Even for a player used to eyebrow-raising remarks, Pat Perez’s statement seemed excessive.
“Three for me,” he said to the media after finishing his third LIV Golf start of his career in Boston. “I’ve doubled my earnings on the Tour in 25 events compared to these three.”
Perez’s LIV career’s first three tournaments may have been successful, but double his Tour earnings? Wouldn’t it need more than three tournaments to complete, especially for a guy whose best result on the fledgling tour was a T15 finish on Sunday at The International that brought him around $240,000?
A closer examination of the data indicates that, in addition to being sincere about the improvement in his financial circumstances, the four-time PGA Tour champion was also understating it. Instead, Perez’s statements provide a window into both his recently enlarged bank account and the startling economics of golf’s Saudi-funded new league rather than being an unintended slip-up.
Perez still has to make up ground in terms of on-course earnings in order to catch up to his PGA Tour total. Perez earned just over $1 million on the PGA Tour in 19 appearances in 2021–2022 ($1,071,981, according to the Tour website), despite missing seven cuts. Perez made 21 cuts throughout the course of a complete season in 2020–21, earning $1.2 million. Perez has finished 29th, T31, and T15 in three LIV Tour events, earning him a total of $549,667. This number is much less than his combined earnings from either 20-21 or 21-22.
On-course profits, however, only provide a portion of the LIV’s narrative. It’s crucial to additionally take into account Perez’s team’s revenue in order to comprehend his whole compensation. Perez, a member of the Aces, has been lucky enough to be on the winning side in each of the three LIV tournaments he has started. As a result, he received a portion of the $3 million that the Aces won as a team for each tournament. That is an extra $2.25 million in earnings for Perez, or to put it another way, more money in team bonuses than he earned from playing on the PGA Tour in the whole years of 20-21 or 21-22, assuming the four players divided each of the team purses equally. Totaling $2,799,667 from only three LIV tournaments, Perez had his second-most successful PGA Tour season to date. Ironically, Perez has never been his team’s bottom scorer in a 54-hole competition, despite having amassed all that cash in team rewards.
Of course, none of that money even includes the payment he received for just agreeing to the terms. The league has said that Perez took a $10 million signing bonus in addition to his tournament winnings when he agreed to sign with LIV.
What does this indicate, then? For starters, Pat Perez is faring well under some of the competitive advantages offered by LIV, with no-cut events and team bonuses leading the way. Another reason is that according to this information, players like Perez might earn more money in only eight tournaments in 2022 than they have in previous entire seasons spent participating on the PGA Tour.
Perez, who is now 46, has earned $28.8 million on the PGA Tour in the 25 years since he first became pro. Perez will likely earn half that sum (or around $14 million) or more in only his first season on LIV after factoring in his signing bonus and the hefty end-of-season rewards awarded to LIV’s best performers as individuals and teams.
Yes, the mess that is competitive integrity still exists (to say nothing of the moral and ethical quandaries that surround the league). For the players of LIV, these are issues without simple solutions. But it also may not matter with payouts this large.
Perez replied, “Exhibition match don’t pay $4.75 million.”
That checks out. But who does, really?
Original article posted on Golf.com
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