‘That’s the most amazing thing I’ve ever heard’: Tiger Woods slammed by Pat Perez for questioning incentive to join LIV Golf as he calls out PGA Tour loyalist for ‘post-college $40m deal’ and ‘flying on the Nike jet’
LIV Golf’s Pat Perez took a swipe at Tiger Woods after he questioned the incentive for fellow professionals to leave the PGA Tour.
The 15-time Major winner rejected the Saudi-backed series’ megabucks, rejecting a $700-$800million deal as he challenged the motives behind players moving away from the traditional circuit.
The breakaway league has dominated the headlines for the lucrative contracts involved and the guaranteed money for players wherever they finish in the competitions.
He said in July: ‘I don’t understand it. What are these players doing for guaranteed money, what is the incentive to practice? What’s the incentive to get out there and earn it in the dirt?
‘You just pay a lot of money up front and play some events and play 54 holes.
‘They play loud music. I understand 54 holes for the Senior Tour. Men are older and a little more bumpy. When you’re young, part of it is the 72-hole test. We have a 36-hole play-off for the majors.
Pat Perez (R) of LIV Golf takes a swipe at Tiger Woods (L) after he criticized the breakaway event
‘I just don’t see how this is positive in the long term. It’s sad to see some of these kids who will never get the chance to walk on these hallowed grounds and play in these majors.’
Perez, who was part of Dustin Johnson’s all-American team to win LIV Golf’s season-ending team championship at Trump National in Miami last month, congratulated compatriot Woods.
‘That’s the stupidest nonsense I’ve ever heard in my entire life,’ Perez said to Son of a Butch podcast.
‘That was one of the stupidest things I think he ever said. The incentive is the fact that the last place is 120,000, the first place is four million. You can’t win four million on the PGA Tour.
Woods and Perez talk during a practice round ahead of the 2020 PGA Championship in California
‘Now, next year maybe; they finally got the perks. But last time I checked, he signed a $40million deal out of college, was flying on a Nike jet. He found an incentive. He can close it immediately.
‘He has many guarantees. You know what, and he’s the hottest thing. He made a lot of money on the course, he found an incentive to go.
‘But then again, he only played a few tournaments. He didn’t go — I didn’t see him at John Deere, I didn’t see him supporting all these events. He played in the majors, he played in the WGCs and that was it. He played Torrey. Never played Riv [Riviera].
Perez was part of Dustin Johnson’s all-American team to win the LIV Golf finale in Miami
‘But he was worth every penny. In fact, as I said, he’s two billion short of where he should be, I think.’
Perez signed a four-year deal to join LIV Golf ahead of its event in Portland at the end of June.
‘I have no ill feelings towards the PGA Tour or any of the players. I’m a LIV guy 100 per cent,’ he said.
‘I will play for them. But I don’t feel any need to go after the PGA Tour. They gave me a great opportunity for 21 years.
‘I have nothing against them, no hard feelings towards anyone. I earned everything I got out there, don’t get me wrong.’
Perez is a three-time winner on the PGA Tour, earning more than $28m over the course of his career.
Woods is set to return to golf at the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas next month after last appearing at The Open last summer.