LIV Golf 2022, PGA Tour, dates, prize money, players, field, how does it work, draft, schedule, calendar: Saudi league explained

by | Jun 7, 2022 | PGA

After months of controversy and an ongoing, bitter war of words with the PGA Tour and its loyalists, Greg Norman’s Saudi-backed LIV Golf Invitational Series starts this week.

Following last week’s player list reveal, and Tuesday’s (AEST) announcement that Phil Mickelson will also play, the season will start on Thursday in London with eye-watering cash prizes on offer.

So how does the series actually work, who is playing — and exactly how much can they win?

Here’s everything you need to know about the LIV Golf Invitational Series.

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WHAT IS THE FORMAT?

The format of each event borrows from motorsport categories by having players compete as individuals, and within a team, concurrently.

Each event lasts only 54 holes over three days, instead of the typical 72 over four seen on other tours, while there is no cut.

There is also a shotgun start, meaning everyone tees off at the same time across different holes instead of waiting in a queue to tee off at the first hole. This decision has been made to reduce the duration of each day to that of one round of golf, instead of an all-day affair.

The field consists of 48 players, who are drafted (more on this later) into 12 teams of four, and play to win the tournament in their own right, as well as for their team.

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The winner of each event’s individual category will be the player with the fewest 54-hole stroke total, ie. standard stroke play.

Scoring for the team component of each event is slightly more complex.

Only the two best stroke play scores will count for each team in the first two rounds, while the best three scores count in the final round.

Whatever team has the lowest overall team score after 54 holes wins the event.

In the individual category, there are seven regular season events. The individual champion will be the player with the most ranking points after all seven.

The eighth and final event of the calendar is called the ‘Team Championship’. According to the LIV Golf website, this is a “seeded four-day, four-round, match play knockout” finale.

HOW WILL THE TEAMS BE PICKED?

The teams of four will be picked via a draft.

A nominated captain picks the team via a snake draft format; i.e. the team with pick 12 also has pick 13, and the team with pick 1 doesn’t pick again until pick 24.

Where things get a little tricky is that the 48 players won’t be exactly the same across all eight events.

This means a draft is held before every event with a nominated team captain — who also plays — responsible for picking their other three positions.

Each team will have their own logos, colours and names.

Phil Mickelson confirmed he will be playing in the opening LIV Golf event.Source: AFP

WHAT IS THE PRIZE MONEY? (prices in AUD)

As impressive as the format is, money is ultimately the main drawcard that has seen the series get off the ground with a handful of big names.

The below figures are all in AUD.

Each regular season event has a prize purse of $34.8 million. The individual competition is worth $27.8m, and the team component the remaining $7m.

The individual winner of each event pockets a cool $5.6m.

For context, Cameron Smith claimed $5 million in March for winning the Players Championship, which has the PGA Tour’s biggest cash prize.

Just as notable, however, is the fact that last place still goes home with $167,000.

This is a major point of difference to the PGA Tour in which those who miss the halfway cut go home with nothing at the vast majority of events.

Meanwhile, the winning team at each event shares $4.2m, second place $2.1m, and third $695k.

There are also massive prizes for the winners of the Individual and Team Championships.

The Individual Champion wins $25m, while second and third win $11.1m and $5.6m respectively.

A player must play in a minimum four events to be eligible to win the Individual Championship.

Dustin Johnson is LIV Golf’s big fish.Source: AFP

Every team then receives a cut of a whopping $69.5m Team Championship purse.

The winning team shares $22.2m, and the 12th team $1.4m.

In total, that’s $354.5m that will be up for grabs across the seven regular season events and the Team Championship.

In the extremely unlikely scenario that one player wins all seven events, and their team wins all eight, they would claim $52.1m over the course of one season.

If a player and their team comes last at every single event, they still pocket $1.5m in prize money over the season.

WHO IS PLAYING?

The full 48-player list for the first event a Centurion is as follows, with notable players and Australians in bold:

Oliver Bekker, South Africa

Richard Bland, England

Itthipat Buranatanyarat, Thailand

Laurie Canter, England

Ratchanon Chantananuwat (amateur), Thailand

Hennie Du Plessis, South Africa

Oliver Fisher, England

Sergio Garcia, Spain

Talor Gooch, USA

Branden Grace, South Africa

Justin Harding, South Africa

Sam Horsfield, England

Dustin Johnson, USA

Matt Jones, Australia

Sadom Kaewkanjana, Thailand

Martin Kaymer, Germany

Phachara Khongwatmai, Thailand

Sihwan Kim, USA

Ryosuke Kinoshita, Japan

Chase Koepka, USA

Jinichiro Kozuma, Japan

Pablo Larrazabal, Spain

Viraj Madappa, India

Graeme McDowell, Northern Ireland

Phil Mickelson, USA

Jediah Morgan, Australia

Kevin Na, USA

Shaun Norris, South Africa

Andy Ogletree, USA

Louis Oosthuizen, South Africa

Wade Ormsby, Australia

Adrian Otaegui, Spain

Turk Pettit, USA

James Piot (amateur), USA

Ian Poulter, England

David Puig (amateur), Spain

JC Ritchie, South Africa

Charl Schwartzel, South Africa

Travis Smyth, Australia

Ian Snyman, South Africa

Hudson Swafford, USA

Hideto Tanihara, Japan

Peter Uihlein, USA

Scott Vincent, Zimbabwe

Lee Westwood, England

Bernd Wiesberger, Austria

Blake Windred, Australia

Kevin Yuan, Australia

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HOW LONG IS THE SEASON?

Listen to a handful of players and they will tell you that this is also a major factor that lured them away from the PGA Tour.

The season consists of just eight, three-day events spread out from the London opener on June 9-11, to the Team Championship in Miami on October 27-30.

As such, LIV Golf represents a far smaller commitment for players who can travel less, play less and spend more time with family while still making similar sums of money, if not more.

Full calendar:

London, Centurion Club : June 9 – 11

Portland, Pumpkin Ridge: June 30 – July 22

Bedminster, Trump National: July 29 – 31

Boston, The Oaks: September 2 – 4

Chicago, Rich Harvest Farms: September 16 – 18

Bangkok, Stonehill: October 7 -9

Jeddah, Royal Greens: October 14 – 16

Miami, Trump Doral: October 27 – 30

original article can be found here