Golf-Schwartzel wins the first match of the LIV and pockets the $4 million jackpot
South African Charl Schwartzel held off compatriot Hennie Du Plessis to claim the biggest paycheck in golf history in the LIV Invitational Series opener on Saturday.
The 37-year-old led by three strokes heading into the third and final round at the Centurion course in north London, and consolidated with a round of 72 to seal the $4million prize. Schwartzel, whose previous highest salary was the $1.4 million he raked in for winning the 2011 Masters, was left with seven cents with Du Plessis finishing a shot back. Another South African, Branden Grace, finished third on five under.
All three were playing for the Stingers team which easily won the tag team element of the new series. “You know, it’s a relief,” said Schwartzel, who also took home an additional $750,000 for being on the winning team.
“I had it in my hands, but I made it a little harder than it should have been. Never in my wildest dreams did I think we could play for so many money in golf.” Schwartzel’s victory ended a tumultuous launch week for the breakaway circuit which is backed to the tune of $250 million by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF).
Organizers will point to decent-sized crowds, plenty of glitz and big-name attendance including six-time major champion Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson and Sergio Garcia. But the first of eight events was as much about a developing off-course power struggle and accusations of Saudi “sportswashing” and greed as it was about action on it.
“All I can say is the evolution of golf has arrived,” said LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman, who tried to set up a new round the world in the 1990s, when of the presentation ceremony. “For 27 years, many obstacles have stood in our way, many dreams have tried to be crushed but they could not crush us.”
On Thursday, the PGA Tour announced it had suspended players participating in the LIV Series – a move LIV organizers called vindictive and could lead to a legal battle. The PGA suspension and the prospect of being ineligible for the Ryder Cup hasn’t stopped more players from turning their backs on the PGA Tour with major champion great Bryson DeChambeau joining the party on Friday and fellow American Patrick Reed following suit. not Saturday.
The two will debut at the series’ second event in Portland, Oregon later this month. “I’m super excited,” Reed, 31, said during YouTube’s final day streaming coverage, which drew 100,000 viewers at its peak.
“Being part of the evolution and change in golf is amazing. Portland can’t get here soon enough.”
(This story has not been edited by the Devdiscourse team and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)