LIV Golf – Is it really a serious challenger to the PGA Tour?

LIV Golf – Is it really a serious challenger to the PGA Tour?

With the belated unveiling of 42 names, the golf world was hit with a jarring sense of reality this week.

LIV Golf never suggested it would back down over its plans to launch a Saudi-funded world tour, but only now, with concrete names to attach to it, does it truly feel real.

Chief and commissioner Greg Norman has threatened to spearhead a breakaway tour for decades — and now he’s done it.

Whether or not it takes off is a different matter entirely, but the opening LIV Golf Invitational Series event on June 9 is certain to be the centre of attention that weekend.

Once dismissive of the LIV Golf project, worth a reported $3 billion, players on the PGA Tour are swiftly changing their tunes, saying they will keep an eye on how it progresses.

Central to that shift has undoubtedly been the release of the playing field for the first event.

Forty-eight players — 42 of which were revealed on Wednesday — will compete for their share in a $A35 million purse at England’s Centurion Club, near London.

Dustin Johnson is the biggest coup for LIV Golf.
Dustin Johnson is the biggest coup for LIV Golf.Source: Getty Imageshe idea of a breakaway circuit from the PGA Tour is far from a novel idea; the PGA Tour itself came to pass after players split from the PGA of America in 1967 to form the Tournament Players Division. More recently, former World No. 1 Greg Norman and media tycoon Rupert Murdoch attempted to create a “World Golf Tour” in the mid-1990s featuring the top players competing in an eight-event series. A television contract with Murdoch’s Fox Sports was even secured. But the endeavor was squashed as then-PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem flexed both the tour’s legal chops and standing in the game. Other iterations of a world tour have come and gone without much fanfare.

On March 15, LIV Golf announced an eight-tournament, $255 million series—called the LIV Golf Invitational—that will kick off at the Centurion Club outside of London the week before the U.S. Open starting June 9. Each event will be a three-round, 54-hole competition with no cuts. There will also be shotgun starts in order to fit the events in a shorter time window, along with a team component, with 48 players divided between 12 squads. Five of the events will be held in the United States. Those sites are Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club in Portland (July 1-3), Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J. (July 29-31), the International in Boston (Sept. 2-4), Rich Harvest Farms in Chicago (Sept. 16-18) and Trump Doral (Oct. 29-31). Other hosts include Stonehill Golf Club in Bangkok and Royal Greens Golf Club in Jeddah.
The first seven events will each boast $25 million purses, $20 million for individual prizes and another $5 million for the team competition. The eighth event will offer $30 million for the top three players of the season, with another $50 million for teams in total prize funds.
No Comments

Leave a Comment: