“Free agency is finally coming to golf,” Greg Norman announced at his LIV Golf debut last month.
“I feel very happy for the fact that we brought in free agency for the golf match,” he said on another occasion.
To hear LIV sign Pat Perez say it, he’s been saved from being a contract server for the PGA Tour — even though he’s made more than $28 million over his career.
“I missed the birth of my son last year. On August 18, I got a call when my wife went into labor. I’m in Jersey. I’m getting ready to start the FedEx playoffs. I’m 116 on the list. I can.” t leave. I can’t miss it. I can’t go back. I can’t get there and back without spending $150,000 on a private flight. I do not do that. So I had to suck it up and I had to miss the birth of my son,” Perez said. “And you know, fortunately, I’ve lowered and raised my profile by playing well, but it’s still bad.”
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The only thing is that Perez did not have to miss the birth of his son. He chose to play the role of the Northern Trust. He already finished his Tour card for the following season by finishing 125th. If he wanted to qualify for the next week’s BMW Championship (top 70) or Tour Championship (top 30), he would need to continue in because he didn’t play well that season to be guaranteed status. Veteran Billy Horschel disputed what Perez had said.
“The PGA Tour has a minimum of 15 events, all you have to do is play 15 events and keep your card in those 15 events, that’s OK. If you want to play better or want to play more so you have a chance to win FedExcope, so be it. So be it. Nobody made you play the first playoff to miss family obligations. Nobody has,” said Hurschel. “Yes, we are independent contractors; we sign a contract with the PGA Tour to meet certain requirements of the PGA Tour. But we have the opportunity to set our own schedule.”
Horschel noted that by the time he plays this week’s Genesis Scottish Open and next week’s British Open, he’ll be gone from his family for five straight weeks.
“I made this decision not to see my wife and children for five weeks. Should I cry about it? No,” he said. “I understand. I’m living my dream of trying to play golf professionally and supporting my family financially.”
Here’s the thing: Perez was an independent contractor; Now he is an employee. This is not a business owner want to get angry. He has signed a contract to play in all eight LIV Golf events. Next year, it was announced that that number would be increased to 14. Did Norman really fulfill his 30-year-old dream?
The European-based PGA Tour and DP World Tour denied members’ requests for releases to compete in LIV events and have since sanctioned players who violated its tour regulations. In one rich irony, the same players who said they wanted to play less went to the courts so they could play more on the DP World Tour. (By the way, I like their nickname – “The Sour 16.”)
“We want to coexist” with “all the existing ecosystems within golf, and we want to do that through the PGA Tour,” Norman told Fox News last month. What exactly would that look like in his fantasy world? “I would say support the players…and give their members the opportunity to have other places to go,” he said. They are independent contractors and have every right to do so.
With the exception of Norman Circuit, Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell was banned from playing in the Horizon Irish Open. Apparently, his concept doesn’t work both ways.
The circumstances of Graeme McDowell, who signed with LIV Golf, indicate that Norman does not allow players to go free and play elsewhere. McDowell had agreed to play the Irish Horizon Open, a tournament he had played for the past 20 years anyway, in order to secure a concession to compete at the Saudi International in February. But he reneged on the deal because it conflicted with last week’s LIV event in Portland.
“I tried to be fair and tried to be honest with them and put all my cards on the table. Of course, I was very disappointed that the second event fell to the Irish Open. I wish I was there last week,” said McDowell Irish Independent. “The only thing I can say is that I have to be everything. I am 43rd and 380th in the world. My importance to these guys is so great. I have to try to stick to the best I can on the LIV Tour, which obviously means not being able to play last week.” .
He added: “Listen, I’d like to go back to the Irish Open next year and as I say I can only apologize to the Irish golf fans that I wasn’t there last week. And as I say, unfortunately, I had good reasons for that in terms of what I should stick to in the LIV Tour. I have to be involved with those events. I can’t just dip my toe.”
Herein lies the problem. The same people who complained about how hard they tried on the PGA Tour no longer had the luxury of choosing their schedule. They’ve been bought and paid very well, and now have to show up when and where they’re told (I hope none of the American players’ wives go into labor during the two-week swing to Bangkok and Jeddah).
Had McDowell still been an independent contractor, do you think he would miss the patriotic openness in his home country? When he was growing up, do you think he dreamed of winning the Irish Open or starting on 54 holes in Portland?
Free Agency in Golf – Before long there might be some players who want to fire their clients in Freddy Freeman style.