Golf’s divisive LIV sequence prepares to tee off

Home » Golf’s divisive LIV sequence prepares to tee off

Phil Mickelson headlines a subject of 48 golfers at this week’s LIV Golf Invitational London – the inaugural occasion in a breakaway sequence threatening to tear the game aside.

Different big-name gamers who will tee off on the Centurion Membership on Thursday embrace Dustin Johnson, Martin Kaymer and Sergio Garcia.

We check out among the points across the Saudi-funded tour, which goals to “supercharge the sport {of professional} golf”.

Format

There are eight occasions within the inaugural LIV Golf Invitational Collection.

Seven are regular-season occasions – in North America, Europe, Center East, and Asia – the place gamers will compete as people and in groups for factors and prize cash.

These competitions shall be performed over 54 holes in a conventional strokeplay format, as a substitute of the standard 72, and there shall be a ‘shotgun’ begin for all teams of gamers, who will tee off from totally different holes on the identical time.

On the finish of the seven tournaments, a person champion shall be topped based mostly on factors amassed all through the season.

The eighth and ultimate match shall be a season-ending Group Championship matchplay occasion in Miami performed over 4 days.

Since every occasion shall be made up of a distinct subject, groups shall be determined through a draft every time.

Prize cash

The golfers within the LIV sequence shall be enjoying for the largest prize pots in historical past – placing even the rewards on supply on the 4 Majors within the shade.

Every regular-season occasion may have a prize purse of $25 million, with the winner taking dwelling $4m.

Following the primary seven occasions, a person champion shall be topped, providing a complete purse of $30m for the highest three people of the season.

The season-ending workforce championship may have a prize fund of $50m.

Star energy

The signing of six-time Main winner Mickelson is a serious coup for LIV Golf chiefs.

Mickelson has not performed because the publication of feedback in February, by which he criticised the PGA Tour and LIV Golf’s Saudi backers.

Different marquee names embrace Main winners Johnson, Kaymer, Garcia, Charl Schwartzel, Louis Oosthuizen and Graeme McDowell.

European Ryder Cup stars Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood are additionally within the subject at St Albans, on the outskirts of London.

ALSO READ: Oosthuizen leads SA breakaway from PGA Tour

Saudi funding

The LIV sequence is controversially bankrolled by the Saudi sovereign wealth fund, the chairman of which is Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia.

Amnesty Worldwide is adamant that the sequence is one other instance of the ‘sportswashing’ of the Gulf state’s human rights file.

Human rights points have been raised throughout a media convention on Tuesday and are prone to preserve cropping up.

“I feel as golfers, if we tried to remedy geopolitical conditions in each nation on this planet that we play golf in, we wouldn’t play plenty of golf,” stated McDowell. “It’s a extremely laborious query to reply.”

Tour troubles

The LIV sequence is fronted by former world No 1 Greg Norman, now chief govt of LIV Golf Investments, who has spoken of his imaginative and prescient for a “free and open market” in golf.

These opting to play have performed so regardless of warnings of disciplinary motion from the PGA Tour.

Two-time Main winner Johnson introduced on Tuesday he had resigned his membership of the PGA Tour, following the instance of compatriot Kevin Na.

The transfer means they’ve successfully taken themselves out of the image relating to potential punishment.

The DP World Tour, previously often known as the European Tour, has stated it’s “evaluating every request on a case-by-case foundation”.

Rating factors

World rating factors will not be at present on supply at LIV occasions, though officers have held talks on the difficulty.

One other space of uncertainty is the 4 Main championships, that are individually ruled.

They’ve given totally different solutions on LIV defectors however the USA Golf Affiliation stated on Tuesday that the gamers might play in subsequent week’s US Open in Massachusetts.

The scenario over the Ryder Cup seems clearer and Johnson has successfully made himself ineligible to play within the workforce competitors once more by quitting the PGA Tour.

McDowell, whose Ryder Cup eligibility is tied to membership of the DP World Tour, stated he had thought “lengthy and laborious” concerning the difficulty, including he hoped his involvement within the LIV sequence wouldn’t forestall him from participating in future contests.

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