GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — Curtis Strange, who lives in the New Bern area and is a 17-time PGA Tour winner, told Fox News Digital he thinks the biggest motivator for players joining the rival Saudi-backed golf league is the money. 

He said that he believes there’s one reason and one reason only they’re going. The appearance money.

Strange and his wife also work on the Big Rock Foundation in Morehead City

“I used to go overseas two or three times a year when I was playing well, and it was about the money. It was about appearance fees. But, at the same time, you were playing in tournaments that had substantial prize money. So you always try. I mean, but they were real-life world ranking tournaments, so it meant something — financially, reward-wise as far as world ranking points and your status in the game, which is very important. This is not the case,” said Strange.

Players also compete for $20 million purses in addition to an additional $5 million prize for the team competition for each tournament, but the PGA Tour does not allow appearance fees while LIV golf does.

Strange also said the tour’s latest measure to increase purse sizes, which was expedited because of the birth of LIV Golf, brings them closer but also makes appearance money even more important.

“I understand the players going. I do because it’s so large, it’s life-changing,” Strange said. “Now, some people will say, ‘Well, they already make a lot of money.’ Yes, they do. But some of these players are at the end of their careers, and so they’re not going to make huge amounts of money for the next, you know, number of years.”

He also said he can’t imagine turning his back on an organization that gave him the platform to begin with, but, it’s money.