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

PGA Tour

A clear no: PGA Tour prohibits its players from participating in LIV Golf Event

It won’t be long before the LIV Golf Invitational Series kicks off. The first event of the tournament series, created by Greg Norman, is coming up. The first of eight planned tournaments will begin on June 9, 2022. For many months now, there have been heated discussions and wild speculations about the participation or non-participation of PGA Tour players in the Saudi League. Now the PGA Tour made a clear statement.

PGA Tour threatens immense penalties

From the beginning, the relationship between the established golf tours and the new Saudi League was an adversarial one. Some players from the PGA Tour and DP World Tour nevertheless now asked for the tours’ permission to participate in the first event of the Norman Series in London. The feedback from PGA Tour chief executive Jay Monahan was unequivocal: “We have notified those who have applied that their request has been declined in accordance with the PGA Tour tournament regulations. As such, tour members are not authorised to participate in the Saudi Golf League’s London event,” Monahan announced. “As a membership organisation, we believe this decision is in the best interest of the PGA Tour and its players.”

Initially, it looked like the PGA Tour would agree to tournament participation in the Saudi League that would not take place on U.S. soil. Now, however, the PGA Tour qualified that assumption on the grounds that “the event for which they have requested clearance is the first of an eight-event ‘2022 LIV Golf Invitational Series’ season, more than half of which will be held in the United States”.

PGA Tour players found to be in violation could face severe disciplinary action. In addition to suspensions, the punishment could even include revocation of PGA Tour membership.

Greg Norman: “We will not be stopped”

The PGA Tour’s announcement was promptly followed by a response from 67-year-old Greg Norman: “Sadly, the PGA Tour seems intent on denying professional golfers their right to play golf, unless it’s exclusively in a PGA Tour tournament. This is particularly disappointing in light of the Tour’s non-profit status, where its mission is purportedly ‘to promote the common interests of professional tournament golfers.” Norman calls the PGA Tour an “illegal monopoly” whose actions are both anti-golfer, anti-fan and anti-competitive. Undeterred by this latest setback, he says he and his team will not let the PGA Tour stop them.

PGA Tour

Phil Mickelson signs up for PGA Championship and Saudi opener

The first tournament of the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Invitational Series kicks off in less than a month, and it will feature 15 golfers from the top 100 in the world rankings. This was reported by Sport Illustrated, citing a statement from LIV Golf. Among the 15 players is probably Phil Mickelson, who despite increased criticism in recent months wants to keep open the chance to participate in the first event in London. But that’s not the end of Mickelson’s return to tournament golf. The defending PGA Championship champion would like to start his comeback to the PGA Tour at this very tournament.

Phil Mickelson’s return to the tournament stage

Phil Mickelson is planning his return to the PGA Tour after withdrawing from all upcoming tournament starts for the time being in February as a result of heavy criticism. His proximity to the LIV Golf Invitational Series (formerly the Saudi Golf League) repeatedly brought him into the negative media spotlight last year, but now he wants to make his comeback and will start at the PGA Championship. Mickelson won the second major of the golf season last year. But his start at Southern Hills Country Club is not enough for Mickelson. At the same time, he applied for a permit to play in the first Saudi League tournament in June. A statement from his agency said, “We have also applied on his behalf for clearance to play in the inaugural LIV Golf Invitational in London from June 9-11. This request meets the April 25 deadline set by the PGA Tour to participate in a competitive Tour event.” It is unclear at this time whether he will take advantage of this release, but he wants to keep all options open, the statement added.

15 players from the top 100 will compete in London

According to Sports Illustrated, 14 other players from the top 100 in the world rankings are taking advantage of the 30-day period before the start of the tournament. The names of those players remain non-public and are subject to confidentiality agreements, according to a spokesperson for the LIV Golf Invitational Series. So far, about 70 players have registered for the event, but with a planned field of 48 players, not all professionals will be able to compete. It remains to be seen how and according to which criteria the field of participants will finally be put together. It also remains to be seen how the PGA Tour will handle future Saudi Tour events on American soil. At this point in time, the PGA Tour does not want to issue any permits for participation in these events. This would affect at least two of the eight tournaments, with the tournament in Portland in early July, as well as other events at Trump National Golf Club and the scheduled team finale at Trump National Doral in Miami in late October.

Daly pleads for merger of tours

John Daly sees a simple solution to the eternal back-and-forth between LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman and PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan. Daly is calling for the Saudi Tour and the PGA Tour to merge. To him, he says it’s the easy solution and also a great opportunity for golf. “I mean, you want to keep golf going and keep it strong, and the foundation of the European Tour and the foundation of the Asian Tour and the Australian Tour and all the tours and our tour the players have built through a lot of great sponsors that we’ve had. I just think it would be really good if they could work together instead of competing against each other.” He himself has not been offered a starting spot on the new tour, but he likes the concept and sees a great opportunity in the increase in prize money.


Greg Norman wants to participate in the 150th Open Championship

Greg Norman has been causing quite a stir as CEO of the LIV Golf Invitational Series for several months. He wants to organize a tournament series that is in direct competition with the world’s major tours: PGA and DP World Tour. In doing so, he also doesn’t shy away from “luring” as many big-name players as possible onto his tour, triggering a major controversy. Now he is making headlines again – but not with his LIV Golf Invitational Series.

Greg Norman wants to return to the Open Championship after 13 years

Greg Norman wants to return to tournament action in 2022. After ten years of not participating in professional sports, he wants to compete for a title again. And not just any title. At the age of 67, Norman wants to compete in the 150th Open Championship in world-famous St. Andrews.

His last tournament in which he played for world ranking points was ten years ago. The last major he played was even 13 years ago: the Open Championship 2009 in Turnberry. Nevertheless, there is no better time for Greg Norman to play one (last) time, as he assures in an interview with New Corp: “I think I can still do it. It’s the 150th, I’m a former Open champion. I love St. Andrews. If there’s one time I would consider going back and teeing off one last time. Maybe it’s this one.” He said he is currently in the process of filling out the entry form.

It remains questionable whether he will get an exemption

One fact appears to jeopardize his participation: Greg Norman, at 67, is outside the age limit of 60 set by the Open Championship. The probability that the Australian will receive a playing permit from the R&A is therefore rather low. The only alternative for Norman would be to qualify for the Major via an Open qualifying tournament. The aforementioned disputes in which Greg Norman currently finds himself will make his plans even more difficult for the 67-year-old.


Greg Norman and the Saudi Golf League: “We’re in talks with major winners”

Shortly after the US Masters 2022, the Saudi Golf League (SGL) is making headlines again. Just a few kilometers from Augusta National Golf Club, Greg Norman is said to have met with potential players of the new league. Among them were some high-profile members of the PGA and European Tour. “The interest we’ve had … Well, I had a player sitting in my office 48 hours ago who’s won a couple of major majors,” Norman told the Telegraph in an April 12, 2022, interview. The PGA and DP World Tour (formerly the European Tour) are not pleased: “They can’t park their tanks on our turf much more obviously.”

The first names are fixed

The turmoil surrounding Phil Mickelson and the various cancellations of PGA stars, including Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson, Jon Rahm and Collin Morikawa, set back the Saudi Golf League. Greg Norman revealed in an interview with The Telegraph, “It was a slap in the face, no question about it.” But Norman is not letting that get him down. According to him, interest in SGL continues unabated. “We respected the Masters and let it play out, but now our trip [ed. to Augusta] is finally coming to fruition – for the players, not for me,” Norman told the newspaper. “They have a right to get what they want. That’s why they’re still very, very, very interested. We have players under contract, as opposed to the white noise you hear out there.” Four of those players are said to be Ryder Cup stars Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood, as well as five-time PGA Tour winner Kevin Na and two-time major winner Bubba Watson. The latter, however, made it clear only a few hours after the publication of the interview with Greg Norman that he would continue to play on the PGA Tour.

Bubba Watson prefers US Open and 150th Open over Saudi League

The former world number two recently published his tournament schedule for the coming months. What is striking is not the tournaments he is playing, but which ones he is foregoing. Bubba Watson has been linked to the Saudi League in the past, but now he’s playing the RBC Canadian Open, as he revealed on Twitter. The tournament stands out from his tournament schedule because the first of eight events in the LIV Golf Internation Series starts in London at the same time. Watson’s goal, he said, is to qualify for the US Open and the 150th Open Championship. If he succeeds in doing so, Watson said there will be further changes to his tournament schedule.

Greg Norman remains convinced of the concept of the Saudi Golf League

“Honestly, it doesn’t matter who plays, we’re going to run the event,” he said. “There is a first prize of $4 million. I hope a junior player who is ranked 350th in the world wins. It will change his life, his family’s life. And then a couple of our events will go by and the top players will see someone win $6 million or $8 million and say, ‘Enough is enough, I know I can beat these guys week after week with my hands tied behind my back.” The first event addressed will be held in two months at the London Centurion Club. After that, it’s off to the U.S., among other places, where Greg Norman and SGL are guests at the Trump courses, which are outlawed by the PGA.

Two world number one to join SGL

This was reported by the Daily Mail, also at the beginning of the week. The report says that SGL has already recruited two former world number one players, names were not mentioned. After the withdrawal of world stars such as Bryson DeChambeau and Dustin Johnson, it is unclear who the players mentioned will be.

Panorama Top Tours

Super Golf League: Greg Norman reveals the plan

The new series of LIV Golf Investments with CEO Greg Norman has long been considered a controversial counter-project to the PGA Tour and DP World Tour. And although big-name players have repeatedly spoken out against the new tour series, organizers released very specific plans for the new Super Golf League for the first time on Wednesday (March 16, 2022).

However, the new series turns out not to bear the name Super Golf League or Saudi Golf League, but, leaning on the investor, the LIV Golf Invitational Series will start in June this year, reports the latest developments around the debatable tour.

Greg Norman: “I want golf to grow, players to have additional opportunities, and fans to have more fun”

In an official statement, Greg Norman, CEO of LIV Golf Investments, commented on the new developments. “I want golf to grow, players to have additional opportunities, and fans to have more fun”, Norman said. “My mission is to help the game reach its full potential and we know the role of golf as an entertainment product is critical to overall participation in the sport.”

To achieve this goal, organizers also set an initial schedule. The series, which will feature a total of eight events, will include four locations in the U.S., as well as individual events in the United Kingdom, Thailand and Saudi Arabia.

Nevertheless, a venue for the final championship has not yet been announced. Also, the first tournament will be held June 9 at Centurion Golf Club in London, England. Finally, the announcement did not mention TV partners or players participating so far.

Here is the full schedule for 2022:

June 9-11: Centurion Golf Club, London, England.
July 1-3: Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club, Portland, Ore.
July 29-31: Trump National Golf Club Bedminster, Bedminster, N.J.
Sept. 2-4: The International, Boston, Mass.
Sept. 16-18: Rich Harvest Farms, Chicago, Ill.
Oct. 7 to 9: Stonehill Golf Club, Bangkok.
October 14 to 16 : Royal Greens Golf Club, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
October 28-30: Team Championship, TBA.

Super Golf League: Schedule not to clash with other tours

Actually, the press release goes on to say that the LIV Golf Invitational Series schedule is not intended to compete with the four majors or other international events. Therefore, allowing players to choose where they want to play.

However, Jay Monahan, the commissioner of the PGA Tour, has already announced that any Tour players who join the new league will be banned from the PGA Tour. Norman had hit back in response, saying that’s not how it can be done.

“I believe players will increasingly make progress in achieving their right to play where they want. We will help in any way possible and will provide golfers with opportunities to achieve their full potential”, Norman concluded.


Asian Tour announces Saudi sponsored tournament series: England to host

This week, the Asian Tour hosts the Saudi International in Saudi Arabia. Lured by big entry fees, some high-profile players like Phil Mickelson and Xander Schauffele are competing at the Royal Greens Golf & Country Club. Now the Asian Tour, funded by LIV Golf Investments, is announcing an international tournament series for 2022/23. A tournament will also be held in England.

Asian Tour tournament series starts in Thailand

The “International Series” consists of ten tournaments and will start in Thailand next March. In June, the tournament series will even move to England to the Centurion Club, which is located near London. The tournament series is financed by the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund and is to receive a total subsidy of 300 million dollars from this fund. This info was announced by former world number one Greg Norman at the Saudi International this week, and he is also rumored to be the chairman for the “International Series.”

“International Series” in conflict with PGA and DP World Tour.

This week’s Saudi International and the accompanying high entry fees for participants already caused unrest on the other tours. While the DP World Tour finally allowed the participation for its members, the PGA Tour set up obligations to be met in case of participation. Thus, some well-known players, including players such as defending champion Dustin Johnson or Phil Mickelson will start in Saudi Arabia. The “International Series” could also cause conflicts between the professional tours. The tournament in England will take place just one week before the start of the US Open, which could possibly lead to preparation difficulties for participants should they wish to take part in both tournaments.

Plans for the future criticized

LIV Golf Investment is also behind the planned Saudi Super League. The $300 million partnership with the Asian Tour indicates that plans for this Super League are becoming more concrete, with the tournament series on the Asian Tour as a possible initial test run. Such a “Super League,” as well as participation in the Saudi Internationals, has been heavily criticized publicly because of Saudi Arabia’s very poor human rights record.