LIV Golf Invitational Series: Everything you need to know before the inaugural tournament at the Centurion Club | golf news

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Phil Mickelson defended and explained his decision to join LIV Golf in a lengthy and sometimes uncomfortable press conference for the six-time main champion.

Phil Mickelson defended and explained his decision to join LIV Golf in a lengthy and sometimes uncomfortable press conference for the six-time main champion.

After months of speculation between LIV Golf and the PGA Tour, the new Saudi-backed series will begin in suburban London on Thursday. That’s all you need to know about who will be participating, what the format will be, and why the new league has been so controversial…

Who will play?

The event is not recognized by the official Golf Rankings (OWGR), meaning that no World Ranking points will be shown during the tournament, although that hasn’t stopped a number of notable names from agreeing to play for the Centurion Club.

Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood refuse to answer questions about whether there is anywhere they are not playing at the LIV golf press conference.

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Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood refuse to answer questions about whether there is anywhere they are not playing at the LIV golf press conference.

Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood refuse to answer questions about whether there is anywhere they are not playing at the LIV golf press conference.

Former World No. 1 legends Dustin Johnson and Ryder Cup legends Sergio Garcia, Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood were among the most notable names to be committed, with top champs Martin Kaymer, Graeme McDowell and Louis Oustoizen participating. Phil Mickelson was added to that list Monday night after months of controversy over comments he made about the renegade series.

Former British Masters champion Richard Bland and PGA Tour veteran Kevin Na also signed up, while American Amateur Award winner James Piot was among the young players to appear in England.

Dustin Johnson, Graeme McDowell and Louis Oosthuizen had to answer tough questions at the LIV Tour opening event press conference.

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Dustin Johnson, Graeme McDowell and Louis Oosthuizen had to answer tough questions at the LIV Tour opening event press conference.

Dustin Johnson, Graeme McDowell and Louis Oosthuizen had to answer tough questions at the LIV Tour opening event press conference.

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

How did the idea come about?

Reports first began surfacing from a rival league to the PGA Tour since 2019, but it was only in late 2021 that the proposal actually began taking shape with the formation of LIV Golf Investments.

Dustin Johnson has confirmed his resignation from the PGA Tour in order to compete in the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Invitational Series.

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Dustin Johnson has confirmed his resignation from the PGA Tour in order to compete in the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Invitational Series.

Dustin Johnson has confirmed his resignation from the PGA Tour in order to compete in the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Invitational Series.

This new entity, with Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) – the owners of Newcastle United – as its majority shareholder, made an initial commitment of $200 million for the Asian Tour, later increased to $300 million, and named the former first and open world champion. Greg Norman as its CEO.

In March, despite the PGA Tour’s threat to impose a lifetime ban on players who withdraw to a rival league, LIV Golf announced the schedule for eight events, a $225 million invite series starting at the Centurion Club in St. Albans on Thursday.

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

LIV is the Roman number for 54, which is the number of holes to be played in each event. It also indicates the lowest score a player can take if they fly every hole in the par-72 course.

Why is it controversial?

Because of the Public Investment Fund’s links to the Saudi government, with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman taking over as chairman, LIV Golf faced accusations of sports laundering.

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

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

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

Norman vehemently denied such allegations, and said Sky Sports In May that Saudi Arabia was “changing its culture within its country” and insisted “I am not responding to Saudi Arabia. I am not responding to their government or Mohammed bin Salman.”

Comments emerged from Mickelson’s interview with author Alan Shipnock, who is writing an unauthorized biography of the six-time main winner, in February in which the 51-year-old questioned Saudi Arabia’s human rights record and described the system as “frightening”.

Paul McGinley says Dustin Johnson's decision to participate in the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Invitational Series could be a

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Paul McGinley says Dustin Johnson’s decision to participate in the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Invitational Series could be a “historic moment in the game”.

Paul McGinley says Dustin Johnson’s decision to participate in the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Invitational Series could be a “historic moment in the game”.

Mickelson has since apologized for his “reckless” comments.

What is the shape?

All 48 players compete against each other in the traditional punch-play style, where the lowest total of 54 holes from the No-Piece event is the winner, while the draft will help customize the players in team format.

Each team will have a designated LIV team captain who will select their open positions on the three team via the Snake Draft format, similar to those used on the Women’s European Tour of the Aramco Team Series.

For the first two rounds, the best two hits of each team will be counted. For the third and final round, the three best points will count, with the team with the lowest overall score after 54 holes.

The format changes in the team tournament, which is a four-day, four-round knockout cycle of matches. The top four teams receive an automatic bye during the first round, while the remaining eight teams play against each other to see who makes it to the quarter-finals.

Team names and captains

The bold captain, with 48 players divided into 12 teams

4 ACES – Dustin JohnsonSean Norris, Oliver Baker, Kevin Yuan

High Flyers – Phil MickelsonJustin Harding, TK Chantanwat (A), Chase Kupka

punch – Ormsby ValleyMatt Jones, Ryosuke Kinoshita and Blake Winder

clix – Martin KaymerPablo Larzabal, JC Ritchie, Ian Sneman

iron heads – Kevin NaSadom Kaewkanjana, Hideto Tanihara, Viraj Madappa

Smashing – Sihwan KimScott Vincent, Genichiro Kuzuma and Itipat Puranataniyarat

crushers – Peter OehlinRichard Bland, Vachara Khongwatmai and Travis Smith

masterpieces – Ian Poulter، Lee Westwood, Sam Horsfield, Laurie Kanter

the stinger – Louis OosthuizenHenny de Plessis, Charles Schwarzl, Branden Grace

fireballs – Sergio GarciaDavid Puig (A), James Peut (A), Jedi Morgan

niplex – Graeme McDowellBernd Weisberger, Turk Pettit, Oliver Fisher

torque – Taylor GotschHudson Swafford, Adrian Otayjoy, Andy Ogletree

How much money will players earn?

All top seven events have a $25 million prize purse, with $20 million distributed over the 48-player court and the remaining $5 million among the top three teams each weekend.

Rich Beam believes that more players are likely to compete in the next six events of the Saudi Golf League because of the money they can make.

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Rich Beam believes that more players are likely to compete in the next six events of the Saudi Golf League because of the money they can make.

Rich Beam believes that more players are likely to compete in the next six events of the Saudi Golf League because of the money they can make.

The winner will receive $4 million (£3.2 million), much more than the $2.7 million awarded to Scotty Scheffler for his Masters win and Justin Thomas’ successful PGA Championship, while each player is guaranteed at least $120,000 for completion. 54. Holes.

The singles champion will be crowned at the end of those events, with $30 million distributed to the top three players of the season, provided they have played in at least four tournaments.

The prize purse doubles for the season finale in Miami and sees $50 million allocated to each of the 12 four-man teams. Each player receives 25 percent of the team’s earnings, with $16 million for the winning team and $1 million for the 12th-finished team.

Where are future events located?

The Centurion Club in St Albans is hosting its first LIV Golf Series event this week

The Centurion Club in St Albans is hosting its first LIV Golf Series event this week

The opening event in London is the first of eight tournaments to be held over the next few months, including five in the US and two in Asia, with an expanded schedule planned in the coming years.

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

Stonehill Golf in Bangkok is the venue October 7-9, and the Royal Greens Golf Club – the site of the Saudi International in recent years – will host the following week, with the season-ending tag team tournament then hosted at Trump National Doral Miami from October 27-30.

LIV Golf plans to have 10 events on its 2023 calendar before expanding to 14 tournaments from 2024, although the dates and locations of those tournaments have not yet been confirmed.

“We have a long-term vision and we’re here to stay,” said Norman, CEO and commissioner at LIV Golf, through a statement. “We will develop the game, give players more opportunities, and create a more interesting product for fans.”

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