Fans’ anger is rising as they demand justice for Scottie Scheffler after the PGA Tour announced a loyalty bonus.

April 26, 2024

Fans’ anger is rising as they demand justice for Scottie Scheffler after the PGA Tour announced a loyalty bonus.

Scottie Scheffler’s Mistreatment Makes Angry Fans Lash Out at Tiger Woods & Co: ‘Not About Talent Anymore’

via Imago

Are PGA Tour pros being rewarded for their loyalty? The answer is yes! Three months ago, the PGA Tour struck a deal with Strategic Sports Group for a whopping $3 billion. From the money that the deal brought into the Tour, $930 million will be apportioned among the golfers on the American circuit who chose to stay committed to the Tour when many pros were choosing to defect to LIV Golf.

When talking about rewards, the PGA Tour golfer that first comes to mind is the current World No. 1 Scottie Scheffler, who has been unbeatable this year with four consecutive wins on the PGA Tour, which includes one major. However, it is golfers like Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy who have found a spot in the top 4 on the equity list despite their underwhelming performances on the greens. To provide context, the former failed to make the cut in three out of the 10 events he participated in and was even disqualified from the 2024 Genesis Invitational. The latter has secured only one top-10 in his eight PGA Tour outings this year. The names on the list ignited a huge debate among the golf community.

Who are the top 4 players on the equity list?

According to the financial compensation criteria of the PGA Tour, out of the total amount, two-thirds will be distributed among 193 golfers. In addition, a sum of $750 million will be divided among 36 players based on their career points. As per the list that has been revealed by the writer of ‘Huddle Up’, Joe Pompliano, Tiger Woods is proposed to be getting the highest equity among all players. His compensation amounts to a massive $100 million, followed by Rory McIlory, who will be getting $50 million, and Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas accounting for $30 million.

The recipient is entitled to fully own the equity payments over eight years. 50% of the payments become accessible after four years, another quarter after six, and the remainder after eight years. Although a comparatively smaller amount than the 9 figures offered by the breakaway league, this step will help them retain their golf talents. Smartly enough, tying top players for several years, they have perhaps taken another essential step before the merger takes place. As per the conditions, the players who accept the equity cannot opt out of joining LIV Golf, to be precise, even if they are offered more money.

As stated by the sports analyst, there are high possibilities that the equity dissemination might as well lubricate the road to the merger and speed things up. Nonetheless, Pompliano wrote, “However, this levels the playing field, opening the door for LIV golfers to rejoin the PGA Tour, with the idea that they could keep their LIV golf money because they won’t be getting upside in the PGA Tour’s new for-profit entity.” The road to achieving the treaty goes beyond just buying out players and confining them in terms of monetary benefits.

Something similar was witnessed when the 2023 Players Impact Program was rolled out. Where Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods, along with 18 other players, were previously rewarded by the PGA Tour for their contribution to the American men’s circuit. While the members at the top of the PIP list were paid generously, it left behind several prominent rising stars.

Nathan Lashley even burst out watching the list and commented, “How many golf fans actually know what the PIP on the PGA Tour is? Would love to hear from golf/PGA fans if they think this $100 million was spent well? There’s 150-200 members of the PGA Tour and they just spent $100 million on 20 players. Seems a little ridiculous. Time for new leadership on the PGA Tour. This is an absolute kick in the face to the rest of the PGA Tour players.” Back then, the golf community disapproved of the PIP results.  Now knowing about the equity list, they are once again against the decision taken by the PGA Tour.

Has golf been reduced only to a pursuit driven by money?

Players like Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy, who have been great names in the golf world for decades now, surely earn more attention. But the fact that Scheffler, who has held the no. 1 position on the OWGR list, got just $6 million from PIP, whereas the former two enjoyed whopping amounts of $12 million and $15 million, was already a cause of the ruckus. And now, with a terrible performance at the Masters, Tiger Woods is again surpassing Scheffler, who, as per calculation, might only be liable for $20 million, which has naturally caused many golf enthusiasts to go into a frenzy. Curious to know the exact numbers, one of Scottie Scheffler’s fans questioned, “How much is Scotty Scheffler getting?” While another, disappointed at not seeing Scheffler’s name on the list, simply commented, “Where’s my man Scotty?”

One user came in to voice their support for Scheffler and hoped that the PGA Tour would change its decision and reward someone who truly deserves it, rather than thinking about promotional bonds, “I know that Tiger sells tickets and we hope he can make a comeback, but crazy to see him as a potential top earner here based on his recent performance. I would think the PGA would consider Scheffler a top talent and lock him as a top earner through this model. We shall see.” Well, where is the lie? Scheffler, with a performance like that, undoubtedly deserves to be enjoying the top-tier treatment more than anyone else.

One might expect World No. 5 Xander Schauffle to be among the top 4 names, given his impressive run this season, or Ludvig Aberg, who showed his golfing prowess during his debut at the Augusta National and secured the solo second position. However, it is Justin Thomas who has taken the fourth spot on the equity list, despite missing three cuts from the nine events he has played so far. One of the fans was left extremely furious and spoke about how the decision made by the Tour has disregarded the hard work and stellar performance delivered by the golfers on the course and commented, “Clearly not about talent anymore. All about popularity.”

One of the fans seems to be utterly disappointed by the series of events that have been taking place. The PIF-funded league is known for signing golfers for outrageous sums of money. For instance, Tyrell Hatton chose LIV Golf as his new home for a reported $60 million, as did 2023 Master Champion Jon Rahm but for a much larger sum that has been reported to be $500 million. They further spoke about how the shift will only lead to a decline in the viewership and fanbase of the sport, which seems to be true as the golf world has been struggling with the viewership rating for a while now. This year’s Masters saw a 20% dip in viewership in comparison to the previous year. One of them commented, “More golfers getting massive payouts while clubs struggle and TV viewers lose interest. This sport has lost its way at the top and just becoming boring as it is all about the money and how much more they can get. Take me back to a time when it was about legacy and not $$$”.

There is no denying that Tiger Woods has made a massive contribution to the Tour over his nearly three-decade career. However, given his recent performances, his share of equity being 5 times more than Scottie Scheffler does raise a lot of questions. How do you think Scheffler will respond to the equity list?

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