ST ALBANS, ENGLAND (AP) – Former Masters champion Charl Schwartzel banked USD4.75 million on Saturday by winning the richest tournament in golf history.
Schwartzel held on for a one-shot victory at the inaugural LIV Golf event outside London to secure the USD4 million prize for the individual victory – along with another USD750,000 from his share of the USD3 million purse earned by his four-man Stinger team for topping the team rankings.
Schwartzel collected more prize money from winning the three-day, 54-hole event than he had from the last four years combined.
Not that it could match the sense of sporting achievement that he felt after his win at Augusta National in 2011.
“Money is one thing but there you’re playing for prestige, history,” he said. “Winning a major will always top anything you do.”
This hefty pay cheque has come at a cost to Schwartzel’s career status, having resigned his membership of the PGA Tour to play on the unsanctioned series without a waiver. “Never in my wildest dreams did I think we could play for that much money in golf,” Schwartzel, who had not won a PGA or European tour event since 2016, told the crowd.
Fellow South African Hennie Du Plessis, who was selected for Stinger by team captain Louis Oosthuizen in the draft, earned USD2.875 million by finishing second at Centurion Club, located between Hemel Hempstead and St Albans.
Schwartzel entered the final day with a three-shot lead and did just enough to hold off Du Plessis despite finishing with a 2-over 72 for a 7-under total of 203. It is the first of eight events in the first year of LIV Golf, which began against the backdrop of the PGA Tour banning players who signed up.