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Friday, June 24, 2022

The tough journey for Norris and the temptation of the Saudi League

TULSA, Okla. ( Associated Press) — Sean Norris, the last player to be paired with Tiger Woods at the PGA ChampionshipHeaded home to South Africa to see his young children, take a short break from traveling and find out where his world travels should take him.

One option is the Saudi-funded LIV Golf Invitational Series, which is their focus.

Norris, world number 66 with 10 career wins, said he has signed up for the opening ceremony in two weeks outside London.

It is yet to be decided whether he goes or not, whether he is on the field or not. Norris, like everyone else, isn’t sure and hasn’t heard anything.

“I have entered,” he said. “I’m just waiting to see what happens. I’m just not completely sure or deciding to go. I’m just hanging back and basically testing the waters.”

Money and short schedule are attracting 40 year olds.

Norris has won the Sunshine Tour, Japan Golf Tour, Asian Tour and European Tour in his career. This year alone, he has played tournaments on four of the six main golf circuits, earning his European Tour card by winning a co-sanctioned event in South Africa.

He has options. She also has two children, a 3-year-old boy and a daughter born two months ago in Pretoria.

“I saw him for a week and then I had to leave,” Norris said. “She’s smiling. We do video calling everyday. But it’s tough.”

That’s One Big Reason He’s Curious About LIV Golf,

“If it works for me, then at my age, you want to take care of your family and stay home,” Norris said. “All this arduous journey playing Europe, America, Japan, I barely get to see my kids. We’re trying to figure out a way to make it easier. If it comes down to doing so, you never know. But I am not rushing to take any decision.”

He returns for the US Open next week, winning the Sunshine Tour Order of Merit and earning a waiver. The first LIV golf event will take place on June 9-11 at Centurion Golf Club, a week before the US Open outside Boston. Oregon is next scheduled for July 1-3, with the Scottish Open and British Open scheduled to play a week before.

“If you can work 15 or 20 weeks out of the year and spend the rest of the time at home? It is an ideal lifestyle, especially as a father of two children,” he said.

Except in 2020, when the schedule was disrupted by the pandemic, Norris averaged 27 tournaments a year, with a high of 34.

So what’s stopping him from signing up for a series of $20 million events with $4 million for the winner?

“I just want to see how the tour handles this,” he said. “Are they going to completely ban you from tours? are you fine? I don’t want to completely put myself in a mess that I can’t get out of. We know that a group of players are fully committed. Let’s see what happens.”

Norris said neither the Sunshine Tour, which has just resumed, nor the Japan Golf Tour is “not disturbed” by members playing. He is a member of a European tour. As tempting as the money and schedule are, Norris can see why the PGA Tour and the European Tour are opposing.

“The PGA Tour has built something for 50 years to get where they are. And here is Saudi, where the PGA Tour wants to start now,” he said. “They are basically throwing money at it. I can totally understand why the PGA Tour is feeling how they are feeling, and the European Tour. You don’t want to have a tour like this.”

major consolation

Mito Pereira only cared about winning the PGA Championshipand to close with a double bogey to eliminate a shot from a playoff was devastating.

It’s a small consolation but Pereira, who was ranked number 100 in the world and received a special invitation to the PGA for his second major, is confident of playing the next four.

He moved to world No. 49 in previous tournaments before the US Open (top 60) and British Open (top 50) and used the rankings to decide which players were exempt. His tie for third earned him a place in his first Masters the following April. And the PGA Championship holds the top 15 more ties from last year.

Salary increment

The Evian Championship was elevated to fifth major on the LPGA Tour in 2013, and the majors represented the largest purse in women’s golf. Evian led that year with a $3.25 million purse.

With the boost across the board, the five majors have more than tripled the prize money to a total of $32.8 million.

The US Women’s Open is the richest in women’s golf at $10 million. Last year the Women’s British Open announced another bump, so the prize money would be $6.8 million at Muirfield (which until recently was a men’s club).

Evian was the latest to announce a $2 million increase, which brings the total purse to $6.5 million this year, with $1 million going to the winner.

“Raising the purse of this major championship makes a powerful statement about the value and status of the women’s sport,” said LPGA Tour commissioner Mollie Marcoux Equal.

The Chevron Championship purse in California was $5 million, while last year’s KPGA Women’s Championship purse was $4.5 million. It hasn’t announced the purse for this year’s tournament in Congress.

In addition to $1 million for the winner, Evian will pay everyone in the field, even a stipend for those who have missed the cut.

Ben Hogan Award

Texas Tech junior Ludwig Eberg of Sweden has won the Ben Hogan Award, honoring the top male college golfer based on college, amateur and pro events in the past 12 months.

Eberg is the first winner of Texas Tech and the third Ben Hogan Award winner from the Big 12 Conference School in the past five years, joining Victor Hovland of Oklahoma State (2019) and Doug Ghim of Texas (2018).

He was selected over Sam Bennett of Texas A&M and Eugenio Chakrara of Oklahoma State.

2 player in the world amateur rankings, Eberg won the Big 12 Championship and the Prestige as part of his nine straight finishes in the top 15. Runner-up in the European Amateur last summer, Eberg finished 30th on the Scandinavian Mixed European Tour and 51st at the Bermuda Championship on the PGA Tour.

The award comes with an exemption to play the Charles Schwab Challenge at the Colonial next year.


The PGA Works Collegiate Championship will be held next year at the Shoal Creek, Alabama club, which in 1990 invited its first black member to host the PGA Championship. … Bubba Watson, in Tweet To congratulate PGA Champion Justin Thomas, he revealed he has a torn meniscus and will be out for four to six weeks. This means Watson will not go through US Open qualifying. … Inby Park withdrew from next week’s US Women’s Open. … Harris English, who was hoping to return to competitive golf at the PGA Championship, withdrew from Colonial. He had surgery on his left hip and hasn’t played since the second full week of January. … After finishing third over the past two weeks, South Africa’s MJ Dapheu is the latest Korn Ferry Tour player to have enough points to be among the 25 players to receive PGA Tour cards next year.

week status

The last four major champions were in their 20s and ranked in the world’s top 10 when they won.

last word

“Now I understand how nervous people get when they see me on TV.” – Joaquin Nieman as he watched Chilean friend Mito Pereira try to win the PGA Championship.


More Associated Press Golf: https://apnews.com/hub/golf and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

World Nation News Desk
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