A billion dollars for eight figures, including Niemann: the impressive bonuses with which LIV Golf raised the stars of the PGA

A billion dollars for eight figures, including Niemann: the impressive bonuses with which LIV Golf raised the stars of the PGA

The LIV Golf Series broke through with it all. The millions contained in this circuit financed by the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund are too strong a hook to attract great figures from the PGA. The most recent, world number two Cameron Smith and Chilean Joaquín Niemann (19th)who joined this new tour in high numbers, whose peculiarity is that it presents individual and team competitions and whose duration is just three days (54 holes, no court).

Sporting confirmed that the arrival of the talagantino cost him US$ 100 million to the super league (75 million US currency tax-free), divided into two payments. In this way, the figure becomes the most onerous that a Chilean athlete has ever received.

But the wallet did not stay there, since Cameron Smith, current number two in the world and current champion of the British Open, arrived for a figure that borders $125 millionsame budget offered to Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau, Patrick Reed and Sergio Garcia. While Brooks Koepka pocketed $100 million. To them is added the best paid Phil Mickelson, who received $200 million to trade.

These amounts had a direct impact on the earnings list published by the prestigious Forbes magazine. The clearest example is that of the 10 golfers in the classification, seven of them belong to the LIV, leading the list Mickelson, followed by Johnson and DeChambeau. At this rate, it’s possible that next year’s earnings ranking will all be members of the new circuit.

There is also the case of the South African Charl Schwartzel, who won the first event of the new circuit in London, earning US$4.75 million, more than all he won in any of his PGA seasons.

The emerging tour has already shown its power by putting US$ 700 million to Tiger Woods to leave the PGA, an offer that the American legend rejected to be faithful to the North American circuit. In fact, the situation made him take a much more leading role, to the point of traveling to Delaware to try to convince the undecided, including Niemann, not to change sides.

The Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund (FIP) is largely responsible for these exorbitant figures. The owner is the Saudi prince Mohammed bin Salmanwho recently acquired 80% of the shares of Newcastle, from the English Premier League, for US$400 million, while his fortune stands at $350 billion (yes, you read that right).

The FIP’s commitment is to invest US$ 10 billion over the next 10 years in the LIV Golf Seriesbetting on a revolutionary format, which seeks to change the conception and even, in a certain way, the rules of this sport. However, he also partnered with the Asian Tour to enable him to deliver points for the world ranking in the near future.

Mohammed bin Salman, together with Joe Biden, during his visit to Saudi Arabia. Photo: REUTERS.

That same conviction is that of the athletes involved, a vision ratified by Jorge Niemann, Joaquín’s father. “Joaco made his decision with all the information on the table, the pros and cons. He continues with the same passion for his sport; It will be a different modality that will eventually make its way into the world of sports, ”he warned.

Within the functions of Joaquín Niemann in this new format, is to be captain of Torque GC, a team that receives its name from the resistance of the club to twisting the shaft during the swingsomething similar to what this part does in automobiles, according to LIV, on its official website.

His team includes scott vincentfrom Zimbabwe, who plays for his fourth different team in as many events; to the Australian jediah morgan; and to Spanish Adrian Otaeguiwho was part of the original team that started in London before the reorganization suffered by the squad after the arrival of the Chilean.

In team competition, the best two stroke play scores in the first two rounds will count for each team. For the third and final day, the three best scores will count. The lowest overall team score after 54 holes will be the team winner. The casts will compete for a total purse of US$5 million: US$3 million for first place, US$1.5 million for second and US$500,000 for third. Each player will receive a 25% share of the profits, making it extremely attractive from an economic standpoint.

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