LIV Golf Invitational Series: Everything you need to know before the first tournament at the Centurion Club


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The Saudi-backed LIV Golf Invitational Series kicks off in Hertfordshire this week, so what do we know about the new event?

The Saudi-backed LIV Golf Invitational Series kicks off in Hertfordshire this week, so what do we know about the new event?

After months of speculation between LIV Golf and the PGA Tour, the new Saudi-backed series will kick off in suburban London on Friday. That’s all you need to know about who’s going to participate, what the format will be, and why the new league was so controversial …

Who will play?

The event is not recognized by the official Golf Rankings (OWGR), which means that no World Rankings will be shown during the tournament, although this did not stop a number of notable names from agreeing to play for the Centurion Club. .

Former world number 1 legends Dustin Johnson and Ryder Cup legends Sergio Garcia, Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood were among the most notable names dedicated, with top champions Martin Kaymer, Graeme McDowell and Louis Oustoizen taking part. Phil Mickelson was added to the list on Monday night after months of controversy over comments he made about the breakaway series.

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

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Paul McGinley says Dustin Johnson’s decision to take part in the Saudi-backed LIV golf invitational series could be a “historic moment in the game”.

Paul McGinley says Dustin Johnson’s decision to take part in the Saudi-backed LIV golf invitational series could be a “historic moment in the game”.

Former British Masters champion Richard Bland and PGA Tour veteran Kevin Na also entered, while American Amateur Award winner James Piot is one of the young players to make the England debut.

About 42 players were initially fielded for the first event, with five more added after the Asian Tour event on Sunday at Slalley Hall.

Rory McIlroy says he was surprised by two of the names who entered for the LIV Golf Invitational Series, but they felt the course was not something they 'jumped up and down'.

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Rory McIlroy says he was surprised by two of the names who entered the LIV Golf Invitational Series, but they felt the course was not something they “jumped up and down”.

Rory McIlroy says he was surprised by two of the names who entered the LIV Golf Invitational Series, but they felt the course was not something they “jumped up and down”.

How did the idea come about?

Reports have only begun to emerge from a competitive league after the PGA Tour since 2019, but it was only at the end of 2021 that the proposal really began to take shape with the establishment of LIV Golf Investments.

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

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

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

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

In March, despite the PGA Tour’s threat to impose a lifelong ban on players withdrawing from a competitive league, LIV Golf announced the schedule for eight events, valued at $ 225 million, at the Centurion Club in St. Albans begins.

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

Why is it controversial?

As a result of the Public Investment Fund’s ties with the Saudi government, with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman taking over as chairman, LIV Golf has 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 has strongly denied such allegations, says Sky Sports In May, Saudi Arabia “changed its culture in its country” and insisted “I do not respond to Saudi Arabia. I do not respond 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, questioning the 51-year-old Saudi Arabia’s human rights record and describing the system as “frightening”.

Mickelson has since apologized for his “reckless” remarks.

What is the shape?

All 48 players compete against each other in the traditional beat-play style, where the lowest total of 54 holes of the No-Piece event is the winner, while the concept will help to adapt the players in team format.

Lee Westwood talks about why he requested the release of the PGA Tour and DP World Tour to play in the new Saudi-backed LIV Golf Invitational Series.

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Lee Westwood talks about why he requested the release of the PGA Tour and DP World Tour to play in the new Saudi-backed LIV Golf Invitational Series.

Lee Westwood talks about why he requested the release of the PGA Tour and DP World Tour to play in the new Saudi-backed LIV Golf Invitational Series.

Each team will have a designated LIV team captain who will select their open positions on the three teams 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 strokes 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 automatically get bees during the first round, while the remaining eight teams play against each other to see who advances to the quarterfinals.

How much money will players earn?

All of the top seven events have a $ 25 million prize pool, with $ 20 million spread across the 48-player track and the remaining $ 5 million among the top three teams each weekend.

Rich Beam believes that more players are likely to take part 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 take part 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 take part 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), far more than the $ 2.7 million awarded to Scotty Scheffler for his Masters victory and Justin Thomas’ successful PGA Championship, while each player is guaranteed at least $ 120,000 for the completion of 54 holes.

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

The award doubles for the season finale in Miami and sees $ 50 million awarded 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 completed 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 expected to take place over the next few months, including five in the US and two in Asia, with an extensive schedule planned for 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 from September 2 to 4 in Boston and from September 16 to 4 in Chicago takes place. 4 18 September.

Stonehill Golf in Bangkok is taking place from October 7 to 9, and the Royal Greens Golf Club – the site of the Saudi International in recent years – will host next week, with the season-end tag team championship then hosted by Trump National Doral is offered. 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 are here to stay,” Norman, CEO and commissioner at LIV Golf, said in a statement. “We will work to develop the game, give more opportunities to players and create a more enjoyable product for the fans.”

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