Transcribed From Today's LIV Golf Presser: Q. Jumped into this knowing that you; a.) may never play in a major again; b.) you may or may not get World Ranking points here; again c.) you'll never play on a PGA TOUR event again. All those are possible. You were comfortable with all of that?
HAROLD VARNER III: At the start, I was not. But once again, I sat there and I was like, I mean, I went to college and I didn't even know what the U.S. Am was. So like golf's never been a way for me to get my name on a trophy. It was a way for me to get out. I play golf so I could go to college. I would not have been able to go to college without playing golf. And then I turned pro because my brain wasn't smart enough to work 9:00 to 5:00 and still make the same amount of money. The only thing that sucks about golf sometimes is most of the people that are in golf will never understand it. My kid will never understand it; I'm going to make sure of that. Yeah, you know, I'm okay with it. Like it is what it is. I can't hate on what situation I'm in or what situation I'm not in. I can only do what's best for me at the time from the experience I've had as a kid and I'm actually super proud hey made a decision based off of what I believe in. I think it's very easy to get in a situation where you do what everyone else says you should do. Yeah, I think, I don't know, I just sat there. I think it's pretty bad when my wife is like, "Fuck everybody. Do what you want to do." And I was like, that is so cool. My wife is the most nicest person. She's like super, like, 'Oh, I don't know about this, I don't know.' And for her to say that, meant the world to me. So like it was on me and that's what men do. They provide, protect and try to do more, like any other job. I don't -- I just -- I don't know. Sometimes it baffles me. I know these places have been around for like, ever. But they have never been the reason why I play golf to be honest.
What an awesome and refreshingly honest take on why he's making the move. Always loved that about HVIII. He's passionate, he's fun, he's honest... everything you want in a young star in a sport that can so often be the opposite. Especially in today's day and age.
Yesterday's press release was a prime example of that. He's totally aware of all the negative publicity that's come with joining LIV and he's facing it head on. He's not throwing hollow company lines out there, he's not making excuses... he's being real. This is life-changing money for him and his family and that's what his decision is about. He's not hiding that.
A lot of people have been guilty of lumping all these LIV golfers into the same bucket. Hell, I'm as guilty as anyone of that. It was easy to do when the first wave of guys were mainly over-the-hill dislikable PGA Tour veterans who were looking for one last big payday. It was even easier when most gave cookie-cutter BS answers at their opening press conference and put their foot in their mouth at major championships. But as time has evolved and LIV has signed a variety of different types of players, the general stink has started to wear off. There are very real and very good reasons for some guys to take the bag and run.
There's definitely a sector of LIV guys who you simply have to be happy for for seizing a big opportunity when it was put in front of them. Pat Perez may fit the "washed up" mold, but he didn't BS anyone about why he was doing it. Cam Tringale fits into that bucket too. Their hourglass was starting to run short on the PGA Tour and this is a nice pension for them to tuck away after long steady careers on Tour. Kudos to them.
Varner's situation is different but the notion is the same. He may be younger than most, but this really is life-changing money for his family. He described the situation perfectly. The prestige of the PGA Tour and major championships and legacy-building is very important to a lot of people. For him, those things are secondary to what his motivation has always been - financial security and improving his family's standing. The "bag" will do that for the Varners for generations to come, and him explaining his background and why he got into golf really drives that fact home.
Haters will say that the PGA Tour provided that financial security already. To a degree that may be true, but this was HVIII's choice to make and there's no question which option was going to provide him more money. Varner's a good player but he's not quite "Top 20 players" good, which is who will see the most benefit from the PGA Tour's recent changes. There's no guarantee that he was going to be able to stay on Tour for the next decade, let alone beyond next season. So this is him just taking the guaranteed dough while the opportunity is there after the best year of his career. It's hardly any different than a player leaving your favorite team in free agency (oops, I said it) after a career season in a contract year.
So good for HVIII. Go get that bag, dude.