It’s as if America’s most notorious traitor managed to surrender West Point, the British kept the colonies, but Benedict Arnold still had to move to Canada.
Phil Mickelson complained for years that the best players on the PGA Tour (like him) weren’t getting enough of the revenue they generated, as top players. His argument centered on the control of media rights, and although his arguments were factually flawed and, statistically, often wildly inaccurate, his argument had merit: as with most other sports, the top golfers who generate a disproportionate share of the income should receive a more disproportionate share. amount of profit, and shouldn’t have to kill everything they eat. As in the four major sports, there should be big guarantees. It wasn’t happening.
Now, to some extent, thanks at least in part to Mickelson, it does.
Mickelson ruined his legacy thanks to his confession to a biographer that surfaced in February. Mickelson is sad that he was hoping to use the bloody, Saudi-backed LIV Golf Tour, which was not yet fully formed, as “leverage” to force the Tour to better reward PGA Tour stars. This public relations mistake forced Mickelson into a $200 million exile. His departure spurred an exodus fueled by bonuses from some of the Tour’s biggest names — Dustin Johnson ($125 million), Brooks Koepka ($100 million), Bryson DeChambeau ($125 million) — as well as a crowd of has-beens and never-beens, like Kevin Na and Pat Perez.
The Tour excommunicated heretics.
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To prevent new starts, the Tour announced this week that it would give players a measure of what Mickelson wanted all along: massive increases in tournament prize money and guaranteed money for the most popular players, such as than measured by the “Player Impact Program”, which already existed. but whose bonus pool has doubled, to $100 million.
During the Tour Championship season finale, commissioner Jay Monahan announced that the total money in 2022-23 would reach nearly $430 million, an increase of nearly $50 million – a total that roughly matches the this year’s LIV prize pool, regardless of player bonuses. A total of 12 “high” PGA Tour events will carry purses of $20 million and the Players Championship will carry a purse of $25 million. The first seven LIV shows in 2022 carry purses of $25 million, with a final of $50 million.
By the way, no player who plays in at least 15 Tour events will win less than $500,000, no matter how hard they play. That, for example, would double the take home pay in 2022 of “Two Gloves” Tommy Gainey, whose success on a golf reality TV show has earned him more fame than golf has ever brought him. Non-exempt players ranked 126th through 150th will receive $5,000 per tournament, even if they miss the cup, and the Tour will also help those players with other expenses.
LIV Golf, with the rudeness one would expect from an organization whose product has more in common with professional wrestling than professional golf, issued a smug statement: “LIV Golf is clearly the best thing ever. arrived to help the careers of professional golfers.”
LIV is right about that, at least when it comes to finances.
LIV Golf president Greg Norman, who has regularly lied about issues surrounding his employers and the Tour, posted a stunning Instagram post: “A day late and a dollar short.”
He’s wrong about that, but whatever. Golfers at the top of the food chain will feast, and those at the bottom may survive.
Not that Phil would care about little guys. He was only looking for the most influential players. In other words, himself.
Mickelson made his bed. Some of his LIV peers have asked to be reinstated to the PGA Tour through legal channels. So far, these attempts have failed.
Mickelson, Mohammed bin Salman’s chief sports scrubber, remains in golf exile, ensuring that at least some of his goals are met. He wanted leverage. He got it, but at a very expensive price.
Reigning National League MVP Bryce Harper returned to the Phillies roster on Friday night.
The Phillies were 38-35 when Harper broke his thumb on June 25. They went 32-20 in his absence.
They appreciated the consistent teeing off, the stability of the bullpen, the production of hitters Kyle Schwarber, Rhys Hoskins, JT Realmuto and Nick Castellanos and the important contributions of young players like infielder Bryson Stott and the outfielder Matt Vierling. Acting manager Rob Thomson provided a steady hand and aggressive ethos, and general manager Dave Dombrowski added depth at the trade deadline.
There’s no question Harper is the team’s best player – but, for the first time in more than a decade, the Phillies have fielded a real crew.
Be careful how you schadenfreude.
The Dallas Cowboys lost left tackle Tyron Smith on Wednesday to a knee and hamstring injury that will almost certainly cost Smith his entire 12th NFL season. He’s made the Pro Bowl in eight of the last nine seasons; a neck injury cost him 14 games in 2020.
Combined with the departures of receiver Amari Cooper and right tackle La’el Collins, both victims of the salary cap; the dwindling skills of running back Ezekiel Elliott, who is more than $18 million over the salary cap; and the Cowboys’ specious defense, there’s little hope the team can repeat their 12-game winning streak from 2021.
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All of which means the NFC East title should be very much on the line for the Eagles.
But perhaps Eagles fans shouldn’t be too pleased with Dallas’ misfortune and mismanagement.
After all, more than anything, it was a decimated offensive line that sabotaged the Eagles in 2012, even with Juan Castillo as defensive coordinator. A team of DeSean Jackson, LeSean McCoy, Jeremy Maclin and Michael Vick went 4-12 and ended Andy Reid’s tenure as Eagles coach. The Chiefs have appeared in two Super Bowls and won in eight of nine seasons with Big Red.