PGA vs. LIV: Ranking Players Who Passed Up Millions
The PGA Tour has undoubtedly changed over the last 24 hours, and there’s a lot to look back on, including which players passed up big money not to join LIV Golf. Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Phil Mickelson, and Cameron Smith are just a few of the star-studded names that left the PGA Tour and joined the rival company. Many of the game’s best players left a lot of money on the table to stay with the PGA, and with yesterday’s news of a merger, it’s time to rank some of the best players in the world who stayed with the PGA.
1. Rory McIlroy
It’s no secret that Rory McIlroy was one of the most prominent leaders trying to keep players with the PGA Tour. He’s the third-ranked golfer in the world and holds a lot of weight with what he says. McIlroy reportedly was offered $300 million to join LIV Golf. How much regret does Rory have now that they’re merging? Probably not a lot. McIlroy has earned over 70 million dollars with the PGA, which doesn’t factor in sponsorship agreements and income off the course. Rory will ultimately be just fine, but the fact he was the face of trying to keep players from defecting means he kicks off this list.
2. Rickie Fowler
It’s been a difficult few years for Rickie Fowler. He’s struggled to find consistency with his game, and his results have been lackluster at best. Fowler was reportedly offered $85 million to join LIV, and with his struggles over the years, it would have been understandable if he had taken the money. Instead, he stuck to his roots and soldiered on. Fowler has many endorsement deals considering he’s one of the more popular players on Tour. Still, you have to wonder if he’s kicking himself over turning down nearly 100 million dollars.
3. Hideki Matsuyama
We’ll likely never know the actual number, but Hideki Matsuyama was reportedly offered close to $400 million to join the competition. There were many jokes on Twitter yesterday, some at the expense of Matsuyama, who people pointed out could have bought Spirit Airlines with the money he’d have made if he left. That ultimately never transpired, but you have to figure Matsuyama is still OK with the over $40 million he made on the PGA Tour.
4. Jon Rahm
Along with McIlroy, Jon Rahm has also been viewed as a loyalist. Rahm is listed as the second-ranked golfer in the world, and much like McIlroy, when he speaks, people listen. The Masters champion was reportedly offered $400 million to join LIV Golf but turned down the offer. Rahm said, “$400 million won’t change my life”. Well, that makes one of us, Jon.
5. Tiger Woods
Let’s get one thing straight here, Tiger Woods isn’t stupid when it comes to golf. No matter the offer LIV presented him with, joining the other side would have put a weird strain on how some purists viewed him. Who knows where the game of golf will be over the next decade, but even though Tiger was reportedly offered up to $800 million to join, it never made sense for him to consider the number. Woods has a net worth of over $1 billion. Enough said.
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