Pat Perez wore a button-up shirt at the LIV Golf pro-am party in North Plains, Oregon Tuesday night that was so ostentatious, so outrageous that only the words of famed word-maker Phil Mickelson would do it justice: It was something unpleasant, that is certain.
Greedy? Well, the shirt had a $100 bill motif, which was only fitting since Perez sold out for the Benjamins. It was meant to be some decent superflex – imagine his friends and fellow LIV defectors telling him ‘well played’ and eating it, perhaps his wife called it ‘iconic’ as she labeled the Saudi-backed league in its bizarre Tap Tok. But the shirt only showed his disrespect for the PGA Tour, his workplace since 2002, which gave him a platform to earn more than $28 million in career income. However, Perez in his money shirt would be an appropriate personal logo or better yet a perfect representation for all of LIV Golf.
It’s sad that we’ve reached the point in this charade where Perez is being praised for being one of the few LIV players to admit he made the jump for the money. He even went so far as to literally wear it with pride instead of hiding behind the lark of “growing the game,” or so many of the other make-believes.
“This opportunity is like winning the lottery for me,” he said.
To his credit, Perez has managed to keep his card all these years despite just three PGA Tour wins, sometimes just squeaking into the top 125. He made time to become PGA Tour Champions at age 50 when he, thanks to the help from Dustin Johnson got a lifeline — and reportedly some $20 million in guaranteed money — to jump to LIV Golf. Hardly anyone will miss him.
When Rory McIlroy said some LIV players were ambiguous, he had others in mind first and foremost, but Perez must be ambiguous in the first team after his rant against Mickelson and all things Saudi golf at the Genesis Invitational in february, which is real worth reading in full but here are some selected snippets.
“I would never say anything bad about the Tour, because I’ve had an incredible life with it, and I still have the Champ Tour to think about. I am exempt from the Champions Tour as long as I want to play. That’s an incredible kind of pension on top of the pension package we already have. I have no reason to whine about anything. I’m one of those lucky guys that I think I see the right way,” he said.
“For me to make a total of about $40 million on everything from a guy who got kicked out of college, that whole thing and would basically be a garbage collector. For me, yeah, I made every cent of it because we made it the have to do all the time,” he said.
That was followed by another all-time takedown of Mickelson during a podcast appearance in early March on Golf Subpar with Colt Knost and Drew Stoltz, who Golf week detailed here†
But Perez warned us in February that he was prone to flip. “You throw me a hundred and I really get it, I’m gone,” he said. “I would take it. Why wouldn’t you?”
All Greg Norman had to do was show him the money. Apparently his prize was much less than a hundred – or was he talking about just one Benji?
World Golf Hall of Famer and Fred Couples, in conversation with Golf.com, is the most outspoken player to date to call out Mickelson, Perez and the rest of the double-hearted. He supplied a number of exquisite words especially for Perez.
“I heard from all the people that Perez was a little confrontational,” Couples said of the press conference ahead of Perez’s LIV debut this week in Oregon. “He is a grain of sand in this Tour. He should be soft and kind, but he raises his voice. I’m done with it.”
Couples saved are best for Mickelson:
“Have you ever seen Phil look so stupid in his life? They know it’s a joke,” adding, “I don’t think I’ll ever talk to him again.”
In other words, go sand pounding.
Who will be next to make the jump to LIV Golf? Gambling site has Patrick Cantlay, Hideki Matsuyama as leaders