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The speculation is over. LIV Golf Investments and its CEO, Greg Norman, have announced the LIV Golf Invitational Series, also known as the much anticipated and reported Saudi-backed Super League.
The eight event series will begin at London's Centurion Club in June, one week prior to the US Open, with players competing for an unprecedented $255m throughout. The first seven regular season events will each carry a total purse of $25m, comprised of $20m in individual prizes and $5m for the top three teams.
Following the first seven events, an Individual Champion will be crowned offering a total purse of $30m for the top-three individuals of the season. The season-ending eighth event will be a Team Championship with a $50m total prize fund. Purely from a financial perspective, each of the LIV Golf Invitational Series' eight events exceeds the riches on offer at the PGA Tour's most lucrative event, the Players Championship.
The tournaments will consist of three rounds (54-holes) with no cut and, uniquely, play will commence by shotgun start. There will be a team format throughout with a maximum of 48 players made up of 12 teams of four, with the teams drafted each week.
Speaking of the launch, LIV Golf Investment CEO, Greg Norman, said: “I want golf to grow, players to have additional opportunities, and fans to have more fun. My mission is to help the game reach its full potential and we know the role of golf as an entertainment product is critical to overall participation in the sport.
“In many ways, we are a start-up. We have a long-term vision and aim to grow. I believe we have a very bright and exciting future.”
LIV Golf Investments will put up more than $400m in seed money to launch the series in what they describe as “the building blocks of a next generation golf experience.”
The schedule will not compete with the Major Championships, international team events (such as the Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup) or 'heritage events' with LIV Golf Investment insisting that players are independent contractors with the right to choose where they play.
Speculation grew over recent months and the PGA Tour remained consistent, and firm, in its stance. Commissioner Jay Monahan has explicitly said that anyone who takes part in the breakaway league will face a lifetime ban from the PGA Tour. Whilst it is not known which players will take part, any potential ban is sure to be fraught with legal challenge and precedent being set.
“Our events are truly additive to the world of golf. We have done our best to create a schedule that allows players to play elsewhere, while still participating in our events. I believe players will increasingly make progress in achieving their right to play where they want. We will help in any way possible and will provide golfers with opportunities to achieve their full potential,” said Norman.
In a leaked letter, Norman admitted that he "fully understands" that "some players may choose not to play with us right away" but said that "after we get going, I believe many of those who aren’t with us now will be with us later."
Big names unlikely to feature include Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm, Collin Morikawa, Brooks Koepka and Dustin Johnson, who have all committed their futures to the PGA Tour. Bryson DeChambeau, who was reportedly offered up to $240m to be the 'face' of the league, recently said "as long as the best players in the world are playing the PGA Tour, so will I."
Norman has constantly stated that players are 'independent contractors' and that the PGA Tour can't ban players for participating in other leagues.
The announcement comes shortly after it was revealed that the World Golf Group, the organisation behind the Premier Golf League, a separate breakaway league, wrote to Rory Mcilroy outlining plans in a leaked email.
The LIV Golf Invitational 2022 schedule will visit the following dates and locations:
- 09-11 June: Centurion Golf Club – London, England
- 01-03 July: Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club – Portland, USA
- 29-31 July: Trump National Golf Club Bedminster – New Jersey, USA
- 02-04 Sept: The International – Boston, USA
- 16-18 Sept: Rich Harvest Farms – Chicago, USA
- 07-09 Oct: Stonehill Golf Club – Bangkok, Thailand
- 14-16 Oct: Royal Greens Golf Club – Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
- 28-30 Oct: Team Championship, TBC
James joined Golf Monthly having previously written for other digital outlets. He is obsessed with all areas of the game – from tournament golf, to history, equipment, technique and travel. He is also an avid collector of memorabilia; with items from the likes of Bobby Jones, Tiger Woods, Francis Ouimet, Arnold Palmer, Lee Trevino, Adam Scott and Ernie Els. As well as writing for Golf Monthly, James’ golfing highlight is fist bumping Phil Mickelson on his way to winning the Open Championship at Muirfield in 2013. James grew up on the east coast of England and is the third generation of his golfing family. He now resides in Leeds and is a member of Cobble Hall Golf Club with a handicap index of 1.7. His favourite films are The Legend of Bagger Vance and Tin Cup.