Today, the LIV Golf Invitational Series takes off for the first time near London. Today, I am writing about the LIV series for the first time. Today, I wish to write about the LIV series for the last time.
This is because it does not deserve our attention. It’s not worth taking in more oxygen in our conversations about golf, sports, or any other aspect of life.
The LIV series is simply a gruesome endeavor funded by the hateful government of Saudi Arabia, which uses murder as its preferred method of dealing with trouble.
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The Saudis, by order of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, killed and dismembered Jamal Khashoggi, a Washington Post journalist, father of four, US resident and Indiana graduate. This may be one of the Saudis’ most famous acts, but it is not an isolated incident. In March the government ordered the killing of 81 men in a mass execution, and Saudi airstrikes have killed nearly 15,000 Yemeni civilians since 2015. Then there is the ongoing prosecution and killing of people for homosexual activity, and the country is long overdue. oppression of women.
But hey, what’s wrong with a petty murder and some human rights atrocities, where golfers play the game they love and do what’s right for them and their family while snatching handfuls of trusty, blood-stained cash whitened by the elephant of Mickelson’s toothy grin?
Mickelson is the most popular player in the eight-event LIV series, which features 48 players on 12 teams who compete in three-round tournaments with guaranteed money and no deductions. Dustin Johnson recently quit his membership on the PGA Tour while subscribing to LIV and there are a few standout players and major winners, such as Sergio Garcia, Louis Oosthuizen and Graeme McDowell.
Then there is James Peyt. An American amateur title advocate, he is a native of Farmington Hills and has been a star in Michigan and the central Catholic city of Novi Detroit. He also scored, and his case may be the saddest and most costly of any player.
It is untenable for any player to join this round when they know exactly where their salary is coming from. I’m not giving anyone a pass, but there are some risks and calculated logic behind the aforementioned stars, who are either near the end of – or at least in the back – nine of their careers. Johnson turns 38 this month and is said to be paid about $125 million just to join the series. By comparison, Johnson received a total of about $74 million in professional award money, which includes two majors.
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Financial logic and money do not absolve any player from the decision to turn off their conscience and sign a deal with the devil. If you follow the farce of this week’s pre-tournament press conferences in London, you can easily see through all the pathetic excuses each player made as an excuse to sell themselves and their morals at the right price.
“I chose what was best for me and my family,” Johnson said, no doubt hoping to evoke images of his malnourished wife, Paulina Gretzky, who worries where her next meal will come from if her husband doesn’t play this series.
These veterans are lost souls who simply don’t care about their legacy or public image because they fill their pockets with money and walk out of their careers.
But Piot is different. He is only 23 years old, and his entire career awaits him. He reportedly received around $1 million for recording. Decent money, but not a life-changing amount for a professional golfer. He will also get a guaranteed prize money and a place where he can play.
Definitely great perks. But at what cost?
On Tuesday, Piot said at his press conference: “Yes, for me personally, this is an amazing opportunity: a 23-year-old travels the world and goes to places I never dreamed of and being able to influence others is something I love to do in my career.
“So grateful to be able to have this opportunity and I look forward to the future of playing everywhere I can go.”
We’re not sure what the PGA Tour will do for players who sign up with LIV, but they will almost certainly face some discipline, which could include a ban. There is also the question of how major corporate governing bodies will respond to LIV players, although the US Golf Association said on Tuesday it will allow LIV golfers to compete in the US Open next week.
I don’t know what the PGA Tour is waiting for. The Tour probably wants to announce a lifetime ban just as these 48 players were on top of their swing during the start of the gun today.
Piot may be involved in disciplinary action and a possible ban. Imagine that the US Amateur Champion – which is a bit like being one of the top 10 picks – is barred from competing in the best round of golf in the world.
Of course, there is no true pro-league equivalent to golf because golfers are not part of the teams. They like to call themselves independent contractors, which has both advantages and disadvantages. For a young, unproven player like Piot, starting out as a pro and trying to gain prestige in any round is very difficult. A little of the sponsor’s money helps, but other than that he is on his own financially.
What I don’t understand is why Piot doesn’t bet on himself. Why not bet he could make it to the PGA Tour, since he’s already earned waivers for five events on the PGA Tour schedule. If Piot didn’t win his PGA Tour ticket this year, he had to try the qualifying school or join a mini-tour and work his way up. Reasonable paths for a talented player like Piot.
“But at the end of the day, I tell people, you know, it’s about playing golf and that’s what I want to do with my life,” Piot told Golf Digest last week at the memorial. “So for me, part of the decision, like I said, is just to develop and play with great players and you’ll learn (whether it’s) the PGA Tour, the LIV Tour, wherever you are, you’re about the golf greats. And we’ll see where it takes me.”
Professional golf is a tough road, and success is not guaranteed for even the most promising players. Piot admitted that “money is clearly a factor,” but it was also his chance to learn from some of the best players in the world in a unique environment.
Perhaps Piot is honest and upfront about his desire to improve. But at least, we can say that Piot decided to take the easiest path to start his career. You know, that famous famous road paved with good intentions.
Connect with Carlos Monarrez at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @cmonarrez.