What is LIV Golf? List of players in field, tour schedule for league led by Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson

What is LIV Golf? List of players in field, tour schedule for league led by Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson

The LIV Golf Invitational Series starts this week at the Centurion Club in London, which the marks the first of an eight-event stretch for a league that has emerged as a rival to the PGA Tour.

At every step along the way, answers about this league have only produced more questions, and clarification has only made the future more complicated. There is still a lot of unknown regarding both LIV Golf as well as the PGA Tour and how both will interact as “regular-season” tours outside of the major championships.

The summary you see below is an attempt to provide information based on everything that’s known right now as we head into the first event in the history of LIV Golf. Whether this turns out to be a fork or bump in the road of professional golf remains to be seen (only the future will retroactively determine that), but it does feel monumental in the moment. LIV Golf, empowered by its unlimited war chest of resources to throw at the best players, is officially going to battle with the PGA Tour.

It’s a period of time that has been promised for a long time, and finally it’s here. Let’s take a look at what we know and what we can expect in the weeks, months and years ahead as LIV Golf hits the ground running.

What is LIV Golf?

LIV Golf is a rival golf league to the PGA Tour where the tournaments consist of 54 holes, the fields are limited to 48 golfers and the purses are an astronomical $25 million. Twelve, four-man teams will compete in each event, and the individual purses will be $20 million while the other $5 million will be divided up among the best teams each week.

Who leads LIV Golf?

LIV Golf Investments runs the league, and its CEO is two-time major champion Greg Norman. It is funded by the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund, which is effectively the financial arm of the Saudi Arabian government. These funds are seemingly limitless as the league has paid hundreds of millions of dollars to players just to guarantee their appearances at the LIV Golf Invitational Series events.

Who are the LIV Golf players?

As it stands right now, the best player in the league is two-time major winner Dustin Johnson, who was reportedly paid nine figures for his services. The demographics of the LIV Golf league skew older towards players like Phil Mickelson, Martin Kaymer, Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood and Graeme McDowell. A lot of its makeup is either European or South African, and LIV Golf is actively recruiting other top players and big names like Bryson DeChambeau and Rickie Fowler, both of whom have been rumored to be part of a future iteration of the league.

Here’s a look at who’s already in the field with their OWGR at the time they were announced.

Dustin Johnson

13

Louis Oosthuizen

20

Kevin Na

33

Talor Gooch

35

Sergio Garcia

54

Pablo Larrazabal

65

Richard Bland

66

Matt Jones

68

Shaun Norris

69

Phil Mickelson 72

Sam Horsfield

72

Lee Westwood

74

Ryo Kinoshita

87

Ian Poulter

89

Bernd Wiesberger

90

Hudson Swafford

90

Oliver Bekker

93

Jinichiro Kozuma

103

Scott Vincent

109

Justin Harding

111

Laurie Canter

114

Branden Grace

118

Charl Schwartzel

120

Sadom Kaewkanjana

125

Hennie Du Plessis

128

Phachara Khongwatmai

133

Sihwan Kim

138

J.C. Ritchie

154

Adrian Otaegui

162

Hideto Tanihara

173

Martin Kaymer

210

Jediah Morgan

235

Blake Windred

250

TK Chantananuwat

272

Wade Ormsby

276

Peter Uihlein

319

Graeme McDowell

376

Turk Petit

706

Oliver Fisher

979

Andy Ogletree

1324

Chase Koepka

1543

David Puig

1706

James Piot

1731

Why is LIV Golf here?

The politically correct answer that LIV Golf purports that it wants to give players an opportunity to make more money than they do on the PGA Tour and grow the game all over the world. The actual answer, given that it’s a Saudi Arabian-run league, is something called sports-washing —  which is a term for normalizing a country or entity through sports. Saudi Arabia has attempted to do this through other sports leagues, including F1 and soccer. If you want a more fundamental understanding of sports-washing, McDowell and Westwood, perhaps inadvertently, provided it recently.

What is the LIV Golf schedule?

Most of the eight events in 2022 will take place in the United States. Here’s a look at the full schedule for the inaugural season.

  • London, England: June 9-11
  • Portland, Oregon: June 30 – July 2
  • Bedminster, New Jersey: July 29-31
  • Boston, Massachusetts: Sept. 2-4
  • Chicago, Illinois: Sept. 16-18
  • Bangkok, Thailand: Oct. 7-9
  • Jeddah, Saudi Arabia: Oct. 14-16
  • Miami, Florida: Oct. 27-30

Will the PGA Tour allow players to play for LIV Golf?

In short, no. The Tour has over and over again pointed back to its rules and regulations and intimated at either suspending or banning players who choose to play in this league. It rejected waivers filed by players to play in the first event — PGA Tour players get three waivers every season — and harsher disciplinary actions are expected once the first event in London actually starts. As a response to this, many players, including world No. 13 Dustin Johnson, have simply resigned from the Tour and will continue to play LIV Golf as essentially their regular season golf league.

Will the majors allow players to play for LIV Golf?

That’s an even better question. The answer in the short term is: yes. The major organizations — PGA of America, USGA, R&A and Augusta National — likely won’t announce suspensions or bans of players who participate. However, those are also the organizations that control the Official World Golf Rankings points that get players into majors to begin with. LIV Golf has applied for its events to become OWGR events (LIV Golf Investments also invested money into the Asian Tour, which is recognized by the OWGR), but whether they are granted status remains to be seen and is the very thing upon which all of this could hinge. If LIV Golf events are granted OWGR points and silly money is thrown at players to lure them to the league, then several more top stars could eventually make the leap to the PGA Tour’s rival.


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