If you’ve been sleeping under a rock, there’s drama surrounding the PGA Tour and some of its biggest stars. 2-time British Open champ Greg Norman founded a new golf league, the LIV Tour, and it is receiving substantial funding from Saudi Arabia. This of course comes with backlash given the controversial ethics of the Saudi government. Not only is human rights an issue, but the crown prince, Mohammed bin Salmen has been accused of the premeditated murder of Jamal Khashoggi, a columnist for the Washington Post.
All About the LIV
You’re probably wondering what makes the LIV series so special. Well, it amplifies the competitiveness of the game, introducing a team event. The team events will come to a conclusion in the 8th event in Miami at the end of the season. The league also encourages more competitors in their individual events, as they do not have any cuts. In said events, a pool of 48 golfers will play a total of 54 holes, as opposed to the PGA’s 72-hole tournaments. Lastly, the tournaments are a better fit for audiences, cutting their run time significantly. They plan to do this by having all teams/players tee off simultaneously at each hole 1-18.
The eight-tournament series will not be recognized by global rankings, but still plans to kick off this Thursday in London. Despite the controversy, Bryson DeChambeau has decided to leave the PGA Tour and is looking to debut on the LIV Tour the weekend of July 4th in Oregon. His agent released a statement earlier today confirming the rumors: “Having the opportunity to get in on the ground floor of something unique has always been intriguing to him. Professional golf as we know it is changing, and it’s happening quickly” Falkoff told ESPN. Every hour proves him right. Soon after DeChambeau announced his commitment, Patrick Reed followed suit.
DeChambeau and Reed are just the latest to transition from PGA to LIV. Future Hall of Famers Dustin Johnson and Phil Mickelson started the trend. Mickelson made the news earlier in the year saying that the Saudi officials involved with the league are “scary motherf******.” Mickelson didn’t play for the PGA again after that comment and has only recently come back into the public eye. Unfortunately, it seems as though most of these golfers have the same intentions, and it’s not to expand the beautiful game we call golf.
All About the Money, Money, Money
The payout on the LIV Tour is even more lucrative than that of the PGA. Each event has a prize pool of 25 million dollars. The winner will receive 4 million and the 48th ranked golfer receives around $100,000. The players who appear in at least 4 events will collect from another pool of $30 million. The winner of the team bracket splits a $16 million check as well.
The LIV Tour might be good for its players, but it doesn’t seem like it is any more than the PGA’s version of the XFL.
You can watch Mickelson and others this summer on the organization’s website, starting Thursday, June 9th.
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