LIV Tour

LIV Golf Update: “Innovative” Team Championship Modus & First Round Pairings

A total of eight events are on the schedule for the new LIV Golf Invitational Series this year. The last event in Miami will be a Team Championship with prize money of 50 million US dollars. The league led by Greg Norman has announced the pairings for the final tournament. There is also a short explanation of the format, which brings some innovations.

A new team format will be played with a combination of stroke play and match play. The event at the Trump National Doral Miami will of course also be held over three days from 28 to 30 October and will include a knockout stage from quarter-finals to finals. In the first round Martin Kaymer and his “Cleeks” will meet Joaquin Niemann and Team “Torque”. Dustin Johnson is granted a rest and will only start the Team Championship on Saturday with the “4 Aces”.

LIV Golf Team Championship in knockout stage

On the first day, the quarter finals will be played. In this round, the top four teams of the regular season will get a bye and move directly into the semi-finals. The remaining teams (places 5 to 12) will play each other in head-to-head matches. The pairings will not be determined by a seeded list (5th against 12th, 6th against 11th, etc.), as is often the case, but the best teams will be allowed to choose their opponents.

From the teams of four, the two team captains compete against each other in match play. In addition, another individual match as well as a classic foursome is played by the team mates. All matches are played until a winner is decided, so there are no draws. One point is awarded for each victory, so two points are needed to win. The winning teams then advance to the semi-finals, which are played in the same mode.

Final in stroke play

The final day of the Team Championship, however, is different. The four winners of the semi-finals will tee off in a stroke play format. In contrast to the previous events, the performances of all players will be included in the team ranking and thus decide the outcome of the tournament. The 16 golfers play in groups of two, with the captains teeing off together. The team with the lowest overall score will ultimately become the LIV Golf Invitational Series Team Champion.

During the final tournament, LIV Golf stays true to its spirit. The event will of course be played over three days and in a shotgun start.

DJ has a bye

Currently (as of 26.10.2022), the “4 Aces” around Dustin Johnson, Patrick Reed, Talor Gooch and Pat Perez clearly lead the team ranking after four victories in a row, as well as another three top-6 finishes and can redeem their bye in the quarter-finals of the Miami event. Behind them follow the “Crushers”, the “Fireballs” start in 3rd place in Miami. Louis Oosthuizen and the “Stingers” secure the last place for a safe entry into the semi-finals.

Martin Kaymer as captain of the “Cleeks” is currently ranked tenth among the teams. Bernd Wiesberger is part of the “Hy Flyers” with captain Phil Mickelson, who currently hold 8th place in the team standings. Based on the results of the first seven events, the teams received staggered points (32 points for the winner, 0 points for places 9 to 12).

“The Invitational Series finale, played at the fan-favorite Blue Monster at Doral, is befitting our game-changing model that delivers an innovative, one-of-a-kind experience for players and fans,” said Greg Norman, CEO of LIV Golf, on the announcement of the format. “I’m looking forward to this monumental event that will harness the beloved traits of team golf and head-to-head rivalries in a historic setting.”

The first pairings are fixed

In the quarter-finals, places 5 to 12 will have to play each other first. Martin Kaymer (Cleeks) will face Joaquin Niemann (Torque) on Friday, Ian Poulter (Majesticks) will play Kevin Na (Iron Heads). It will be exciting in the duel of the giants, Phil “Lefty” Mickelson (HyFlyers) will meet the “Golfer of the Year” Cameron Smith (Punch) in this first round. Brooks Koepka (Smash) faces a challenge in the form of Harold Varner III (Niblicks) in the quarter-finals.

In addition to the “captain’s matches”, the other team members will also go round. In a classic foursome, for example, Bernd Wiesberger and Cameron Tringale will compete for Mickelson’s team “Hy Flyers” against Wade Ormsby and Matt Jones. Matthew Wolff represents the HyFlyers in the second singles against Marc Leishman from team “Punch”.

All quarterfinals match-ups

  • HyFlyers vs Punch
  • Torque vs Cleeks
  • Majesticks vs Iron Heads
  • Smash vs Niblicks
LIV Tour

Bryson DeChambeau officially joins LIV Golf

LIV Golf officially confirms that Bryson DeChambeau will participate in upcoming tournaments of the new series. The American will join June in Portland for the second tournament of the Saudi Golf League.

Welcome @b_dechambeau 💪#LIVGolf

Bryson DeChambeau becomes LIV Golf member

Rumors already surfaced a few days ago that DeChambeau was moving to the LIV Golf Invitational Series along with Patrick Reed. “Bryson has always been an innovator,” his agent let slip about the reports. “The opportunity to be involved in the foundation of something unique has always intrigued him. Professional golf as we know it is changing, and changing fast.” 

The announcement comes as a surprise after DeChambeau said as recently as last week that he was not in a position to risk moves like this. As long as the best players in the world were playing on the PGA Tour, he said, he would play there. While the PGA Tour has made its suspension of LIV golf participants official, it may be the USGA’s announcement not to exclude any already qualified golfers that may have influenced Bryson DeChambeau’s decision.

DeChambeau’s sponsor Rocket Mortgage already reacted and parted ways with the US Open winner. Citing ties to the PGA Tour, the company said, “Rocket Mortgage has been a longtime supporter of the PGA Tour, both in our role as an official partner and as a tournament organizer.”

More LIV Golf participants revealed?

In addition to rumors of Patrick Reed and also Rickie Fowler, the teaser video for the new tournament series also appears to announce Matthew Wolff and Bubba Watson as future members. Both can be seen in the video, although they have not yet been officially confirmed. Pat Perez is also said to have signed a $10 million contract with the Saudis, negotiated with the help of the Gretzkys and Dustin Johnson.

According to a source Pat Perez has signed with LIV for 10 million. They added that Perez is close with the Gretzky’s and they, along with DJ they helped secure the deal. — Monday Q Info (@acaseofthegolf1) June 10, 2022

LIV Tour

PGA Tour suspends players from LIV Golf Invitational Series

The PGA Tour had been threatening sanctions for those players who would turn their backs on the PGA Tour and participate in the LIV Golf Invitational Series events for several weeks. Some players – including Phil Mickelson, Martin Kaymer, Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood – were not impressed by this and teed off on the first day of the LIV Golf Event in London. The PGA Tour’s receipt followed just minutes later.

Jay Monahan responds to LIV Golf

A two-page letter from PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan bans players participating in the first Saudi Golf League event, as well as players who plan to participate in future events in the series, from PGA Tour tournaments. The letter states, “Simultaneous to you receiving this memo, [those] players are being notified that they are suspended or otherwise no longer eligible to participate in PGA Tour tournament tournament play.” It is not yet clear for how long this suspension will last. Nor is it known if and, if so, how the players might return to the PGA Tour.

As if that were not enough, the players will also be removed from the FedEx Cup points list and will not be allowed to participate in PGA Tour events as non-members through a sponsor exemption or other eligibility category.

The suspension applies not only to participation in PGA Tour tournaments, but also to events on the other PGA Tour tours: the Korn Ferry Tour, PGA Tour Champions, PGA Tour Canada and PGA Tour Lationamérica. Last but not least, players will also no longer be able to participate in the Presidents Cup.

Jay Monahan explained the consequences of the PGA Tour’s decision: “As you know, [those players] did not receive the necessary conflicting event and media rights releases – or did not apply for releases at all – and their participation in the Saudi Golf League / LIV Golf event is in violation of our Tournament Regulations.” Neither player will be allowed to participate in PGA Tour tournaments as a non-member via a sponsor exemption or other eligibility category.

So far, 17 players have been affected by the suspension. Ten of them have already resigned from the PGA Tour before the announcement: Sergio Garcia, Branden Grace, Dustin Johnson, Martin Kaymer, Graeme McDowell, Kevin Na, Louis Oosthuizen, Turk Pettit, Charl Schwartzel and Lee Westwood. The remaining players hit by the suspension are Talor Gooch, Matt Jones, Phil Mickelson, Andy Ogletree, Ian Poulter, Hudson Swafford and Peter Uihlein.

Quick reaction of the Saudi Golf League

The Saudi Golf League shows shortly after the statement of the PGA Tour visibly attacked. It also issues a statement on Twitter, albeit much shorter: “Today’s announcement by the PGA Tour is vindictive and it deepens the divide between the tour and its members. It’s troubling that the tour, an organisation dedicated to creating opportunities for golfers to play the game, is the entity blocking golfers from playing. This certainly is not the last word on this topic. The era of free agency is beginning as we are proud to have a full field of players joining us in London, and beyond.”

LIV Tour

US Open withdraw: Tiger Woods gives his body “even more time”

The third major of the year will take place next week at the Country Club in Brookline. However, Tiger Woods will not be taking part in the US Open 2022. The 15-time major winner published a statement on Twitter in which he explained his decision.

Tiger Woods: “My body needs more time”

After his serious car accident in February 2021, Tiger Woods had taken a lot of time to get back on his feet. After holding on for four rounds at the Masters in April, he had to abandon the second major of the season after three rounds. At the PGA Championship, the 46-year-old’s strength was simply no longer enough. Now the superstar confirmed on his social media channels that he had decided against participating in the third major of the year. The reason: his continued less than optimal physical condition. In his statement, Woods explained that his “body needs more time to get stronger.” He has already informed the USGA of his decision.

Tiger Woods plans with the Open Championship 2022

The Open Championship will be held in Scotland from July 14 to 17. The fourth major of the season is also high on Tiger Woods’ agenda. In his statement on Twitter, he gives his fans hope: “I hope and plan to be ready to play in the Open next month. Looking forward to being back soon.” Back in April, Woods stated in an interview that he was already looking forward to St. Andrews: “It’s my favorite golf course in the world, so I’ll be there.” Whether he can actually compete there in July remains to be seen. In the end, he will have to listen to his body.

LIV Tour

Phil Mickelson: “I’m ready to come back”

On February 22, Phil Mickelson spoke out on Twitter and announced a break from professional golf. Since then, he hasn’t played an official tournament and took time out with his family to reflect on his critical statements towards the PGA Tour. After much speculation about when Mickelson would finally return to the big stage, there is now certainty: the American will make his comeback at the opening event of the LIV Golf Invitational Series in London.

Phil Mickelson speaks of a “fresh start”

These were certainly not pleasant times for Phil Mickelson, who had to take some criticism after his statements about the PGA Tour. So it’s no wonder that he needed time for himself in recent months and, according to his own statements, was also undergoing therapy. However, it seems that exactly this has helped him, because in a statement on his Twitter account, the 51-year-old confirms that he now feels “healthy and much calmer”. He also apologized again to his fans for his lapses, but is aware that he still has a long way to go.

However, a fresh start from a sporting perspective will come sooner than some might have thought: “I’m ready to return to play the game I love, but after 32 years, this path is a fresh start for me” By fresh start, Mickelson is referring to the controversial LIV Golf Invitational Series, confirming in his statement, “I’m very excited to be starting with LIV Golf.”

Fans criticize his decision

The first event of Greg Norman’s newly founded series will start on June 9 at the Centurion Club in London. In addition to Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson and Martin Kaymer will also be among the participants. Although Mickelson has already apologized in advance to his fans for this move, many criticize him for his decision. “I fully realize and respect that some disagree with this decision and have strong opinions, and I understand that” Mickelson wrote on Twitter.

Fans accuse him of being money-hungry and also vent their displeasure on social media:

According to speculation, Mickelson has signed a contract that is expected to pay him around $200 million. However, there is no official confirmation of this.

Tiger Woods rejects immoral offer

In addition to Phil Mickelson, Greg Norman apparently also wanted to poach Tiger Woods from the PGA Tour for his newly founded league. In an interview with the Washington Post, the Australian confirmed that Woods had been made an “incredibly high offer. However, the 15-time major winner declined. Just how enormous the offer really was becomes clear when Norman goes into more detail about the figures: “We’re talking about a high nine-figure sum here.” How high the sum really was will probably remain a secret. However, it is not unlikely that it went in the direction of $1 billion. By way of comparison, during his time as a professional athlete, Tiger Woods earned around $121 million on the world’s golf courses.

LIV Tour

For Saudi League: Dustin Johnson gives up PGA Tour membership

Dustin Johnson has resigned his membership on the PGA Tour to play in the Saudi Arabia-funded LIV Golf Invitational Series, according to the BBC. The tour, run by Greg Norman, lures American and European stars with horrendous entry bonuses and prize money beyond that of the four major tournaments. This week, the first tournament of the “Saudi League” is scheduled to take place in London. Martin Kaymer and Bernd Wiesberger are also on the start list.

Johnson reportedly signed a contract that commits him to playing in all eight tournaments, starting with Thursday’s at the Centurion Club in London. The BBC quotes the 37-year-old as saying, “I don’t want to play for the rest of my life. This gives me the opportunity to do what I want to do.” The two-time major winner has earned nearly $75 million in prize money alone so far in his career.

Before Johnson, Kevin Na had already declared he would rest his membership on the PGA Tour and tee off this week in the controversial tour’s first tournament. Phil Mickelson has also announced that he will compete in the LIV Golf Invitational Series after a five-month break. What consequences this will have for the players on the PGA Tour and the DP World Tour has not yet been finally clarified. The PGA Tour had always threatened to ban the renegades for life. So far, there have been no statements from Europe’s top circuit as to how those players who actually play in London will be dealt with. For the American Ryder Cup team, “DJ” will probably no longer be allowed to compete. “The Ryder Cup is incredible and has meant a lot to me, but in the end I made the decision that was best for me and my family,” Johnson said.

LIV Tour

LIV Golf: Martin Kaymer and Dustin Johnson in the field for first event

Speculation has been rife for a long time, but now the LIV Golf Invitational Series has announced the field for next week’s event at London’s Centurion Club. 42 of 48 players have already been selected for the three-round tournament, with a few spots still open. It was announced a few weeks ago that Martin Kaymer also wants to play in the team event, which is endowed with 25 million dollars. Besides the German Major winner, Bernd Wiesberger will also take part in the rival event to the PGA and DP World Tour. Surprisingly, Dustin Johnson has also changed his mind and is now the main mover of the event in the UK’s capital.

“Too compelling to pass up”

“Dustin has been contemplating the opportunity off-and-on for the past couple of years,” Johnson’s manager, David Winkle with Hambric Sports, said in a statement (Golf Channel). It was only in February that Dustin Johnson became one of many stars to declare his allegiance to the PGA Tour via a statement. “Ultimately, he decided it was in his and his family’s best interest to pursue it. Dustin has never had any issue with the PGA Tour and is grateful for all it has given him, but in the end, felt this was too compelling to pass up.” So the new competition series, financed by Saudi Arabian money, has succeeded after all in landing a real top-class player in the form of the world number 13 and two-time major winner.

Martin Kaymer in the mix, question about Mickelson

Moreover, the major winners and former world number one announced by Greg Norman can be found in the field of participants. As expected, Martin Kaymer will tee off at the Centurion Club alongside Johnson. In addition, there are names like Lee Westwood, Sergio Garcia, Louis Oosthuizen and Ian Poulter. Austrian Bernd Wiesberger will also take part in the opening event of the LIV Golf Invitational Series, as will other players from the DP World Tour, and will compete for the winner’s cheque of four million dollars (!).

Phil Mickelson, who was also linked to the new Saudi league, discarded himself with unspeakable statements with the PGA Tour and subsequently took time off, is incidentally not on the list published on Tuesday night. The six-time major winner, who also cancelled his title defence at the 2022 PGA Championship, is therefore unlikely to end his golfing break – as of now. However, only 42 of 48 starters have been announced. Five places are still to be left open for qualifiers from the Asian Tour, one place would then still be free. Jason Kokrak, who had openly flirted with the change, is also missing from the list.

LIV Golf Invitational Series criticised

The tournament series led by Greg Norman has been criticised because it is fed with money from the Public Investment Fund, which is largely in Saudi Arabian hands. The government of the state is accused of numerous human rights violations, which are supposed to be whitewashed with so-called “sports washing”. In the eight-tournament series, 48 players in twelve teams will compete against each other. Since there is no cut, even the last player will still receive a guaranteed fat cash prize. PGA Tour and DP World Tour had reacted to the requests of their players to be allowed to participate in the new competitive tour with tough rejections. It remains to be seen what the consequences will be for participation in the events of the LIV Golf Invitational Series.

The field of participants for the opening event

Oliver Bekker
Richard Bland
Laurie Canter
Ratchanon Chantananuwat (Amateur)
Hennie Du Plessis
Oliver Fisher
Sergio Garcia
Talor Gooch
Branden Grace
Justin Harding
Sam Horsfield
Dustin Johnson
Matt Jones
Sadom Kaewkanjana
Martin Kaymer
Phachara Khongwatmai
Sihwan Kim
Ryosuke Kinoshita
Chase Koepka
Jinichiro Kozuma
Pablo Larrazabal
Graeme McDowell
Jediah Morgan
Kevin Na
Shaun Norris
Andy Ogletree
Louis Oosthuizen
Wade Ormsby
Adrian Otaegui
Turk Pettit
James Piot (Amateur)
Ian Poulter
David Puig (Amateur)
JC Ritchie
Charl Schwartzel
Hudson Swafford
Hideto Tanihara
Peter Uihlein
Scott Vincent
Lee Westwood
Bernd Wiesberger
Blake Windred