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‘Let’s play for real money!’ PGA Tour veteran hopes LIV Golf invest in senior circuit

Chris DiMarco revealed a plethora of views on the Subpar podcast, revealing if he would go to LIV Golf, his take on Jay Monahan and a conversation he had with Graeme McDowell…

 

Three-time PGA Tour winner Chris DiMarco hopes to play for some “real money” on the PGA Tour Champions soon.

Speaking to GOLF’s Subpar podcast, DiMarco jokingly hoped the Saudi-funded LIV Golf League would invest in the veteran’s circuit on which he currently plays and also said he would’ve joined LIV Golf at the height of his career.

The American used the case study of The Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass which carried a monstrous prize pot of $25 million earlier this month, completely dwarfing the $2.2 million purse at The Galleri Classic on the PGA Tour Champions scheduled this week.

Away from The Players, the PGA Tour will host eight Signature Events in 2024 where the winner cashes at least $3.6 million if finishing at the top of the leaderboard. Although DiMarco admits he benefitted from a prize money boom in the mid-2000s courtesy of Tiger Woods’ success, the American has been blown away by the recent inflation.

“We’re kind of hoping that LIV buys the Champions Tour, to tell you the truth!” DiMarco said.

“Let’s play for a little real money out there. It’s kind of a joke when we’re averaging $2 million. There were like seven guys last week from TPC (Sawgrass) that made more money than our purses.

“I was fortunate – you came in about the same time as Tiger did and for me, I got to go from – we were playing for $1 million to all of a sudden, we’re playing for $4 or $5 million – now we’re playing for so much money and then, now that Tiger and Rory and all these guys, and the tour has just gone even way more than it was,” he added.

“All of a sudden, they found $150 million out of nowhere and added that to the purses, so now they’ve got 14 elevate events at $20 million a piece and TPC (is) $25 million.

“So obviously, the money is there. I was fortunate to play during the Tiger era and got to play for some good money, but not like the kind of money these guys are playing for. It seems like every week there’s another person passing me on the career money list, just in a couple of years of being on tour.”

chris dimarco liv golf

Chris DiMarco: LIV Golf moves are no problem to me

A significant cash injection from the PGA Tour followed the inception of LIV Golf which is bankrolled by the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia. Since its inauguration in June 2022, each event has dished out $25 million in prize money and $4 million to each individual winner.

DiMarco won for the first time on the PGA Tour in 2000 and added another two trophies in the next two years. In 2005, he lost to Tiger Woods in a playoff at the Masters.

It was this period that DiMarco earmarked as his peak and if LIV Golf chief executive Greg Norman had come calling with a lucrative offer, like he has with a large portion of the 54 players that currently compete in the breakaway league, he would only have one answer.

“Golf has come a long way and it should. I don’t fault any of those guys for going to LIV. If you would’ve asked me the same thing in 2004 or 2005 when I was at the height of my career, see you later, I’m gone and it would be a purely monetary thing for me,” DiMarco said.

“You’re talking generational money these guys are making. It would be nice to have that in the bank and have your kids taken care of and all that.

“I don’t see any problem with it. When it first came out and they said,’ We’re playing less golf’ – all that is b******t – they wanted to play for a lot of money and they deserve it. They’ve had some great careers, (so) why not get some money?

“I saw Graeme McDowell at the Old Memorial Pro Member and he was telling me, he goes, ‘Listen, I went up to Jay Monahan and said listen, I love the tour but you know what, I’m struggling to keep my card and these guys are offering me all this money and all these tournaments and less golf. I’m sorry I’m going’, he added.

“And I don’t blame them one bit. I said, ‘I would’ve too’.

In June 2023, the PGA Tour announced a framework agreement with the PIF which stunned the golf world. Having endured a sustained period of hostility with LIV and its Saudi investors, tour commissioner Jay Monahan’s decision to ally represented a U-turn in attitude towards the rival entity.

Monahan came under fire from players, some of whom felt betrayed by his actions. DiMarco echoed the criticism seen in some quarters and believes “he could’ve done a better job.”

“Not to bash Jay Monahan, but I think he handled it terribly. I think the beginning, just having the cut-and-dry thing that he did, I think it was a little too much. I think he should’ve let some of this soak in and see what’s going to happen with this, and he just got to the point where it was black and white. That’s it and we’re taking this route. If you play there, you’re off.

“I think he could’ve done a better job of that and then the guys that stuck by, Rory McIlroy, these guys have turned down a lot of money, now what do they have to show for it? If these guys get to come back to play, I’d be pretty ticked off if I was them.”

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Matt Chivers

Matt Chivers

Now on the wrong side of 25, Matt has been playing golf since the age of 13 and was largely inspired to take up the game by countless family members who played golf during his childhood.

Matt is a member at Royal Cinque Ports in Deal playing off a 5 handicap, just a pitching wedge away from his hometown of Dover where he went to school and grew up. He has previously been a member at Etchinghill and Walmer and Kingsdown in Kent.

Having studied history at the University of Liverpool, Matt went on to pass his NCTJ Exams in Manchester a year later to fulfil his lifelong ambition of becoming a journalist. He picked up work experience along the way at places such as the Racing Post, the Independent, Sportsbeat and the Lancashire Evening Post.

Matt joined NCG in February 2023 and is the website’s main source of tour news, features and opinion. He has reported live from events such as The Open, the Ryder Cup and The Players Championship, having also interviewed and spent time with some of the biggest names in the sport.

Consuming tour golf on what is a 24/7 basis, you can come to Matt for informed views on the game and the latest updates on the PGA Tour, DP World Tour, LPGA Tour, Ladies European Tour and LIV Golf.

What’s in Matt’s bag: Cobra LTDx LS driver, Cobra LTDx 3-wood, TaylorMade P7MC irons, Ping Glide 4.0 wedges, Odyssey putter.

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