Charl Schwartzel wins £3.2m inaugural LIV Tour event amid fury at US golfers ‘betrayal’ of September 11 victims

CHARL SCHWARZEL bagged the biggest prize in the history of golf as he won the inaugural LIV Tour event.

But US rebel stars Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson were accused of a “betrayal” of the September 11 victims and every other American by allying themselves with their new Saudi paymasters.

Schwartzel won the inaugural LIV Golf Invitational


Schwartzel won the inaugural LIV Golf InvitationalCredit: Reuters
Hennie du Plessis and Branden Grace alongside Schwarzel


Hennie du Plessis and Branden Grace alongside SchwarzelCredit: Getty
Schwarzel won £3.2million for the inaugural LIV Tour event


Schwarzel won £3.2million for the inaugural LIV Tour eventCredit: Getty

Schwarzel, three clear overnight, held off fellow South African Hennie Du Plessis with a final round of 72 to win by just one shot at the Centurion Club and the £3.2m winning cheque.

The world number 126 also took a £608,000 share of the team prize.

It came as 2018 Masters champion Patrick Reed and Pat Perez were unveiled as the latest recruits to the breakaway tour.

But Schwarzel’s victory was overshadowed by a savage attack on the five big US stars who have signed up to the LIV Tour from, a coalition of families and survivors of the 2001 attacks.

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Some 15 of the 19 September 11 terrorists, who killed 2,977 innocent victims, were Saudi citizens.

And in a letter sent to the agents of Mickelson, Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau, Reed and Kevin Na, organisation chair Terry Strada said: “You are all Americans, keenly aware of the death and destruction of September 11.  

“Whether it was the appeal of millions of dollars of hard cash, or just the opportunity to prosecute your professional grievances with the PGA, you have sold us out.  

“This is a betrayal not only of us, but of all your countrymen.”


She added: “I feel compelled to help you understand the level of depravity the Kingdom engaged in when it knowingly sent government agents here to establish the support network needed for those hijackers.

“The Kingdom that has spent 20 years in denial: lying about their activities, and cowardly dodging the responsibility they bear.  

“Yet these are your partners and you appear pleased to be in business with them.

“The Saudis care about using professional golf to whitewash their reputation, and they are paying you to help them do it.”

Schwarzel admitted: “Never in my wildest dreams did I think we could play for so much money in golf. 

“It’s a historical moment. It’s awesome.”

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