Johannesburg – South Africans were left laughing all the way to the bank after the first LIV Golf season, with Branden Grace the top earner with over R300million deposited into his rapidly expanding bank account.
Grace who won the Portland LIV Golf event, earned a whopping R304 028 130 from the six events he completed – he had to withdraw from the Bangkok event through injury. Grace was second on the overall season earnings, with American Dustin Johnson topping the charts with an incredible R651 343 627.
Next best was Charl Schwartzel with R149 367 548, while Louis Oosthuizen made R99 061 200.
For 26-year-old Hennie du Plessis, his season earnings will likely be the most life-changing. With just two Sunshine Tour victories to his name, Du Plessis made a mammoth R83 175 783 with LIV Golf.
From a South African perspective, the 2020-21 Sunshine Tour Order of Merit winner Christiaan Bezuidenhout earned R7.7m last season. Last place in one LIV Golf event (yes, just one) therefore would have been good enough for fifth place on the season-long Order of Merit.
A look at the career earnings made on the other tours for Oosthuizen, Grace and Schwartzel also makes for interesting reading. Schwartzel has earned $20 912 493 or R308m on the US PGA Tour and €17 672 195 or R291m on the DP World Tour. Oosthuizen has pocketed $28 124 759 (R432m) on the US PGA Tour and €19 334 034 (R313m) on the DP World Tour. Grace has made $12 223 147 (R188m) on the PGA Tour and €14 152 358 (R233m) on the DP World Tour.
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The Saudi regime is reprehensible with its human rights abuses, and the country’s monarchy’s involvement in LIV through the funding of the series via it’s Public Investment Fund has been largely condemned.
Events like the LIV Golf series are an obvious attempt at “sports washing”. However, it’s clear that if the money is right the best players in the game will always tee it up.