As reported by many golf experts, this is a turbulent period in golf, with player defections from the PGA Tour to a rival series of events, following sanctions, the elephant in the room regarding Saudi sponsorship, and the realisation that this is the new future. The LIV Golf International Series began outside of London on Thursday, and if you can separate yourself from all of the chaotic elements that surround it, the event itself went rather well. But are you sure you’re up to date on all of this craziness? If not, we’re here to dissect this game series and tell you all you need to know about it.
WHAT DOES LIV STAND FOR, AND WHAT IS LIV GOLF?
It is the Roman numeral for 54, the number of holes played at LIV games, and the golf score if a golfer birdied every hole on a par-72 course. In October 2021, it was announced that a new golf series will be authorised by two-time major winner Greg Norman, the CEO of the new golf organisation LIV Golf Investments, which bills itself as “Golf, but Louder.”
The LIV Golf International Tournament is an eight-event golf tournament series that includes, as previously stated, 48 players, 12 teams, 54 holes, no cuts, and shotgun starts. For each of the seven regular-season events, there will be squad and solo champions, with a team title to be given following a four-day, four-round tournament in which the teams will be ranked in a knock-out playoff scenario.
HOW MUCH MONEY IS AT STAKE?
A lot. In the 2022 season, a massive $255 million is up for grabs. The rewards for the seven regular-season events total $25 million, with the individual champion receiving $4 million and the winning team receiving $3 million. The prize money for the group championship has increased to $50 million, with the winning team receiving a sizzling $16 million. The regular season champion will get $18 million, with second place receiving $8 million and third place receiving $4 million.
WHO HAS SIGNED UP FOR THE LIV GOLF TOUR?
Each week, the grounds and squads are subject to change, but the rebel tour’s big names include former World No.1 and two-time Major champion Dustin Johnson, six-time Major champion Phil Mickelson, four-time Major champion Brooks Koepka, 2020 US Open winner Bryson Dechambeau, Masters champions Patrick Reed, Sergio Garcia, and Charl Schwartzel, former Open champions Henrik Stenson and Louis Oosthuizen, three-time PGA Tour winner Jason Kokrak, and Ryder Cup star Lee Westwood.
Other talents said to be interested in leaving the PGA Tour, and DP World Tour for Liv Golf in the near future include Cameron Smith, Adam Scott, Marc Leishman, and Bubba Watson. College athletes are also involved. Eugenio Lopez-Chacarra, the world’s second-ranked amateur, stated earlier this year that he would continue his studies at Oklahoma State for another year. He became professional last week to join LIV Golf. David Puig, a rising senior from Arizona State, competed in the inaugural event as an amateur as well.
WHAT ARE THE LIV GOLF SERIES TOURNAMENTS LIKE?
This is when the Series shines most for players. Championships will be conducted over three rounds (54 holes) with no cut, ensuring that every participant receives a large payout ($120k for finishing last!). It’s a stroke play event, but unlike DP World and PGA Tours tournaments, each round will begin with a shotgun start, which means everyone will tackle the course in the same circumstances and at the same time – no more early or late tee times. You can understand why it’s an appealing offer for many gamers.
As soon as you come through the doors of a LIV Golf International Series tournament, you see it on the signs surrounding the walkway: 48 players, 12 teams, 54 holes, no cuts, shotgun starts. On the surface, that’s the selling pitch for the Greg Norman-led, Saudi-funded golf circuit that’s threatening the PGA Tour and upending professional golf as we recognise it.
But the most pressing topic on everyone’s mind is whether or not the LIV Golf Series will continue. It’s tough to say for sure, but the money is there, more big-name players are joining up, and the rest of golf is finding it more challenging to disregard Liv Golf, even if they wish they could. However, golf has found itself in an unexpected predicament that has cast considerable doubt on the game’s survival due to its controversies and PGA and DP world tour bans.