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Will Zalatoris was “unapologetic” in his response to a seismic LIV Golf offer.

Zalatoris, who has made a welcome return to PGA Tour fields this year after spending most of 2023 sidelined with a severe back problem, revealed last summer that he never really considered an “intriguing” approach from Greg Norman’s league.

“For some of the guys who made their decisions, I’m glad they made their decisions for them,” he said on the Chris Vernon Show last July. “At the end of the day, if my job was to make as much money as I can, I probably would’ve been an investment banker.

“My life goal has surrounded around winning one of the four major trophies, and that’s kind of it at the end of the day. I’m unapologetic about it.”

• Cam Smith claims key change will help LIV golfers at Masters

• Brandel Chamblee calls out four PGA Tour stars for failing Rory McIlroy

Since then, LIV has coaxed Masters champion Jon Rahm and his European Ryder Cup teammate Tyrrell Hatton from the PGA Tour in its attempts to build momentum with stronger fields.

Norman, the circuit’s commissioner, also recently revealed that he’s continuing to pursue a deal for Hideki Matsuyama.

It appears that LIV will keep targeting PGA Tour stars despite the fact that the league’s backers, the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF), are negotiating a peace deal with the US circuit.

And Brandel Chamblee, perhaps LIV’s most vehement opponent, has praised the players who have remained on the PGA Tour, name-checking Zalatoris for allegedly rejecting a mammoth nine-figure deal.

• ‘Deal with it’ – Rocco Mediate defends Chris DiMarco’s LIV remark

• Anthony Kim explains why and how he disappeared from golf 

“Even though I wish the players had been more vocal out here, some of the leading players, dozens of them, were offered mind-blowing sums of money and turned it down,” Chamblee told Golfweek.

“One of them was Will Zalatoris. I don’t think he gets enough credit for what he did. He was on the range injured, just beginning his career, wasn’t sure that he was going to be able to continue, wasn’t sure he was going to be able to work his way back from the back injury, gets a call, they offered him $100 million.

“He’s on the range with one of his coaches, Josh Gregory. He says, ‘I’ve got to take this call.’ He turned them down. They then offered him $140 million. He turned them down.

“I don’t think he gets enough credit for the character and the sort of, from an ethical standpoint, having his north star just bright as it could be.”

Chamblee, however, has stressed that the leading PGA Tour players shouldn’t be compensated just for resisting LIV’s overtures.

“No, I don’t think so at all,” he said. “I believe they already have been. I think the money has already been distributed. But I certainly didn’t agree with that. Doing the right thing is in and of itself a reward. They did the right thing, those that stayed.

“I think the reward is there, and for them to be compensated ignores the generations that came before them and the generations that would come after them.”

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Ben Parsons joined bunkered as a Content Producer in 2023 and is the man to come to for all of the latest news, across both the professional and amateur games. Formerly of The Mirror and Press Association, he is a member at Halifax Golf Club and is a long-suffering fan of both Manchester United and the Wales rugby team.

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