Vincent earns spot in money spinning 2023 LIV Golf League

ZIMBABWE'S leading golfer, Scott Vincent

ZIMBABWE'S leading golfer, Scott Vincent will have an opportunity to rub shoulders with some of the world's leading lights in the sport and win millions in prize money after he earned playing privileges for the 2023 LIV Golf League season by winning the International Series Order of Merit.

The 30-year-old star, who is popularly known as Mhondoro, pinched his ticket to the money-spinning LIV Golf League following his top 10 finish at the BNI Indonesia Masters on Sunday, which left him with earnings of US$517,845 after his seven International Series starts.

Mhondoro's win was a befitting tribute to his longtime coach, the veteran Chapman Golf Club teaching professional and former national team coach Roger Baylis, who passed away on Saturday.

American Sihwan Kim finished second at US$437,133,33 in six starts.

In addition to winning the International Series Order of Merit, Vincent finished third in the Asian Tour Order of Merit behind winner Sihwan Kim and second-place Bio Kim.

“It feels pretty special to win the International Series Order of Merit this year," Vincent said.

"It was not something that was on my radar earlier this year. Now that it is a reality, it’s unreal.

“It’s incredible. Getting a taste of LIV this year, you want to go back. You want to compete against the best in the world. The fact that I get to do that now, it’s really cool, and I look forward to the challenge.”

Vincent's win in early June at the International Series England — the first Asian Tour event played in the UK — not only helped set him up for his run to the Order of Merit title, it also led to playing privileges for the inaugural LIV Golf Invitational Series in 2022.

“The highlight for me was the International Series in London," Vincent said.

"Making a putt to win on that last hole was just really cool. Ten-footer, left to right, down the hill. Making that putt was special.”

Vincent went on to feature in all eight LIV Golf events this season, with his best finish a 14th in Chicago.

He finished 42nd on the earnings list with just under $1,5 million cumulative for individual and team earnings but will be looking to do even better after getting another chance to compete on the circuit next season.

With his spot on the 2023 LIV Golf League secured, Vincent will have an opportunity to not only compete against some of the world's leading golfers again, but also compete for lucrative prize money on offer.

The LIV Golf circuit announced recently it will play 14 tournaments with a total prize purse of US$405 million next year.

American star Dustin Johnson raked in around US$35 million in prize money during the inaugural LIV Golf season whose schedule consisted of eight tournaments with a total purse of US$255 million.

Despite receiving criticism from some quarters due to its links with the Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund, LIV Golf has made a huge impact in the growth of the game of golf in Asia, where Vincent has been plying his trade since turning professional.

In addition to its flagship circuit, LIV has made a huge commitment in the Asian Tour International Series, which has become a key component in helping to recognise and develop next-generation stars as well as providing playing opportunities for LIV Golf members.

Vincent becomes the first player from the Asian Tour to make the step up to the LIV Golf League on a full-time basis after his impressive run during the inaugural International Series season.

The International Series is a ground-breaking series of events launched this year on the Asian Tour with prize purses of US $1,5 million and above, played across seven countries.

The 2023 International Series will include 10 tournaments across the globe, each with prize money of at least $2 million.

The Asian Tour recently announced that Oman will host an International Series event Feb. 9-12 at Al Mouj Golf in Muscat.

Asian Tour's CEO and Commissioner Cho Minn Thant congratulated Vincent for winning the International Series Order of Merit title and wished him all the best ahead of his title defence in 2023.

He also applauded the impact the International Series has had on the growth of the game in Asia.

"Big congratulations to Scott Vincent — it will be a pleasure to see the International Series Order of Merit winner defend his title in our flagship events next season,” he said.

“The International Series has been a real game changer, not just through access to LIV Golf but also because of the bigger purses on offer, and for the experiences that offer a pathway to growth and development for all the players.

“It has created a genuinely exciting climax to the season, alongside the Asian Tour Order of Merit title, and this excitement will grow as the series evolves going forward,” he said.

lFollow Daniel on Twitter @danielnhakaniso


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