Paul Casey, fourth former Arizona State golfer, defected to LIV Golf Series

During the live broadcast of the final round of the LIV Golf Invitational Series event on June 25 at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club near Portland, Oregon, the breakaway circuit led by Greg Norman and backed by the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia has announced Paul Casey as its newest signing. .

He is the fourth former Arizona State golfer to leave the PGA Tour. Phil Mickelson was among the first to pledge allegiance to the new circuit. Matt Jones was not far behind. Pat Perez first spoke out against the show and made it known during a rant against Mickelson and all things Saudi golf at the Genesis Invitational in Los Angeles in February. He has since changed his tune and is on board LIV after apparently signing a four-year contract.

“This opportunity was like winning the lottery for me,” he said.

Casey was once an ambassador for UNICEF, but he is no longer listed on the organization’s website. He had previously spoken out against playing at Saudi International, which is not affiliated with the LIV Golf Series. He then flip-flopped on the move after playing in the tournament in Saudi Arabia – which now features the PIF in its title – for the past two years. Casey’s first event with LIV will be at the Trump Bedminster course in New Jersey in late July.

Ranked No. 26 in the world, Casey finished third in the Players Championship in March but hasn’t played a full round since. He conceded all three matches at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play in March and withdrew from the Masters in April before the first round.

LIV Golf pays large up-front guarantees as a primary means of poaching golfers on the PGA Tour and DP World (formerly European) Tour. Mickelson, for example, reportedly got $200 million to join. This is in addition to any on-course winnings that he or other golfers may earn in competition. LIV Golf Events have $20 million in prize money, including $4 million for the winner. Courses are limited to 48 golfers and events are three days and 54 holes with no cuts. The last golfer pockets $120,000 for his efforts.

By comparison, JT Poston, who won the PGA Tour’s John Deere Classic on Sunday, earned $1,278,000. Ricky Barnes finished 69th, last among those who made the weekend cut, and he took home $14,697.

Another former Sun Devil, Jon Rahm, who is currently ranked third in the Official World Golf Ranking, went out of his way to appear before reporters at Genesis in February and used global ‘loyalty’ to express his dedication to the PGA. Round.

Since then he has repeatedly repeated his dedication to the Tour, most recently at the US Open in June.

“I consider the PGA Tour has done an incredible job of giving us the best platform for us to perform,” Rahm said at the Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts. “I see the appeal that other people see towards LIV Golf. I see some of the – I’m going to put it delicately – points or arguments that they can make as to why they prefer it. To be honest, part of the format (LIV) doesn’t really appeal to me. Shotgun three days for me is not a golf tournament, not a cup. It’s that simple. I want to play against the best in the world in a format that’s been going on for hundreds years. That’s what I want to see.

LIV Golf has long been criticized as a way for the Saudi government to “sport” its human rights record. The circuit has eight events in 2022 and has been talked about expanding to 14 in 2023.

Golfweek’s Adam Woodard and Adam Schupak contributed to this article.