Former U.S. President Donald Trump has urged players to “take the money” and join the LIV Golf Invitational Series, suggesting that those who remain loyal to the PGA Tour will ultimately pay a bigger price for staying put.
Trump, whose Bedminster course in New Jersey will host the next LIV event from July 29-31, feels any golfers who do not take advantage of the money being offered to players to make the switch will lose out.
“All of those golfers that remain ‘loyal’ to the very disloyal PGA, in all of its different forms, will pay a big price when the inevitable MERGER with LIV comes, and you get nothing but a big ‘thank you’ from PGA officials who are making Millions of Dollars a year,” Trump wrote this week on the social medial platform Truth Social.
“If you don’t take the money now, you will get nothing after the merger takes place, and only say how smart the original signees were.”Donald Trump
The Saudi Arabia-backed LIV Golf series has lured players with the promise of guaranteed, big-money paydays and a reduced schedule while the U.S.-based PGA Tour has suspended members who opted to join the breakaway circuit.
Among the more high-profile players to join LIV are World Golf Hall of Fame member Phil Mickelson, who was reportedly paid $200 million to jump ship, twice major champion Dustin Johnson and 2020 U.S. Open winner Bryson DeChambeau.
Critics say LIV Golf, which is bankrolled by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, amounts to blatant ‘sportswashing’ by a nation trying to improve its reputation in light of its history of human rights abuses.
The PGA Tour and DP World Tour in Europe are united in their stand against LIV and three weeks ago announced a strengthening of their alliance to combat the threat.
Bedminster was supposed to host this year’s PGA Championship but the PGA of America relocated it after Trump exhorted his supporters to march on the Capitol in January 2021 as Congress met to certify his presidential election defeat by Joe Biden.
Trump’s Doral course is also scheduled to host the eighth and final event of the inaugural LIV season, a team championship with a $50 million purse of which $16 million will be awarded the winning foursome.
Philippine Daily Inquirer wires/Reuters