Another week, another set of LIV Golf flaws – albeit one notable flaw.
Hideki Matsuyama will remain on the PGA Tour.
Although many reports have indicated that the Japanese star and 2021 Masters champion is one of the few players expected to close on LIV Golf after the tour season ends on Sunday, a source previously told The Post that the 30-year-old eight-time tour winner will not make the move.
The reason, the source said, is that Matsuyama is torn between his legacy – he is the first player from Japan to win a men’s major – and leaving his career for nothing more than a money grab.
According to multiple sources, Matsuyama would have gotten a nine-figure deal if he went to LIV.
Again, he probably invested in more than one way.
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Following Matsuyama’s historic Masters win, one sports marketing expert told Sportico that the win was easily worth $600 million, or $20 million a year off the course for the next three decades. Matsuyama has won twice this season, at the Zozo Championship and the Sony Open in Hawaii, and has amassed more than $40 million in course earnings alone over the course of his career.
A move to LIV would mean a ban from next month’s Presidents Cup – Matsuyama has played at the event on each of his last four occasions and is one of the leaders in the international squad.
Matsuyama’s representative confirmed to the Post that Matsuyama will play in the Presidents Cup and defend his title at Zozo in October.
Meanwhile, six other men from the PGA Tour, including British Open champion and world No. 2 Cameron Smith, were officially banned from the controversial Saudi-backed circuit on Tuesday, as expected. They will make their tournament debut this week outside of Boston.
“[Money] There was definitely a factor in making that decision, I’m not going to ignore that or say that wasn’t a factor,” Smith told Australian Golf Digest. “It was a business decision for one and an offer I couldn’t ignore.”Others who went to LIV were Harold Varner III, Marc Leishman, Joaquin Niemann, Cameron Tringal and Anirban Lahiri.
Varner, who previously sought Michael Jordan’s advice and waited until after the tour season, said his decision also came down to money.
“The opportunity to join LIV Golf is a great financial find,” the 32-year-old, who has more than $10 million in career earnings on Tour, said in a statement. “I know what it means to grow up without much. This money will ensure that my son and future Varners have a solid foundation to start – and the life I only dreamed about growing up.
This story originally appeared in the New York Post.