Watson puzzled by critics questioning LIV Golf guaranteed money

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Two-time Masters champion Bubba WatsonIm not sure why LIV Golf players are being heavily criticized for accepting guaranteed money from the new circuit.

Watson, 43, stated to ESPN that he was paid guaranteed appearance money by tournament organizers and sponsors while playing on the PGA Tour. This was not allowed under the Tours rules.

Watson stated that it makes him laugh because he received a salary behind closed doors to attend tournaments. And if Bubba Watson wasnt the greatest, that means the best were being paid more than me. Its guaranteed cash. I make the cut, but I still make money. I make the cut, I make more money.

The PGA Tour stated Wednesday that it prohibits players from being paid appearance money as an inducement for playing in a particular event.

We are aware that tournament sponsors may contract a player to perform a sponsor activity during tournament weeks for which they receive nominal compensatory, the PGA Tour statement stated. This is permitted under our guidelines.

Tiger WoodsAmong other PGA Tour golfers, he has criticized players who accept multiyear contracts from the LIV Golf, which is being financed by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund. Former world No. 1 golfer Dustin JohnsonAccording to reports, he was able to defect to the new circuit for more than $125million and won $35 million in bonus money and prize money in its inaugural season.

Six-time major champion Phil MickelsonReports say that he helped recruit LIV Golf players and signed a $200 million deal.

What are these players doing to get guaranteed money? Whats the incentive to play? Woods spoke to reporters during the 150th Open at St. Andrews, July. What is the incentive to get out there and work in the dirt? You get paid a lot upfront, and you only play 54 holes in a few events.

Watson didnt give any details about how much money he received from the PGA Tour during his career, which saw him win 12 times, including at the Masters in 2012 and 2014.

Id have a good time with that! [criticism]Watson said that Watson was right because everyone had some guaranteed money to show-up at places. Win, lose or quit, you still have the money. Weve all been doing this. We all played for guaranteed money. It makes me laugh because that is what we are doing. We dont want it to be discussed on tour, but we are getting it.

Kevin KisnerA member of the PGA Tour player advisory board, he told ESPN that the money players get at PGA Tour tournaments differs from what LIV Golf is giving out.

Kisner stated that I wouldnt say its an attention fee as much as its a relationship between a player and the title sponsor, or the host organization. Theyre trying to get more money into players hands through contracted appearances at tent visits or pro-ams that are not part of the regular PGA Tour. Its been ongoing for years.

If Travelers wants Bubba Watson to visit a tent, that has nothing at all to do with the PGA Tour. You dont think Zurich, New Orleans, is pressuring men to play because they are sponsoring them? Its not an appearance payment. Its an endorsement thats not on-course and is subject to contract. How many players do RBC have?

LIV Golf CEO Greg NormanHe said he was not allowed accept appearance fees during his time on the PGA Tour.

Norman stated, Ive been away for so long from the PGA Tour, I have heard those rumors. I can only affirm that Bubbas statements are true and that it would not surprise me. Back in my time, we were not allowed take appearance money. We werent allowed get our hotels paid for or any expenses paid. We had to just go to golf. We earned what we earned and spent what we could to get that money. It might be different now.

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