Pat Perez isn’t involved in the chase, but he’s enjoying watching everything unfold in front of him.
The 21-year-old PGA Tour veteran confesses that those in charge of recruiting players for the LIV Golf Investments golf league aren’t necessarily looking at him.
As a result, he was not offered a spot in this week’s PIF Saudi International, an Asian Tour event that has drawn 21 of the world’s top 50 players, including defending champion Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau, and Phil Mickelson, and has sparked controversy by requiring players to seek PGA Tour releases in order to compete.
Perez, 45, is at Pebble Beach this week after a tie for sixth place at the Farmers Insurance Open — and he’s happy to be there. But he sees why a hypothetical rival league led by Commissioner Greg Norman has attracted so much attention.
“I know what some of the guys have been offered, and it still appears light to me,” Perez said in an interview. “Right now, (the money being given) is a lot of money. It’s a significant figure. I’d leave right now and drive to the car, looking for that number wherever in the world. However, this is not going to happen. It’s not going to happen for a guy like me.”
Perez is unconcerned about it. But what’s going on around him fascinates him. Those with LIV Golf Investments, as well as Norman himself, will undoubtedly be putting the full-court press on some of the best players in Saudi Arabia, attempting to persuade them to join a circuit that will feature 54-hole events, team play, and weekly payouts of $20 million.
And the basketball analogy is apt for Perez.
“I’m not referring to myself; I’m referring to the greatest players.” They enjoy a fantastic year and earn $7 million from the course “he stated “That has been a fantastic year. You know how good you have to be on the golf course to make $7 million? My finest year was 2017, when I won, advanced to the Tour Championship, and earned $4.3 million (million). In major league baseball, that’s equivalent to 300th place. And I came in 15th place (in the final standings).
“Take a look at NBA players. Some of them don’t even take off their sweatpants or participate in the activities, although they get a lot more money.”
While Perez’s use of hyperbole may be questioned, his overall thesis is valid: professional golfers have no assurances on the course. They earn what they earn, which is part of the appeal for many in the sports industry. And a star player, such as Rahm, Johnson, or Rory McIroy, may be underpaid for their abilities. With $7.7 million, Rahm lead the PGA Tour money list in 2020-21.
That is why the Saudi-backed venture is likely to succeed. Forget about how much money these players make off the course. Steph Curry, the Golden State Warriors star with a guaranteed contract of $54 million each season, agrees.
Perez was not attempting to compare the NBA to the PGA Tour, but when you consider that golfers pay their own way and earn a fraction of what other athletes do, a league that offers multi-millions merely for showing up attracts attention.
As an example. According to the (London) Telegraph, England’s Ian Poulter has been offered between $20 and $30 million to sign a contract. There have been rumors that Mickelson and DeChambeau received comparable guaranteed contracts.
And, despite the PGA Tour’s wealth — big purses every week, including $20 million at the Players Championship, the FedEx Cup bonus plan, and a low-key pension plan — it’s difficult to overlook the type of cash that Norman and his friends are slinging around.
Regarding the planned new league, Perez remarked, “I beg everyone.” “I converse with everyone.” I know who has and hasn’t been contacted. It’s all fascinating. There’s plenty of cash, but you’ll need to spend a lot of it on the proper guys to persuade them to leave. And if you do, you’ll force them to make a difficult choice.”
Read the original article on Sports Illustrated.