‘I love the money:’ Harold Varner reflects on time with Saudi-backed LIV golf tour

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Since announcing that he was joining the LIV golf tour in August, Harold Varner has been enjoying the bigger paycheck and the additional family time that come with playing for the Saudi-backed organization.

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Varner described how the sparser competition schedule, compared to the PGA, has allowed him to spend more time with his one-year-old son.

“I do love the money,” he told Al Arabiya English at a press event on Sunday. “I really love the time off, which is weird because I’m a busybody.”

“But my kid is one. He knows who I am now. I get on the phone, and he’s like ‘hey!’ He goes nuts.”

“It’s very humbling because everything I thought I wouldn’t do at 32 is happening at 32.”

Varner’s signing with the breakaway Saudi Public Investment Fund-backed tour was announced in August, and he was automatically suspended from the PGA.

He released a statement at the time praising the “life changer” that the PGA had been for him, but also stating frankly that the LIV offer was “simply too good of a financial breakthrough for me to pass by.”

Addressing on Sunday the public reaction that came from signing with the Saudi-backed tour, Varner said it was “more good than bad.”

“But I didn’t really care. It is what it is. It’s what I wanted to do. It’s a great opportunity for me because of where I came from, and I really want to help people. You can do that with more money.”

Varner runs the HV3 foundation, fostering the next generation of golfing talent by subsidizing programs, allowing children to play for $5 or less.

A quotation on the HV3 website describes how he would not be where he is in his career if not for the junior golf program that allowed him to get his start as a child.

The straight-talking American also spoke to Al Arabiya English about how, conversely, playing less golf has also allowed to him playing better.

“I played the least amount of golf I’ve ever played in my life last year and played the best I’ve ever played,” he explained. “So it might be something to it.”

The North Carolina native was in Riyadh for a press event ahead of the 2023 PIF Saudi International in King Abdullah Economic City, which he won last year.

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