LIV Golf Invitational Series Receives Extra $2bn Cash Boost

Frontman Greg Norman says he has the funding and ambition to grow the tournament

Greg Norman at the 2021 QBE Shootout at Tiburon Golf Club in Naples, Florida
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Greg Norman has revealed that he plans to grow the LIV Golf Invitational Series into a fully-fledged super league by 2024, and has $2bn extra funding to achieve it.

The frontman of the controversial series told BBC Sport that within two years, the series will feature 14 tournaments (rather than the eight of its inaugural year) and that his plans stretch decades into the future. Amid speculation as to who will tee it up at the opening event at London’s Centurion Club on 9 June, Norman also confirmed five of the world’s top 50 have signed up – and 19 of the top 100.

“The whole notion is to changing the look and the whole presentation of the way the game has been played over the last 53 years. We’ve just got approval to launch our schedule into 2023, '24 and '25. We’ve got $2bn to back that up so we have additional funds in place. And just because we are talking about '23, '24 and '25, we’re looking way beyond that too. We are looking at decades. We have 19 of the top 100 players committed to Centurion. We have five of the top 50, a success rate that a lot of people didn’t think we’d be able to achieve.”

Norman then expanded on where he sees the series in the years to come. He said: "Twenty-two and '23 are our baiter years. We are a start up, basically. Of course we have had to pivot because there have been some obstacles thrown in our way with a couple of the institutions - the PGA Tour and DP World Tour - but we have pivoted brilliantly. We have pivoted to the fact that we've done invitationals and these will be our start ups. We will start with eight this year and then we'll do 10 next year and 2024 and '25 and beyond it's the full league, 14 events off and running."

Recent weeks have seen an increasing number of players seek releases from their current tours to participate in the inaugural event. One report last week stated 80 PGA Tour pros had requested releases, while Lee Westwood, Richard Bland and Sergio Garcia are among those who have confirmed they had done so. Norman also revealed that Phil Mickelson could yet compete despite no confirmation of his plans for a comeback following his self-imposed break from the game. He said: “Phil is still there. We are in discussions with Phil, there’s no question about it.” 

While others continue to distance themselves from the series, Norman defended the big incentives on offer. He said: “Over 40 years of being involved in professional golf, I’ve played through a lot of recessions and a lot of inflationary times. Sport is always looked on as being an outlet to some degree. Golf, quite honestly, the players are the lowest paid on the totem pole compared to soccer and some sports in the US, one of the lowest-paid. From my perspective, these players deserve this opportunity to go and play for this because they haven’t been able to play for this in the past when they should have been.”

With Norman clearly bullish on the calibre of the players he has on board, LIV Golf Investments plan to reveal the field for the opening tournament next week. 

 

 

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.