Bob Harig has followed LIV Golf from its inception and shared insights into a wild first season.
The formation and inaugural season of LIV Golf has been the biggest story in the sport this year, with money the underlying theme.
SI Golf’s Bob Harig has followed LIV Golf from the beginning, including covering six of its first seven events in person, and he’s in Miami this week for the Saudi-backed league’s inaugural Team Championship. In a Sports Illustrated Daily Cover story published Wednesday, he details a wild summer of excess that has polarized professional golf and changed the lives of more than just the players.
Harig learned that LIV Golf’s first season cost a total of $784 million, and $1 billion is the expected spend next year when LIV Golf rolls out a 14-event schedule with sites around the world.
“I couldn’t be happier,” said 46-year-old Pat Perez, who left the PGA Tour to sign a four-year deal with LIV Golf believed to be worth $10 million. “Look, I know I can’t beat those kids anymore. This was a great opportunity for me. I have nothing against the PGA Tour; they did a lot for me, but I had to earn everything I got out there.”
LIV Golf is a far different experience, with guaranteed money for players and enormous purses funded by the Public Investment Fund (PIF) of Saudi Arabia, a considerable source of controversy. In his cover story, Harig breaks down the PIF and how its wealth has bought a piece of the golf world.