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LIV Golf Invitational Series: Everything you need to know ahead of the inaugural tournament at the Centurion Club | Golf News

LIV Golf Invitational Series: Everything you need to know ahead of the inaugural tournament at the Centurion Club | Golf News


The Saudi-backed LIV Golf Invitational series starts this week in Hertfordshire, so what do we know about the new event?

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The Saudi-backed LIV Golf Invitational series starts this week in Hertfordshire, so what do we know about the new event?

The Saudi-backed LIV Golf Invitational series starts this week in Hertfordshire, so what do we know about the new event?

After months of speculation and back and forth between LIV Golf and the PGA Tour, the new Saudi-backed series is due to kick off on the outskirts of London on Friday. Here’s everything you need to know about who’s taking part, what the format is and why the new league has been so controversial…

Who will play?

The event is not recognized by the Official World Golf Rankings (OWGR), which means that no world ranking points will be offered during the tournament, although this has not stopped a number of names from high level to agree to play at the Centurion Club.

Former world number 1 Dustin Johnson and Ryder Cup legends Sergio Garcia, Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood were among the most notable names to sign up, with grand champions Martin Kaymer, Graeme McDowell and Louis Oosthuizen also involved. Phil Mickelson was added to this list Monday night after months of controversy over comments he made on the breakaway series.

Paul McGinley says Dustin Johnson's decision to take part in the opening event of the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Invitational series could prove to be a

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Paul McGinley has said Dustin Johnson’s decision to take part in the opening event of the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Invitational series could prove to be a “historic moment in gaming”.

Paul McGinley has said Dustin Johnson’s decision to take part in the opening event of the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Invitational series could prove to be a “historic moment in gaming”.

Former British Masters champion Richard Bland and PGA Tour veteran Kevin Na have also signed up, while reigning US Amateur winner James Piot is among the young players in England.

Some 42 players were initially named on the pitch for the inaugural event, with five more added after the Asian Tour event at Slaley Hall on Sunday.

Rory McIlroy says he was surprised by a few names that entered the LIV Golf Invitational Series, but he thinks the course is nothing special.

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Rory McIlroy says he was surprised by a few names that entered the LIV Golf Invitational Series, but he doesn’t think the course is anything special.

Rory McIlroy says he was surprised by a few names that entered the LIV Golf Invitational Series, but he thinks the course is nothing special.

How did the idea come about?

Reports began to surface of a PGA Tour rival league as early as 2019, but it wasn’t until late 2021 that the proposal really started to take shape with the formation of LIV Golf Investments.

This new entity, with Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) – owner of Newcastle United – as majority shareholder, made an initial commitment of $200 million for the Asian Tour, later increased to $300 million. dollars, and named the former world No. 1 and Open champion. Greg Norman as CEO.

Author and golf journalist Alan Shipnuck explains how the Saudi Golf League can change golf as we know it and how it threatens the PGA Tour.

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Author and golf journalist Alan Shipnuck explains how the Saudi Golf League can change golf as we know it and how it threatens the PGA Tour.

Author and golf journalist Alan Shipnuck explains how the Saudi Golf League can change golf as we know it and how it threatens the PGA Tour.

In March, despite the PGA Tour threatening to impose lifetime bans on players who defect to a rival league, LIV Golf announced the schedule for an eight-event invitational series worth $225 million. starting Friday at the Centurion Club in St Albans.

LIV is the Roman numeral for 54, which is the number of holes to be played in each event. It also refers to the lowest score a player could shoot if they birdied every hole on a par-72 course.

Why is it so controversial?

Due to the PIF’s ties to the Saudi government, with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman as chairman, LIV Golf has faced sportwashing charges.

Greg Norman tells Sky Sports News' Jamie Weir that LIV Golf Investments is independent and will not answer to the Saudi government or Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud.

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Greg Norman tells Sky Sports News’ Jamie Weir that LIV Golf Investments is independent and will not answer to the Saudi government or Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud.

Greg Norman tells Sky Sports News’ Jamie Weir that LIV Golf Investments is independent and will not answer to the Saudi government or Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud.

Norman categorically denied such claims, narrative sky sports in May that Saudi Arabia is “changing its culture within its country” and insisting that “I don’t respond to Saudi Arabia. I don’t respond to their government or MBS.”

Comments from an interview Mickelson had with author Alan Shipnuck, who is writing an unauthorized biography of the six-time winner, emerged in February in which the 51-year-old questioned the record of the Saudi Arabia on human rights and called the regime “frightening”. “.

Mickelson has since apologized for his “reckless” comments.

What is the format?

The 48 players compete in a traditional stroke play format, with the lowest 54-hole total in the non-cutting event being the winner, while a draft will help distribute the players in the team format.

Lee Westwood explains why he requested a release from the PGA Tour and DP World Tour to play in the new Saudi-backed LIV Golf Invitational series.

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Lee Westwood explains why he requested a release from the PGA Tour and DP World Tour to play in the new Saudi-backed LIV Golf Invitational series.

Lee Westwood explains why he requested a release from the PGA Tour and DP World Tour to play in the new Saudi-backed LIV Golf Invitational series.

Each team will have a team captain named LIV who will select their three open team positions via a snake draft format, similar to those used on the Ladies European Tour in the Aramco Team Series.

For the first two rounds, the two best scores in stroke play will count for each team. For the third and final round, the top three scores will count, with the lowest overall team score after 54 holes being named the team winner.

The format changes in the Tag Team Championship, which is a four-day, four-round knockout tournament. The top four seeds automatically receive a bye to the first round, with the remaining eight teams playing against each other to see who reaches the quarter-finals.

How much money will players win?

The first seven events all have a $25 million purse, with $20 million split between the 48 players and the remaining $5 million split among the top three teams at the end of each week.

Rich Beem thinks more players are likely to participate in the next six Saudi Golf League events because of the money they could earn.

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Rich Beem thinks more players are likely to participate in the next six Saudi Golf League events because of the money they could earn.

Rich Beem thinks more players are likely to participate in the next six Saudi Golf League events because of the money they could earn.

The winner will receive $4m (£3.2m), far more than the $2.7m awarded Scottie Scheffler for his Masters win and Justin Thomas got for his PGA Championship success, while each player is guaranteed at least $120,000 just for completing 54 of the holes.

An individual champion will be crowned at the end of these events, with a $30 million fund distributed to the top three players of the season, provided they have appeared in at least four tournaments.

The purse doubles for the season finale in Miami and sees $50 million split between each of the 12 four-team teams. Each player receives a 25% reduction in team earnings, with $16 million awarded to the winning team and $1 million to the team finishing 12th.

Where are future events taking place?

The Centurion Club in St Albans hosts the first LIV Golf Series event this week

The Centurion Club in St Albans hosts the first LIV Golf Series event this week

The inaugural event in London is the first of eight tournaments due to take place over the next few months, including five in the United States and two in Asia, with an expanded schedule scheduled to follow in the coming years.

Pumpkin Ridge GC in Portland from June 30-July 2 and Trump National Golf Club Bedminster from July 29-31 are the next two events, with other US-based tournaments taking place in Boston from September 2-4 and Chicago September 16-18. .

Bangkok’s Stonehill Golf Club is the venue from October 7-9 and Royal Greens Golf Club – the Saudi international’s venue in recent years – hosts the following week, with the end-of-season team championship then taking place at the Trump National Doral Miami from October. 27-30.

LIV Golf plans to have 10 events in its 2023 schedule before expanding to 14 tournaments from 2024, although dates and locations for these have yet to be confirmed.

“We have a long term vision and we are here to stay,” Norman, CEO and Commissioner of LIV Golf, said in a statement. “We will grow the game, give players more opportunities and create a more entertaining product for fans.”


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