‘Money didn’t play a role’: Why Charles Howell III says he’s ditching lucrative PGA Tour career for LIV Golf

Charles Howell III

Charles Howell III made more than $42 million over 22 years on the PGA Tour.

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Forty-three-year-old Charles Howell III has enjoyed an incredibly lucrative PGA Tour career.

Though he only won three times over more than two decades as a pro, Howell earned a reputation as one of the Tour’s most consistent players, making the cut more than 76 percent of the time in 609 events, with 98 top 10s and 16 runner-up finishes.

As a result, Howell has banked a whopping $42 million in earnings — good enough to place him at 21st on the career earnings list.

So it came as a surprise to some when Howell announced he would become one of the latest PGA Tour defectors to LIV Golf, which tees off in its second stateside event at Trump Bedminster in New Jersey this week.

Charles Howell III has displayed impressive longevity in his 20-year career.
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Most of the players who have left the PGA Tour for LIV Golf have reportedly traded their Tour status for lucrative LIV Golf signing bonuses. But in his pre-tournament press conference at Trump Bedminster on Wednesday, Howell was adamant that money had nothing to do with his decision.

“Money didn’t play a role,” he said. “Money was not a factor. For me, I’ve been [on the PGA Tour] for 22 years, and it’s been awesome. I’ve got nothing but great things to say about the PGA Tour, what they’ve given me, the opportunities, et cetera. But when this came along, I’m 43 years old, I’ve done a lot of that. I still love the game. I love the game more today than I did five years ago.

“Now that my son is playing competitive golf, I’m even more incentivized in the game,” he continued. “This is something really new and exciting. As these guys have alluded to, I even got a bit more excited when someone, let’s say Bryson reaches out and says, I’d love for you to be a part of my team. That’s a compliment, but it’s also a responsibility. Okay, I’ve got to play well; I’m responsible not only for myself but for Paul, for Bryson, for others. It’s new and exciting. Not that the PGA Tour got boring, but I’m extremely excited to be here for the next few years, and yeah, it’s a new venture, and at this age and this part of my life, it’s perfect.”

This week, Howell will be playing on Team Crushers alongside Paul Casey and South African Shaun Norris, captained by Bryson DeChambeau.

The LIV Golf Invitational Bedminster begins on Friday, July 29.

Golf.com Editor

As a four-year member of Columbia’s inaugural class of female varsity golfers, Jessica can out-birdie everyone on the masthead. She can out-hustle them in the office, too, where she’s primarily responsible for producing both print and online features, and overseeing major special projects, such as GOLF’s inaugural Style Is­sue, which debuted in February 2018. Her origi­nal interview series, “A Round With,” debuted in November of 2015, and appeared in both in the magazine and in video form on GOLF.com.