Byeong Hun An has leapt to the defence of the PGA Tour in the wake of recent criticism, claiming there are a “lot of benefits.”
The Tour has been on the back foot for a number of months in the wake of the June 6th announcement that they would be exploring a deal with Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), who bankroll LIV Golf, with many professionals outspoken on issues with the Tour. These include the leadership of current commissioner Jay Monahan, with Tiger Woods recently stepping onto the policy board in an effort to maintain player power.
Recently, veteran Tour player Chris Stroud claimed in a damning interview with Golf Channel that: “The Tour doesn’t care about you if you’re not in the top 30”. However, World No.60, An, is not in agreement.
👏 I’ve played many tours (except LIV) around the world and I can say that the PGA tour gives the most. Some say we need to get paid more which I can agree and disagree, but we do get lots of benefits from tour. https://t.co/StbdWUFU8UDecember 1, 2023
“I’ve played many tours (except LIV) around the world and I can say that the PGA tour gives the most,” the 32-year-old wrote on X, formerly Twitter. “Some say we need to get paid more which I can agree and disagree, but we do get lots of benefits from tour.”
An, who has recently served a three-month suspension due to a doping violation, has played on the PGA Tour since 2016. Although the South Korean has not won a tournament in that time, he argues he has been more than sufficiently compensated.
“Earning $10M+ without a tour win sounds like a decent amount of money,” he added in another post in response to a fan’s comment. “Also I’m doing what I love to do. Do I [still] want to get paid more? Of course.”
Regardless of An’s comments, the recent swell of criticism towards the Tour points at a growing discontent from the rank-and-file members of the PGA Tour.
Nate Lashley recently called the Player Impact Progam (where 20 players earned $100m in bonus money) “ridiculous” and “an absolute kick in the face to the rest of the PGA Tour players,” with Stroud’s aforementioned comments only serving to reignite those tensions.
Not everyone is in agreement, however. Alongside An’s comments, long-time DP World Tour player, Eddie Pepperell, was another who disagreed with Stroud’s thoughts, suggesting that many players have an inflated perception of their value.
“I’m often convinced there are as many golfers not at the top of the tree who see themselves as something they’re not, as those at the top of [the] tree,” Pepperell said. “This is one of those times.”