultuous 2021-22 season on Sunday, when it won the FedEx Cup and paid out a record $75 million in prize money, $18 million of which went to the winner. But for Tourism Commissioner Jay Monahan and his gear, the festivities may not last long.
Rumours abound that LIV Golf is a Saudi-backed upstart alternative The tour, which has successfully disrupted the professional golf scene, is preparing to announce another round of poaching ahead of the Sept. 2 event in Boston.
“LIV will announce seven new signings on Monday, including a long-rumored superstar,” according to longtime golf writer Alan Hee of The Fire Pit Collective Alan Shipnuck said he recently wrote a biography of Phil Mickelson. “It’s not a bunch of old-timers playing strings or unknowns picked from second-tier international tours,” Shipnak said. All seven played in the FedEx St. Jude Championship a few weeks ago, he said.
Here are nine suspects who might join LIV: Cameron Smith, Hideki Matsuyama, Harold Varner III, Marc Leishman, Cameron Tringale, Jason Day , Anirban Lahiri, Si Woo Kim and Jhonattan Vegas. (UPDATE: As Friday unfolded, there was growing speculation that Joaquin Niemann, Mito Pereira and Cameron Young also had Possibly.)
Forbes ) ) This list is based on a number of factors: excluding participation in the 2019-2019 PGA stalwart Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy convened last week in response to the threat posed by LIV Tour member for a limited-player conference; compares top 100 players to golfers who have moved up to LIV and participated in this weekend’s Tour Championship at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta, according to the Official World Golf Ranking; previously published report ; and the opinions of several industry insiders. Another interesting betrayal possibility is Adam Scott, despite his participation in the Woods-McIlroy meeting. The task force is competing in antitrust court.
Some of the shortlisted golfers are far from household names, but superstars like Smith or Matsuyama could be a game-changer for LIV, which has drawn ten so far Top 50 golfers in the world. With limited revenue, LIV is leaning heavily on star power to achieve its goal of turning it into a sustainable business: a major US broadcast deal. One strategy is to bring golfers from the same country together to play team games together. According to , Smith, an Australian who is the second-ranked golfer in the world, won the British Open in July and has signed 1 $100 million contract for a new tour. ) The Telegraph . Matsuyama elevated himself to the status of a folk hero in his native Japan after winning the Masters in 2021, a victory that experts speculate could lead to a nine-figure endorsement windfall. LIV’s guarantee to Songshan is rumored to be around $400 million.
“Latin America, then Korea, Japan and Asia, is the commercial driver for broadcasts and sponsorships,” LIV Golf chief media officer Will Staeger told in June Forbes . “So when you have a fan affinity with players in those regions, it’s very important for long-term revenue.”
LIV, which is backed by Saudi Arabia’s $620 billion sovereign wealth fund, has been fine with spending. Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau and Brooks Koepka all reportedly received more than $100 million in guarantees, half of which is considered an advance. Overall, Forbes estimates that LIV Golf has improved the top 10 highest paid golfers in the world revenue of a staggering $370 million. Mickelson’s $138 million pre-tax and broker fees over the past 12 months would make him the Forbes
in the world Highest-paid athlete annual list, ahead of football legend Lionel Messi, who is worth $130 million.
The PGA Tour was forced to respond. Changes include doubling the Player Impact Program to 20 players and $100 million, allocating $500,000 in guaranteed income to fully tax-exempt members, and designating 12 “Boost Events” with an average prize pool of $20 million for 2023 FedExCup regular season. Woods and McIlroy also announced PGA Tour partner Tech-Infused Golf League this week. It will debut in 2024, pitting three teams against each other on a virtual pitch inside the stadium.
Whatever the changes, the quality of the PGA Tour has taken a hit. And this may just be the beginning. LIV tells Forbes that it intends to sign 48 golfers for the 2023 season, the first It will lock its team element.