What is LIV Golf? Players, pitch, league tour schedule with Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka

The LIV Golf Invitational series kicked off two weeks ago at the Centurion Club in London, which marked the first in a series of eight events for a league that has become a rival to the PGA Tour. Every step of the way, the answers on this league only produced more questions, and the clarification only made the future more complicated.

There are still a lot of unknowns regarding LIV Golf as well as the PGA Tour and how the two will interact as “regular season” tours outside of major championships.

The breakdown below is our attempt to share with you everything that is known at this point as we head into what the LIV Golf will look like in the future. Whether this turns out to be a fork or bump in the road of professional golf remains to be seen (only the future will retroactively determine), but it seems monumental at the moment.

LIV Golf, with its unlimited war chest of resources to throw at top players, is officially going to battle with the PGA Tour. It’s a long-promised time frame, and finally it’s here. Let’s take a look at what we know and what we can expect in the weeks, months and years to come as LIV Golf gets started on track.

What is LIV Golf?

LIV Golf is a rival golf league to the PGA Tour where tournaments consist of 54 holes, courses are limited to 48 golfers and prize money is $25 million. Twelve four-man teams will compete in each event, and individual purses will be $20 million while the remaining $5 million will be split among the top teams each week.

Who runs LIV Golf?

LIV Golf Investments runs the league and its CEO is two-time major champion Greg Norman. It is financed by the Saudi Public Investment Fund, which is in fact the financial arm of the Saudi government. These funds are seemingly unlimited as the league has paid players hundreds of millions of dollars just to guarantee their appearances at LIV Golf Invitational Series events.

Who plays for LIV Golf?

As it stands, the best players in the league are two-time major winner Dustin Johnson, who reportedly got paid nine figures for his services and four-time overall winner Brooks Koepka. The league also landed a major blow recently with the signing of Bryson DeChambeau. The LIV golf league demographics lean towards players like Phil Mickelson, Martin Kaymer, Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood and Graeme McDowell. Much of its roster is European or South African, and LIV Golf actively recruits other top players and big names from around the world.

Here’s a look at those who are already in the field with their OWGR at the time they were announced.

Dustin Johnson

13

Brooks Koepka 19

Louis Oosthuizen

20

Bryson De Chambeau 28

Kevin Na

33

Talor Gooch

35

Patrick Roseau 36

Sergio Garcia

54

Pablo Larrazabal

65

Richard Bland

66

matt jones

68

Shaun Norris

69

Phil Mickelson 72

Sam Horsfield

72

Lee Westwood

74

Ryo Kinoshita

87

Ian Poulter

89

Bernd Wiesberger

90

Hudson Swafford

90

Olivier Becker

93

Jinichiro Kozuma

103

Scott Vincent

109

Justin Harding

111

Laurie Canter

114

Branden Grace

118

Charles Schwartzel

120

Sadom Kaewkanjana

125

Henri du Plessis

128

Phachara Khongwatmai

133

Sihwan Kim

138

JC Ritchie

154

Adrian Otaegui

162

Hideto Tanihara

173

Martin Kaymer

210

jediah morgan

235

Blake Windred

250

TK Chantananuwat

272

Wade Ormsby

276

Peter Uihlein

319

Graeme McDowell

376

Turkish Small

706

Oliver Fisher

979

Andy Ogletree

1324

Chase Koepka

1543

David Puig

1706

James Piot

1731

Why is LIV Golf here?

The politically correct answer that LIV Golf claims to want to give players the opportunity to make more money than they do on the PGA Tour and grow the game around the world. The actual answer, given that it is a Saudi-led league, is something called sportswashing – which is a term for normalizing a country or entity through sports. Saudi Arabia has attempted to do so through other sports leagues including F1 and football. If you want a more fundamental understanding of sports washing, McDowell and Westwood, perhaps inadvertently, have provided it recently.

What is the LIV Golf schedule?

Most of 2022’s eight events will take place in the United States. Here’s a look at the full inaugural season schedule.

  • London, England: June 9-11
  • Portland, Oregon: June 30 to July 2
  • Bedminster, New Jersey: July 29-31
  • Boston, Massachusetts: September 2-4
  • Chicago, IL: September 16-18
  • Bangkok, Thailand: October 7-9
  • Jeddah, Saudi Arabia: October 14-16
  • Miami, Florida: October 27-30

Will the PGA Tour allow its golfers to play?

In short, no. The Tour has time and again reiterated its rules and regulations and urged to suspend or ban players who choose to play in this league. He rejected waivers lodged by players to participate in the first event – PGA Tour players get three waivers each season – and tougher disciplinary action is expected once the first event in London actually begins. In response to this, many players, including Dustin Johnson, have simply resigned from the Tour and will continue to play LIV Golf as essentially their regular season golf league.

Will majors allow golfers to play?

This is an even better question. The short term answer is: yes. The major organizations — PGA of America, USGA, R&A and Augusta National — are unlikely to announce suspensions or bans of players who participate. However, it is also the organizations that control the Official World Golf Ranking points that allow players to enter the majors to begin with. LIV Golf has applied for its events to become OWGR events (LIV Golf Investments has also invested money in the Asian Tour, which is recognized by the OWGR), but it remains to be seen if they get the status and c is the very thing on which all of this could hinge. If LIV Golf events are awarded OWGR points and silly money is thrown at players to lure them into the league, then several other big stars could possibly make the jump to the PGA Tour rival.

What do LIV Golf players think?

Clearly, those who received sky-high sums — and the sum is well north of $500 million combined for Mickelson, Johnson, Koepka and DeChambeau — think one thing, but most others think another. Justin Thomas and Rory McIlroy — two of the PGA Tour’s biggest stars — have been clear that their intention is to stay on the PGA Tour and play with the best players in the world. However, there is genuine concern inside and outside the PGA Tour. A player who spoke to CBS Sports referred to this week as a huge fork in the road to professional golf and expressed concerns about how the PGA Tour could thrive in the future. That remains to be seen, but it’s become clear that this thread is more serious — and more imminent — than most people previously thought.

Michael C. Ford