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Michael Jordan convinced PGA Tour pro to reject LIV Golf

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Rumors abound that more PGA Tour players are going to jump ship to the LIV Golf Series after the US Open, including reports claiming that Abraham Ancer is 100% gone to the Saudi-backed tour, but Harold Varner III will not be one of them.

The New York Post reported on Saturday that, in an email received on June 10, Varner’s agent confirmed their charge would not be leaving the PGA Tour.

Varner’s agent, Preston Lyon, wrote, “He is a PGA Tour player and constantly working towards being one of the best golfers in the world. It is our full intention to make a run at the FedEx Cup championship in August.”

According to the Sports Business Journal, Varner reached the decision after a conversation with basketball superstar Michael Jordan, with whom he has struck up a “business relationship”, wearing the Jordan logo on his apparel. However, the relationship has “extended to a friendship as well.”

The 31-year-old, winner of the Saudi International in February, sought advice from a few but name checked Jordan as, “I’m sure he’s had decisions like this long before I was even born.”

Currently inside the world’s top-50, Varner has access to all the majors and, having spoken frankly with PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan, concluded that, “I’m obviously not going. I’ve spoken with Jay. I’ve spoken with a lot of people I look up to and it just wasn’t worth it to me for what it was worth.”

Whilst strong chit-chat suggests the likes of Rickie Fowler and Viktor Hovland are still in the frame for an approach, the Norwegian told his home newspaper that he has no plans to join LIV, whilst 33-year-old Fowler was clear that he would like to see the two tours “co-exist” and that there has been a lot of false accusations.

Those accusations slowed down over the weekend of the US Open but are expected to continue apace as we approach the Travelers Championship this weekend.

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7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. Rob

    Jun 21, 2022 at 10:29 am

    Manohan jumped the shark when he removed tournaments from Trump owned courses.

    Didn’t that pea-brain understand some players might not appreciate being used as political pawns?

    • Thomas Woodward

      Jul 5, 2022 at 7:10 pm

      SO TRUE!! Btw, Varner hasn’t done much on the PGA Tour so his stock is kinda low at this moment and there are BIGGER fish to land on the LIV Golf Tour that currently has 20 Major wins playing in that 48 man filed. Will the filed grow? ABSOLUTELY, and will more major winners sign UP? YOU BETCHA!

  2. David Shipley

    Jun 21, 2022 at 9:41 am

    Any sensible human without generational $ would take it if offered. Those being critical either have generational wealth or stand to gain (or lose) based on players living. IMO it’s a PR nightmare for the tour and Manohan (sp?) overplayed his hand and the tour he’s paid 30+million to run and protect is at risk as it should be. If they aren’t careful they run real risk of losing the 501 (tax free) status.

  3. Get Real

    Jun 20, 2022 at 12:53 pm

    WTF?! HVIII, you needed convincing that this was a bad idea? Seriously? C’mon man!

    • Livininparadise

      Jun 20, 2022 at 11:29 pm

      Are you saying that turning down millions in guaranteed money is a bad idea? HVIII doesn’t look like he will be winning anytime soon. Why not take the money?

      • Mike

        Aug 29, 2022 at 11:43 pm

        Agree. But I bet MJ sweetened the pot enough to make him stay. Would look bad also if the tour’s only other African-American golfer jumped ship.

  4. Pingback: ‘Hard to root for Sergio, the man’ – Pro delivers damning verdict on Garcia and other LIV stars – GolfWRX

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19th Hole

PGA Tour reveals full list of winners from 2021-22 season’s Player Impact Program

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The results of the 2021-2022 PGA TOUR season’s Player Impact Program have been revealed.

The total prize pool for the PIP has been increased from $40 million last season to $100 million and is now spread out between 20 players instead of 10. However, the PIP now offers more than just financial incentive. The top 20 players in this year’s PIP standings will be invited to the 12 “elevated events” on the 2023 calendar.

As revealed by the PGA Tour, the PIP winners and their bonuses are as follows:

  • 1. Tiger Woods $15,000,000
  • 2. Rory McIlroy $12,000,000
  • 3. Jordan Spieth $9,000,000
  • 4. Justin Thomas $7,500,000
  • 5. Jon Rahm $6,000,000
  • 6. Scottie Scheffler $5,500,000
  • 7. Xander Schauffele $5,000,000
  • 8. Matt Fitzpatrick $5,000,000
  • 9. Will Zalatoris $5,000,000
  • 10. Tony Finau $5,000,000
  • 11. Collin Morikawa $3,000,000
  • 12. Shane Lowry $3,000,000
  • 13. Kevin Kisner $3,000,000
  • 14. Max Homa $3,000,000
  • 15. Billy Horschel $3,000,000
  • 16. Rickie Fowler $2,000,000
  • 17. Adam Scott $2,000,000
  • 18. Jason Day $2,000,000
  • 19. Patrick Cantlay $2,000,000
  • 20. Viktor Hovland $2,000,000

The fact that Tiger Woods won the PIP despite playing in just nine competitive events proves that his presence in the game of golf will always be what moves the needle as long as he’s involved with the PGA Tour.

Max Homa also sees Tiger winning the PIP on a regular basis going forward barring any unforeseen circumstances.

Collin Morikawa, who finished eleventh for the second consecutive year, took to Twitter to share his thoughts.

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19th Hole

Changes to the famous 13th hole at Augusta National appear to be complete

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Azalea has changed.

The famous par-5 13th hole at The Masters, the scene of many an eagle and considered a gimme birdie for many of today’s big hitters, has been lengthened. And we don’t need to wait for the 2023 media release to find out how.

For the 2022 tournament, Augusta chiefs were hoping to reveal changes to the 11th and 15th holes, but were beaten to it by @EurekaEarthPlus who have now become the go-to for mid-season changes to the course.

Yesterday, the drone revealed for the first time how much work Augusta has carried out on the 13th, and it hopefully stops the drive onto a favouring sloped fairway and short iron into the green.

The tee box appears to have been taken back around 40-50 yards and offers more of a closed chute to the drive. This should create more thought to positional play off the tee, and a longer second shot – another effort to stop the first major of the year becoming a long-hitters paradise.

It was March last year when we saw the initial amendments to the course. It’s November this time.

Is it ever too early for Augusta news?

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19th Hole

Iconic piece of Tiger Woods memorabilia goes up for auction

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Tiger’s coming back, and the golfing world can’t wait.

It may only be the 20-man Hero World Challenge, and then a couple of made for-tv events, but the sight of the 15-time major winner is enough.

The mere name puts a shiver down golf enthusiasts and when Tiger memorabilia is available, expect utter madness.

Earlier this year, GolfWRX reported on the auction of the 46-year-old’s Grand Slam clubs, sticks that eventually sold for over $5 million, and now the same auction house is offering one of the famous red shirts worn by Tiger at Augusta, this one from the final round of 2010.

According to Ryan Carey of auctioneers, Golden Age Auctions, the shirt has a little extra, being the only Masters Sunday shirt available:

“We believe this is the only Sunday red from a Masters Tournament that has been auctioned, and the others might not surface. The shirt is signed by Woods. Normally that would help the price a tiny bit, but I think it helps even more with this one. It has a massive inscription that says ‘2010 Masters Final Round,’ and Tiger doesn’t autograph stuff like that very often. It’s a huge autograph, too. This one is special that he did that.”

The shirt is also the first Sunday red donned by Woods following the infamous sex scandal in 2009 that saw Tiger take an extended break from the sport.

Strangely, Woods-connected items have not always been a big mover.

Various back-up Scotty Cameron putters have sold for between 80k to 100k, but signed scorecards from the US Open failed to make their $100 reserve.

Golf balls, though, now there’s a thing.

The ball sunk for victory at the 2005 Masters sold for over $30k, whilst standard signed Nike balls continue to surpass their first bid by some way.

Tiger may be a huge name in golf, but can he attract the sort of attention of the huge worldwide megastars.

Carey hopes so.

“Game-worn sports memorabilia, especially items photo-matched to a memorable moment or historic event, are setting records all around the world this year,” he explained. “A Michael Jordan jersey recently sold for $10.1 million at Sotheby’s, and a Diego Maradona soccer jersey recently sold for $9.3 million.”

The auction started yesterday with an opening bid expected of $5k, and with no way of knowing how the market will go, this could be the perfect time to ramp up the ‘he’s coming’ news.

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