It turns out that at least some players who have ditched the PGA Tour for the riches of the LIV Golf Series aren’t actually earning a dime when it comes to their results in the lucrative, but controversial, Saudi-backed circuit.
That bombshell was revealed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in San Jose, Calif., where a federal judge denied a temporary restraining order for three players currently suspended by the tour after leaving for LIV, the NY Post reports.
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They were seeking to be allowed to play in the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup Playoffs, which begins this week in Memphis.
During the hearing, an lawyer representing LIV said that players’ earnings are counted against the upfront money they receive for joining.
That means a $4 million first-place winner’s check would essentially amount to money a player has already been paid for signing with the rival faction. The lawyer said that not every contract is the same, but also said not all money is guaranteed, before moving on in the case.
That contradicts what a LIV official and some players have said up to this point.
When Brooks Koepka was pressed at the LIV tournament outside Portland, Ore., last month on whether a player’s winnings come out of the signing bonus, the four-time major champion said, “That’s not — no. No.” When questioned again on the issue, he said, “No. I don’t know — it’s irrelevant.”
At the end of the press conference in Portland, a LIV official in Portland tried to clear up the matter at the time.
“I just wanted to address [the] question earlier when you were asking about the prize purses and if they are in addition to the contracts,” she said. “The prize purses are in addition to. There is no draw at LIV Golf on any finances,” she said. “We just wanted to, on the record, it’s in addition to. And while you guys have, this is your first event, but you should know that from your contracts. You can attest to it. Thank you guys.”
That appears to not exactly be the case after all, however, according to one of LIV’s own attorneys.
This article originally appeared on the NY Post and was reproduced with permission.