Charl Schwartzel, the first winner of an LIV Golf event, has earned four times as much money for his victory as he did when he won the 2011 Masters.
With a two-putt par on the 15th, a par on the 16th, and a bogey on the 18th, Schwartzel held off a challenge from Henni Du Plessis to win by two shots. The LIV Invitational series’ first event, which has been marred by controversy, was held here.
The Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund is funding the competition, and participants’ willingness to accept money from a country with a questionable human rights record is being questioned. Despite his close ties to the Saudi regime, Schwartzel was giddy at the end of his final round.
And it’s easy to see why, given that the South African won a prize pool of around £4 million. That sum dwarfs the £1.1 million he won when he won the Masters over a decade ago.
Since those three days at Augusta, Schwartzel has yet to win another major and is ranked 126th in the world. At the Centurion Club, he competed against a teenager and 25 players who were not among the world’s top 100.
After sinking his final putt, he raised his cap and shook his caddie’s hand, expressing his gratitude for the win. And afterward, the 37-year-old insisted that his victory in the LIV tournament did not compare to his victory in the Masters.
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Schwartzel holed his final putt and won the tournament with a bogey on the 18th hole.
“It was a struggle to get to that point.” I made a bad decision on 12 that put me on the defensive, and all I had to do was stay calm and try to get this thing in the house and out of my hands. He admitted that he “made it a little more difficult than it needed to be.”
“But I’m just proud of how I persevered, and it’s a fantastic feeling to win.” I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous because there was so much money on the line. It’s one thing to play for money, but you’re also playing for historical significance.
“Anything you do will always pale in comparison to winning a major.” I’ve never given much thought to where the money comes from in my professional life. If I started, you’d be able to find flaws in anything.”