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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Seven of 10 Highest-Paid Golfers Joined LIV Golf

  • LIV Golf has rearranged the list of the highest-paid golfers.
  • Seven of the top 10 joined the PGA Tour, including top earner Phil Mickelson.
Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Many golfers who joined LIV Golf have suffered hits to their reputations and playing opportunities. Their pocketbooks, however, are doing just fine.

Since May, the 10 highest-paid golfers took in around $370 million from the Saudi-backed PGA Tour rival, per Forbes.

  • Phil Mickelson topped the list of the year’s best-paid golfers with a $132 million haul. Lefty reportedly accepted a $200 million signing bonus, with Forbes estimating he received half up front.
  • Mickelson was followed by three other LIV-ers: Dustin Johnson ($97 million), Bryson DeChambeau ($86 million), and Brooks Koepka ($69 million).
  • Tiger Woods dropped to fifth with $68 million, nearly all of which came from endorsement deals. LIV CEO Greg Norman said that Woods turned down an offer in the “high nine digits” from LIV.

The back half of the list contains two holdouts who have stuck with the PGA Tour, Rory McIlroy ($43 million) and Jordan Spieth ($39 million), plus three who joined LIV Golf: Sergio Garcia ($42 million), Patrick Reed ($37 million), and Charl Schwartzel ($34 million).

One high-profile name not joining LIV: Charles Barkley. The NBA legend-turned broadcaster and commentator committed to TNT after considering entreaties from LIV. 

Washington’s Role

The PGA Tour has lobbied members of Congress, some of whom have expressed concerns about LIV, and officials in the Biden Administration regarding the rival tour.

Meanwhile, the Department of Justice is investigating the PGA Tour over antitrust concerns, as it prohibits members from playing in sanctioned events — namely LIV’s tournaments.

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