Police arrest LIV golfer Harold Varner III for driving while intoxicated

 December 31, 2023

LIV Golf professional Harold Varner III found himself under arrest in North Carolina on Thursday night, facing allegations of driving while impaired, as detailed in online jail records.

Varner, a notable figure in the golfing world, had declared in August 2022 his decision to depart from the PGA Tour to join the Saudi-backed golf circuit, LIV Golf.

The details

The Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department took him into custody at approximately 7:30 p.m., charging him with driving while impaired and assigning a $500 bond.

According to records from the Mecklenburg District Court, Varner underwent a breath test that revealed a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .16.

Earlier in the year, Varner achieved a significant milestone by winning his inaugural LIV Golf event held in Washington, D.C., taking home a substantial $4 million prize.

This victory added to his professional accomplishments and marked a notable chapter in his golfing career.

The LIV switch

When Varner publicly disclosed his move to LIV Golf, he was transparent about the financial considerations that influenced his decision.

On Instagram, he wrote, "The truth is, my life is changing. The opportunity to join LIV Golf is simply too good of a financial breakthrough for me to pass by."

He added, "I know what it means to grow up without much. This money is going to ensure that my kid and future Varners will have a solid base to start on and a life I could have only dreamt about growing up. It'll also help fund many of the programs I'm building with my Foundation. I'll continue to forge pathways for kids interested in golf. This note is a receipt for that," he wrote in a message shared on Instagram.

The aftermath

Varner was subsequently released after his arrest, with a court appearance scheduled for January 19.

The incident raises questions about the potential consequences for Varner's professional standing and how this might intersect with his recent success and forthright approach to the financial aspects of his career move.

The move may have golfing implications too, though the LIV golf association has yet to address any consequences of the incident that could include potential fines or suspension.

Varner's public relations will certainly need attention after the arrest, leaving him with a difficult start to end 2023 and begin the new year in his quest to continue his impact in the sport he loves.

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