Hideki Matsuyama admits to talks with LIV but is staying with PGA Tour

Hideki Matsuyama

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Hideki Matsuyama admitted during Tuesday’s media availability at the Presidents Cup that he was approached by upstart, Saudi-backed LIV Golf

Still, he said he will continue to play his golf on the PGA Tour. Through a Japanese-to-English translator, Matsuyama’s reasoning was six words. 

“Simply this is where I belong,” he said. 

LIV’s flirtation with last year’s Masters champion confirms a long-whispered rumor, with some reports suggesting Matsuyama was offered well into the nine figures to play with LIV. According to a source to the New York Post, Matsuyama turned down the offer late last month, with the source saying the 30-year-old was torn between building his legacy and receiving the large payday.

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Matsuyama likely would have been announced among the six Tour golfers who joined LIV after last month’s Tour Championship — Open Championship winner Cameron Smith, Joaquin Niemann, Harold Varner III, Marc Leishman and Cameron Tringale. Instead, he is playing the Presidents Cup, played last week’s Fortinet Championship and is expected to defend his title next month at the Zozo Championship. 

On Tuesday, a reporter also asked Matsuyama if he would be interested in playing a PGA Tour-LIV Golf team event, should one ever come together. 

His answer again was short. 

“I can’t decide something like that because there’s nothing specific about it,” he said through a translator.

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