Bock’s Score: Par for the Cash

AP Photo/Julio Cortez

Now that Phil Mickelson’s annual attempt at completing a personal Grand Slam is over – he missed the cut at the U.S. Open by shooting an embarrassing 11-over-par – he can return to making money on the Saudi Arabian sponsored LIV tour.

This was Mickelson’s 31st attempt to solve the mystery of the Open which has been something of a black cloud over his career. Six second place finishes are the best he’s managed in our national championship event.

Understand that there was no payday at the Open for Lefty because that’s the rules when you miss the cut. That will not be a problem going forward because in LIV events, everybody makes money no matter where you finish.

Charl Schwartzel won the inaugural LIV event and earned a fancy $4.75 million in the combination individual and team events. For winning the Masters in 2011, Schwartzel earned $1.44 million. That’s chump change compared to the money LIV is throwing around.

Now you know why Schwartzel resigned his PPGA membership to sign on with the Saudis. This is called “Show me the money.’’

It should be noted that Mickelson finished tied for 33rd place in the first LIV event and earned about $150,000, a nice consolation prize for the disappointment at the Open. And there’s always the $200 million up front money he got for a rainy day.

Lefty also made the cut at LIV because there is no cut. If you tee off, you play all 54 holes over three days. If you finish last you get $120,000, guaranteed. And you did not have to devote four days and play 72 holes to do it.

They are changing the basic rules of tournament golf. This is like deciding there will be no more punts in football or free throws in basketball. We don’t need those old fashioned rules. It’s like awarding teams a runner on second base in baseball’s extra innings. Oh, yeah, they’ve already done that.

There are some old fashioned golf traditions to think about, though, They are the four major tournaments – the U.S. Open, the British Open, the PGA Championship and the Masters.

There is some question about whether the rebels who followed the Saudi money into the LIV Tour will be allowed to play the majors. Those events are not run by the PGA Tour, which suspended the players who signed on with the Saudis. Those decisions are expected in the next few months.

In the meantime, well, fancy LIV paydays are a pretty good distraction for the players who took them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

About the Author

Hal Bock

Hal Bock covered sports for 40 years at The Associated Press including 30 World Series, 30 Super Bowls and 11 Olympics. He is the author of 14 books including most recently The Last Chicago Cubs Dynasty and Banned Baseball's Blacklist of All-Stars and Also-Rans. He has written scores of magazine articles and served as Journalist In Residence at Long Island University's Brooklyn campus where he also served on the selection committee for the George Polk Awards.

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