Rookie professional reveals LIV Golf’s recruitment techniques

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Pierceson Coody was a three-time All-American on the College of Texas.

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Pierceson Coody, grandson of Masters champion Charles Coody, ready for his third Korn Ferry begin as knowledgeable this week the identical means he had ready for the primary two: by spending 8 to 10 hours a day taking part in and training on the host web site, on this case Falmouth (Maine) Nation Membership; bunking in a price range lodge; and eating at humble native institutions. (His culinary spotlight in Falmouth: a lobster roll, which he devoured whereas overlooking the harbor.)

Name it no-frills mini-tour residing, with one vital subplot: Coody lately handed on a golden alternative to go away all of it behind. 

A few month in the past, Coody, who was then wrapping up his senior yr on the College of Texas, turned down what he and his father Kyle described as a “multi-million-dollar” supply from the Saudi-financed LIV Golf Collection. The deal would have made Pierceson, who earned $31,125 in his first two KFT begins, an on the spot millionaire, with an opportunity to get even richer in LIV’s huge-purse, no-cut occasions.

However Coody, 22, who earned his Korn Ferry membership by ending first within the 2022 PGA College Collection, mentioned that whereas signing with LIV would have given him monetary safety, it additionally would have taken one thing away: his lifelong dream of taking part in on the PGA Tour.

“I may be sitting on my sofa with hundreds of thousands in my checking account watching my associates play on the PGA Tour, and that might have been devastating,” Coody mentioned.

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“I had folks ask me in school if I had been contacted by the LIV tour and I mentioned, ‘No, no, no,’” he added. “When it really occurred, it was simpler to say no than I might have imagined.”

LIV’s recruitment of Coody underscores simply how aggressively the upstart league — which this week introduced its newest signees, Brooks Koepka and Abe Ancer — is courting gamers of all ages and talents. LIV has stalwarts like Dustin Johnson and Phil Mickelson, nevertheless it additionally has locked up much less confirmed skills, just like the reigning U.S. Beginner champion, 23-year-old James Piot.

Coody mentioned he by no means talked on to LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman or another LIV officers in the course of the negotiations; all communication was dealt with by Mike Chisum, the Coody brothers’ Plano, Texas-based agent, who handed alongside LIV’s supply to Kyle.

Chisum declined to be interviewed for this story. A LIV spokesperson additionally declined to remark aside from to say, “Now we have been actively figuring out subsequent era expertise.”

Coody mentioned the primary name from LIV to Chisum got here in early Could as Coody and his school teammates have been getting ready to play within the NCAA Regionals after ending third within the Massive 12 event.

The LIV proposal included a multi-million greenback signing bonus in change for a two-year dedication, Coody mentioned. Additionally included, Coody mentioned, have been all journey bills to tournaments this yr and subsequent, plus assured prize cash no matter the place he completed in any occasion.

Coody mentioned he was given 12 days to determine on the supply.

Norman additionally requested Coody’s cell-phone quantity so he might pitch Coody personally.

“I shut that down in a rush,” mentioned Kyle, who additionally performed golf for the College of Texas earlier than testing his sport within the professional ranks.

Kyle mentioned LIV officers later tried to sweeten the pot. If Pierceson agreed to signal with the league, Kyle mentioned, LIV would additionally prolong a proposal, for a distinct quantity, to Pierceson’s twin brother, Parker, who additionally was a College of Texas standout and now performs on the PGA Tour Canada.

Pierceson, left, and Parker celebrating a win in 2019.

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“Coming in early Could whereas they have been preparing for NCAA Regionals and making an attempt to graduate, I believed it was an enormous distraction,” Kyle mentioned of LIV’s advances. “I instructed Pierceson in case you play good golf, the cash will deal with itself.

“It might sound unusual to say, however turning down hundreds of thousands of {dollars} was the most effective factor he might do for his profession.”

Pierceson mentioned he and his father jotted down the professionals and cons of the profitable supply whereas making a remaining determination earlier than the NCAA Championship, in late Could, which Texas ended up successful.

“Seeing that type of cash was type of a wow second for me,” Pierceson mentioned. “It was a loopy amount of cash, however I really like the American tour. I by no means noticed myself as a LIV golfer, however a PGA Tour golfer.”

Pierceson mentioned he took consolation from his shut associates and North Texas position fashions, Will Zalatoris, Scottie Scheffler and Jordan Spieth, all of whom have remained dedicated to the PGA Tour.

“I do know all of these guys and in the event that they consider within the PGA Tour and consider what it stands for and what they’re doing, then I feel I made the suitable determination,” he mentioned.

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