The LIV Golf Invitational is headed to Rich Harvest Farms in Chicago, the 5th event in the inaugural LIV Golf season. And ahead of the event running from September 16-18, LIV has announced one of their most intriguing athlete additions yet, a golfer they stole right out from under the PGA Tour: David Puig.
20-year-old David Puig played collegiate golf at Arizona State University but is poised to make his professional debut are reportedly signing a massive contract with the LIV Golf tour. This came after a phenomenal amateur golf career that had the golf world thinking he might be the next PGA Tour superstar.
LIV Golf Celebrates Snatching David Puig Away From PGA Tour
LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman congratulated Spanish golfer David Puig on joining the LIV Invitational just a few short days ahead of the Chicago tournament:
— Greg Norman (@SharkGregNorman) September 13, 2022
It wasn’t entirely unexpected that David Puig would join LIV but it was still a shock to some. Puig previously finished 3rd in the European Amateur (2021) and he represented Europe in the 2018 Junior Ryder Cup. At Arizona State, he won the 2021 Southwestern Invitational, just his fifth collegiate tourney, and he won it by a record 9 strokes. Then he came back a year later and defended his title. Puig and his ASU teammates also made it to the Finals of the 2022 NCAA Championship before falling to the Longhorns.
.@PuigCorrius of @sundevilmgolf is definitely "One to Watch"! An award semifinalist in 2021, this season Puig's highlights include a victory at the @SouthwesternInv, a third-place showing at the European Amateur and a trio of wins at the @ArnoldPalmerCup.@PNCBank pic.twitter.com/ze9gaTHr1h
— Ben Hogan Award presented by PNC Bank (@BenHoganAward) March 29, 2022
After all that, David Puig received an invitation from the LIV Golf tour to compete at the tour’s first tournament held outside of London. Puig finished in 40th at LIV Golf London (+3). He then returned to LIV for the Trump Bedminster Invitational where he finished in 42nd (+7).
Despite being a combined +10 in his two LIV Invitational appearances, his rising stardom as one of the sport’s best young golfers was enough to entice him to drop his amateur status and start competing for real money on the tour:
LIV Golf has poached one of the top amateurs in the world.
David Puig, current World No. 9, has announced that he is leaving Arizona State early to make his pro debut at LIV's $25 million Chicago event this weekend. pic.twitter.com/spIbR5kk3U
— Front Office Sports (@FOS) September 13, 2022
The golf world reacts to LIV’s fascinating new signing:
Here is how the golf world reacted to news of David Puig joining LIV and foregoing any shot at being a PGA Tour and mainstream golf superstar:
The next generation…for 48 players in which nearly all will be spoken for going into every season? Lol ok
— Andrew Goldberg (@A_R_Goldberg) September 13, 2022
The glaring issue here is David Puig isn’t getting a massive contract from the LIV Golf Tour. He’ll be given the opportunity to compete to win money, but we’ve already seen LIV drop players as they sign bigger names. David Puig almost certainly falls within the realm of players that would get dropped for a big name coming over from the PGA Tour.
When you know you can't beat the best, take the $$. Good for him, buy your Mom a house, start a foundation. Do good with your decision.
— DougLawrenson (@DLawrenson) September 13, 2022
Poor kid is gonna be real sad when new golfers sign, they kick him out, and he starts his career having to do a walk of shame back to the Korn Ferry tour.
— Jared (@JaredBets) September 13, 2022
‘Exhibition sports’ where his participation also disrupts his shot at future earnings in the sport of golf:
Some athletes forgo their senior year for professional sports.
He’s forgoing his senior year and professional sports for exhibition sports. 👏🏻
— Jeff Valois (@jeffvalois) September 12, 2022
It is fascinating to see LIV Golf and Greg Norman go after a younger golfer like this with a ton of upside. However, he wasn’t really able to build any level of stardom before joining. And should he join the LIV Golf Invitational and start winning every. single. event… is that really a good look for the Tour and the big names they’ve already got?
This is exactly how to make 54Golf viable in the future. Get the young talent immediately and choke off the supply to the PGAT. Brilliant move by the Shark to look to recruit young talent.
— ed barrett (@wadster13) September 13, 2022
Who will be LIV Golf’s next ‘Major’ star? Not Jon Rahm
After all of this, rumors started swirling that Jon Rahm would make the jump to LIV from the PGA Tour. Rahm himself took to Twitter to completely shut down a troll and squash those rumors before they started spreading far.
This came after a report surfaced that LIV Golf had been described as ‘too toxic’ and blackballed by a potential media partner that would’ve helped raise the tour’s profile. That rumor spread so quickly that LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman addressed it himself:
Greg Norman on #LIVGolf TV deal negotiations:
"We're talking to four different networks … offers are being put on the table"
Full quote 👇👇 pic.twitter.com/2eHWUZo9DG
— LIV Golf Updates (@LIVGolfUpdates) September 15, 2022
It’s a big week for LIV with an Invitational In Chicago. Superstar Bryson DeChambeau was out and about throwing the ceremonial first pitch before a Chicago White Sox game.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again until something changes: unless LIV Golf signs a TV contract and gets off YouTube they will not catch on with mainstream golf fans. Every time I’ve played golf with older gentlemen from my course they don’t even know how to watch LIV, and they are the guys who are watching golf…
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