/LIV Golf’s ‘sportswashing’ experiment begins today – how we got here and what happens next

LIV Golf’s ‘sportswashing’ experiment begins today – how we got here and what happens next

Money. Questions about personal integrity. A rebel golf organization challenging the establishment. A political story masquerading as sports fodder.

The fascinating golf wars have begun with Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson the highest-profile names to defect from the PGA Tour. Along with at least 14 more Tour players, they have followed the money from Saudi Arabia while holding their noses.

Mickelson saw a check from LIV Golf that was reported to be in the $200 million neighborhood. Johnson turned his back on the PGA Tour for a reported $125 million.

Sure, they might cite the tweaked rules – smaller fields, no cuts, a team-based element to the competition, three days of 54 holes rather than four days of 72 – but we know what is motivating the golfers. They see guaranteed paydays, and big ones.