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SA’s Charl Schwartzel pockets total R75 million after winning ‘rebel’ LIV golf series opener

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Charl Schwartzel. (Photograph by Gregory Shamus/Getty Photographs)

Charl Schwartzel received the inaugural occasion within the Saudi-funded
insurgent LIV Golf collection on Saturday as Patrick Reed grew to become the most recent big-name
participant to enroll.

South Africa’s Schwartzel carded a last spherical of 72 on the
Centurion Membership exterior London to complete seven beneath par and a shot away from
compatriot Hennie du Plessis.

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The 37-year-old obtained a winner’s cheque of $4 million (R63.4 million) and
additionally received $750,000 (R11.89 million) for being a part of the successful workforce within the 54-hole, three-day
occasion.

“Actually, I am relieved,” mentioned the 2011 Masters
champion, who led by 5 pictures with seven holes to play earlier than a double bogey
on the twelfth arrange a nervy end.

“By no means in my wildest goals did I feel we might play
for a lot cash in golf. It has been a tremendous expertise.”

LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman, who tried to arrange a world
tour in 1994, mentioned: “The evolution of the sport of golf is alive and LIV is
alive.

“For 27 years there’s been quite a lot of obstacles put in
our path, quite a lot of goals have tried to be squashed, however they could not squash
us and golf was at all times going to be the drive for good out of all this.”

Reed indicators up

Earlier, US golfer Reed grew to become the most recent US PGA Tour member
to affix the breakaway circuit, with the 17 competing within the first occasion this
week suspended by the Tour shortly after play began in St Albans on Thursday.

PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan mentioned the “similar destiny
holds true” for any gamers who compete in future LIV occasions, with Reed
and Bryson DeChambeau set to contest the second occasion in Oregon beginning on the
finish of the month.

Reed, 31, who received the Masters in 2018 and has 9
skilled titles beneath his belt, is the ninth main champion to affix the
insurgent collection.

“The rising roster of LIV Golf gamers will get even
stronger in the present day with a participant of Patrick Reed’s calibre,” mentioned Norman.

“He has a confirmed monitor report as probably the most
constant rivals in professional golf and provides one more massive presence at our
tournaments.”

Reed mentioned: “I am tremendous excited — simply the considered
being part of an evolution and a change in golf for the higher.”

Six-time main winner Phil Mickelson and former world quantity
one Dustin Johnson had been amongst different stars who featured within the inaugural $25
million occasion close to London.

Organisers have pledged to “supercharge” golf,
providing tournaments with no cuts, simultaneous “shotgun begins” and
a workforce component.

Golfers who’ve signed as much as the LIV collection have confronted
robust questions over Saudi Arabia’s human rights report and have been accused
of greed in chasing the massive rewards on supply.

Schwartzel was requested after his victory if he had any
issues over the supply of the cash — the Saudi sovereign wealth fund.

“The place the cash comes from is just not one thing that I’ve
ever checked out enjoying in my 20 years’ profession, you already know,” he mentioned.

“I feel if I begin digging in every single place the place we performed,
you could possibly discover fault in something.”

The eight LIV tournaments this yr are value a staggering
$255 million, with plans in place to increase the collection over the approaching years.

Mickelson didn’t dispel rumours he was receiving a price of
$200 million to compete, whereas Johnson is reportedly getting $150 million.

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