LIV Golf Chief Operating Officer Atul Khosla has maintained that all prize money is paid to players separately from any signing on fee, per si.com.
Speculation that players only get prize money once the sum exceeds their guaranteed pay grew again after an exchange during the court proceedings between a group of LIV players and the PGA Tour this week.
During the hearing, in which Talor Gooch, Matt Jones and Hudson Swafford applied for a temporary injunction to allow them to play in this week’s FedEx Cup Playoff event, the players’ attorney, Robert Walters, replied to one of judge Beth Labson Freeman’s points in a manner that made it sound like LIV golfers must earn more than their signing fee in order to receive prize money.
During the case, judge Freeman said: “Well, these contracts provide for payments simply for showing up for the first tournament,” drawing the following reply from Walters: “Well, they do, but then they have to win money in order to recoup against the contract, so they are a little bit different.”
According to si.com, LIV COO Khosla has moved to dispel that rumor once again. He said: “I haven’t yet received the transcript from the proceedings yesterday, but it seems there is a misunderstanding regarding prize purses. This issue is simple, and we’ve addressed it before. Prize money is of course separate from the contractual monies that players earn. As you already know, prize money is not subtracted from a player’s contractual earnings. That’s all there is to it.”
Judge Freeman ruled against the three players, meaning none of the three made the starting list for the FedEx St Jude Championship, the first event of the FedEx Playoffs. While that hearing was heard quickly to make sure the ruling was made before the playoffs started, the suit brought by a total of 11 LIV players will continue next September prior to a summary judgment in March 2023, with a full trial expected to begin in a year.
Ahead of the start of the playoffs, a number of players took their chance to chime in on the legal proceedings. Justin Thomas said of the LIV players, “You can have your cake, but you don’t need to eat it, too. And they got their fair share of a large, large amount of cake and go eat it on your own means. You don’t need to bring it onto our tour.” Rory McIlroy said of the legal proceedings, “It’s become a little more personal,” while Billy Horschel thinks the LIV players have been “brainwashed”.