After his pro tour before the LIV Golf Team Championship last week in Miami, Brooks Koepka spoke about how everyone from players to canisters and coaches to coaches enjoyed their time in the rookie series in its first year.
“It was fun to see more smiles on people’s faces. I think everyone is really happy,” Koepka said at Trump National Doral after his tour with former President of the United States, Donald Trump. They treat it like human beings, I think that’s nice too, because I’ve seen both sides, and not everyone has seen both sides.”
The four-time main champ used the same streak of handling cans as humans in September, and while it’s an unfair and indirect comparison of how the PGA and DP World rounds handle cans, there is a stark difference in Looper’s experience with comparing the LIV on the different rounds.
“You feel more inclusive. The little things, like just being able to go to the player to eat and eat, and my wife can go in there and hang out and they let her into all 54 club and get some air-conditioning and get a snack, things like that,” Austin said. Johnson, brother and boxer to LIV long-season champion and 24-time Tour winner, Dustin Johnson.“The Tour was great for us, it was a great place to work, LIV is just better quality wheel work.”
“I’m the most corrupt can in the history of golf, don’t get me wrong,” he continued, “but like so many of these guys, all expenses have to be paid, come to work and know they’re going to get paid, it’s life-changing. It really is.”
“I’m not trying to speak badly of the PGA Tour, I’m just trying to highlight how great it is here. I look like a spoiled little kid, but it’s nice to take the tour and can sit in the air-conditioner, have lunch with Dustin, and have a decent meal versus walking into a tent What I wish there was food there.”
Travel. the hotel. shuttles. food. It’s all covered by LIV. On other rounds, these cans expenses come out of their own pockets. If you and your player miss the pieces, you leave empty-handed. This weekly life-and-death grind isn’t for the faint of heart, and LIV’s 54-hole, uncut events make the work and ergonomics feel more relaxed on the track.
“I think it’s very different here,” said Chris Rice, who holds the bag for Harold Varner III and has spent nine years on the DP World Tour and five years on the PGA Tour. “Obviously there’s no cutting, which helps. That’s why everyone has a smile on their face because on the PGA Tour, you play for your living, and if you miss the cut – it’s a little different for the big guys because they’re always going to make a lot of money, but for the Guys who are lower and who are fighting to keep their cards and pay for their families and things like that, I think everyone feels a little bit more comfortable.”
Rice said the lack of cuts removes some of the pressure, while Johnson argued that he feels more pressure when he and Dustin are in competition at LIV events than when they were on tour.
“There is a lot at stake, and the difference between the first and the second is close to two million dollars,” he said. “It’s huge.” Well, you didn’t win, you got $2 million, “But hell, you could have won and made $4 million.”
During LIV’s seven regular season events, first place won $4 million, and second place won $2.125 million.
“The level of competition, everyone is like ‘Oh, there’s no cutting, what do you worry about?'” “These guys want to win and they want to beat each other,” Johnson added. “We see each other all the time, we go out at the same time, we eat at the same time, do you think these guys like watching (expletive) Dustin just dominate the single thing? ? No man, it’s as competitive as you can get out of here.”
LIV will move to the 14-event league format in 2023, and officials rely on the team side to market the product and add a revenue stream it doesn’t currently have. While fans have been slow to get on board, players and sacks are all on the teams.
“The team side is my favorite part,” Johnson said. “We go to team dinners and hang out together, we travel together sometimes when we can. Next year it’s going to be more done with the team side. It’s exciting. It’s fun. It’s been rejuvenating, and a breath of fresh air.”
“The whole team side is great because everyone plays for each other,” Rice agreed. “It’s not just playing for themselves. Because you play for a team. It’s very different from what we usually play for.”
Players get paid more with LIV, which means cans do as well. The money is good in the other rounds, but it can’t be compared to LIV, where the first place wins $4 million and the last (48The tenthHe earns $120,000. For comparison, to make that much on this week’s PGA Tour stop in Mexico, a player would need to finish in the top 20 (18The tenth – $125,050, 19The tenth – $116,850).
“Pat Perez’s wagon, he worked a few years on tour where he might not have even broken it,” Johnson said, using longtime loafer Mike Hartford at Perez as an example. “Traveling around the world 30 weeks a year, sharing hotels, sharing rental cars, sharing pizza, working your ass, losing money. This shouldn’t happen in America, especially not from a company that makes hundreds of millions of dollars from the guys who work there. This Not true in my opinion.”
Hartford has been walking with Perez since his first year on the 2002 Tour. Over the past 20 years, Perez has earned $29,103,072 on the Tour. Across seven LIV events, with the best T-15 finish, Perez earned over $8 million in LIV’s first year.
“It’s life changing. I’m just so grateful my players took me here and I’m so grateful to be here,” Hartford said after he and Perez helped the 4S win the inaugural team championship last week. His experience with LIV was positive, and it’s more than just Money.
“We’re a bigger part of the team. I’m able to go eat with Pat, they take care of my hotel expenses, my travel, the airlines, all transportation is provided, and they really make you feel like you’re just another player, which is great.”
Rice said cans are constantly asking if jobs are open, and he can’t resist the urge to “finish boys” every time they do. But when it’s time to get serious, he’s honest about his experience so far.
“If you ever get the chance to get out here, it could be life changing,” said Rice, echoing the similar sentiments most LIV cans have. “I think it is hoped that everyone will start meeting. For now, we will see how it goes.”
“I respect the opinions of those who want to stay away from LIV because of its complex and controversial relationships,” an anonymous LIV caddy recently told Golf Digest. “However, out of the dozens of my closest friends who are caddies on tour, half are doing everything they can to find a way to LIV. For many of us, it’s an opportunity we can’t afford to pass up.”
The money-for-morality debate has been a point of contention with LIV since the series was announced. With Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund as its sole backer, LIV Golf has long been criticized as a way for the kingdom to launder its human rights record. Saudi Arabia has been accused of widespread human rights abuses, including politically motivated killings, torture, enforced disappearances, and inhumane treatment of prisoners. Not to mention, accusations of members of the royal family and the Saudi government of involvement in the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist and columnist for the Washington Post.
“I don’t really participate much, I don’t read much into it. Everyone is going to have their opinion on it and that’s their personal opinion. I can just give my opinion on how to find it since I’ve been here,” said Rice. He will definitely come out.”
“It’s as if they put a bunch of cans together and asked them to design a tour,” Austin said. “I honestly don’t know what they can do to make it better, having someone carry the bag for me is the only thing (expletive) I can come up with.”
Players, Fans, PGA Tour and More: LIV Golf’s Year 1 Winners and Losers