LIV Golf Invitational Series Draft Explained

The draft for the first tournament is taking place in London on Tuesday evening, but how will it work?

Graeme McDowell attends a press conference for the first LIV Golf Invitational Series event
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The first LIV Golf Invitational Series tournament is fast approaching, and, after the 12 team names were revealed earlier, the draft that will determine who will play in which team takes place on Tuesday evening. 

Hosted by Kirsty Gallacher and Shane O’Donoghue, the event will begin with the 12 team captains, including Dustin Johnson, Graeme McDowell and Kevin Na, seated at the back of the auditorium. They will then be invited on stage in turn to shake hands with LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman, receive their team cap then take their place at individual team tables.

The teams will each comprise four players, including the captain, meaning the remaining eligible players will be drafted in three rounds until all 48 players in the LIV Golf Invitational Series field are assigned teams.

The first round of picks is in reverse OWGR order. That changes for the second and third rounds, where a snake-style format takes over (so, the captain who chooses first in the second round will choose last in the third round and so on). There is no tiering of players so all the eligible participants will be available in each round of the draft. The captains will have 54 seconds in each round to make their selections. If he fails to do so in time, his team will be assigned a player picked by a computer.

One caveat is that five of the 36 non-captain players are ineligible to be picked in the draft, and that’s because they’ve pre-agreed to play together for a minimum of three events. This means that Ian Poulter’s team, Majesticks, is already decided. Poulter will captain Lee Westwood, Sam Horsfield and Laurie Canter. Louis Oosthuizen’s team, Stinger, is virtually complete, too. He’ll captain Branden Grace, Charl Schwartzel and one other from the first round of the draft.

Once the teams are complete, they'll be ready to tee it up at the Centurion Club on Friday, as they compete for a share of the eye-watering $25m purse. The top three teams at the end of the week will share $5m of that prize money. There are individual prizes too, ranging from $4m for the winner to $120,000 for the player who finishes in last place.  

Mike Hall
Mike Hall

Mike has 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on sports such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the sport’s most newsworthy stories. Originally from East Yorkshire, Mike now resides in Canada, where the nearest course is less than a mile from his home. It’s there where he remains confident that, one of these days, he’ll play the 17th without finding the water. Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.