Luke is an avid weekend-warrior golfer from the East Coast who plays golf more than he cares to admit.
The LIV golf tour is a professional circuit financed by the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia. The name “LIV” pays homage to the Roman numeral for 54, or what would be the score if every hole on a par-72 course were birdied. This is also coincidentally the number of holes played during LIV events.
The first LIV Golf Invitational Series event started on 9 June 2022. The LIV tour will visit some of the most prestigious golf courses in the world, including Pebble Beach Golf Links, Royal Liverpool Golf Club, and TPC Sawgrass. Pros such as Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, and Rory McIlroy are expected to compete in LIV events but remains to be confirmed.
LIV Golf And Sportswashing
The LIV Golf tour has come under scrutiny in recent years, with some accusing the tour of being a tool for “sportswashing”. The definition of sportswashing is the act of using sport and sporting events to deflect attention from human rights abuses or other negative aspects of a country or organization.
Critics argue that LIV Golf is a way for the Saudi government to improve its image abroad and distract from the country’s poor human rights record. In particular, LIV has been accused of helping to whitewash the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, which took place at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
Despite these criticisms, LIV Golf remains a popular and successful tour.
How the LIV Golf Entity Came to Be
In 2019, the new golf tour’s announcement for a league to compete against the PGA gained public interest. PGA Tour Commissioner Jay reacted by saying that any golfer who chose to play in the new league would not be allowed to participate in PGA Tour events.
In 2020, the PGA European and the PGA Tour partnered to improve commercial opportunities, scheduling, and prize funds for each tour’s membership.
The Premier Golf League held talks with Saudi investors about a financial partnership, but instead of partnering with the league, Golf Saudi (a division of the Public Investment Fund) decided to establish its own entity in 2020. This new entity had its own plan for establishing a global professional golf league, often referred to as the “Super Golf League.”
LIV Golf Investments was launched in October 2021 with former professional golfer Greg Norman as the Chief Executive Officer.
In July 2022, LIV Golf formally applied to be included in the Official Golf World Ranking list.
In October 2022, LIV Golf and the MENA Tour came to a “strategic alliance” where LIV Golf events would gain ranking points. But it was soon confirmed that changes needed to be made on the MENA Tour before any events in 2022 could receive points.
What is LIV Golf and the Format of LIV Golf Play?
The first season of the LIV Golf Invitational Series had eight 54-hole no-cut stroke play tournaments, and a final Team Championship. This “seeded four-day, four-round, match play knock out” event was set to be held at Trump National Miami in October of 2022.
LIV Golf announced in June 2022 that the organization would be moving to a league format the following year. The new league would have 14 events and 48 contracted players. In addition, the prize fund for this LIV Golf League is $405 million. To ensure viewership, their event schedule does not compete with PGA majors or international team events.
LIV Golf Leaderboard
As of September 2022, the following players signed and played in a LIV Golf event:
Carlos OrtizCharl Schwartzel
Charles Howell III
David PuigDustin Johnson
Harold Varner III
Hennie du Plessis
Ian PoulterIan SnymanItthipat Buranatanyarat
J. C. RitchieJames PiotJason Kokrak
Kevin NaKevin YuanLaurie Canter
Matt JonesOliver Bekker
Oliver FisherOtaeguiPablo Larrazábal
Pat PerezPatrick Reed
Paul CaseyPeter Uihlein
Shergo Al Kurdi
Sihwan KimStates Brooks Koepka
States Chase Koepka
States Matthew Wolff
Talor GoochTravis Smyth
Turk PettitViraj Madappa
LIV Golf and the PGA Tour From What We’ve Read
If any PGA Tour members participate in LIV Golf events without the Tour’s permission, they could be fined, suspended, or banned.
On 9 June 2022, the PGA Tour announced that members who participated in or resigned from the LIV Golf tournament were no longer eligible to compete in tour events or the Presidents Cup. The constitution of the European Tour does not provide for banning players who enter conflicting events, unlike other professional tournaments.
On 11 July 2022, the USDoJ announced they were investigating PGA Tour’s possible anti-competitive behavior against LIV Golf.
Last September, it was reported that the PGA Tour had sent a letter to members of the Japan Golf Tour informing them that LIV Golf players would be excluded from co-sanctioned events such as the Zozo Championship, even if they were not members of the PGA Tour.
Some people speculated that the reason all four Japanese players withdrew from earlier events was because they knew Boston would be difficult.
Reportedly, PGA Tour members who had also joined LIV Golf recently received a letter stating that their membership of the PGA tour would not be renewed for the 2022-2023 season.