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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
Categories
European Tour

DP World Tour confirms member sanctions

The DP World Tour today confirmed the sanctions to be taken against members who breached Tour regulations and participated in a LIV Golf event at Centurion Club from June 9-11, despite not having received releases to allow them to do so.

Such actions contravened the conflicting event Regulation laid down in the Members’ General Regulations Handbook as well as the Code of Behaviour Regulation, of which the members have been reminded on a number of recent occasions, and has led the Tour to take the following steps, which have been notified to all members concerned.

  • They will be fined £100,000*
  • They have been advised that they are suspended from participating in the following DP World Tour tournaments – the Genesis Scottish Open and Barbasol Championship (July 7-10) and the Barracuda Championship (July 14-17) and have been removed from the entry lists of these events where applicable.

It is important to note that participation in a further conflicting tournament or tournaments without the required release may incur further sanctions.

*Money raised from the fines will be shared equally in two distinct ways; (i) it will be added to prize funds of upcoming tournaments on the DP World Tour, to the benefit of Members of the DP World Tour who have complied with the Release rules and (ii) it will be distributed through the Tour’s Golf for Good programme to deserving charitable causes in the communities that the DP World Tour plays.

Keith Pelley, Chief Executive of the DP World Tour, said: “Every action anyone takes in life comes with a consequence and it is no different in professional sport, especially if a person chooses to break the rules. That is what has occurred here with several of our members.

“Many members I have spoken to in recent weeks expressed the viewpoint that those who have chosen this route have not only disrespected them and our Tour, but also the meritocratic ecosystem of professional golf that has been the bedrock of our game for the past half a century and which will also be the foundation upon which we build the next 50 years.

“Their actions are not fair to the majority of our membership and undermine the Tour, which is why we are taking the action we have announced today.”

Text: DP World Tour

Categories
Live

LIV Golf Invitational Day 1

Charl Schwartzel leads after the first round of the LIV Golf Invitational Series. Martin Kaymer and Bernd Wiesberger start only moderately into the controversial tournament.

The mood around the LIV Golf Invitational Series heated up again shortly before the start with numerous news. But then the time had finally come and the controversially discussed tournament of the Saudi Golf League opened its first round with a cannon start at the Centurion Club in London. After the first of three days of the tournament, Charl Schwartzel leads with five strokes under par. Behind him is his compatriot and teammate Hennie du Plessis at 4-under par. Phil Mickelson, who joined the field late, is T7 with -1, just like headliner Dustin Johnson.

For a long time, Phachara Khongwatmai claimed the top spot in the field until Charl Schwartzel made a final spurt towards the end of the round and secured the sole lead with a birdie on his last hole, while Khongwatmai made one of his few mistakes.

The PGA Tour waited until the first players had teed off in London to announce the suspension of participants. The Tour had previously denied the players permission to play in the tournament, which is funded by the Saudi government’s Private Investement Fund (PIF) and with which Greg Norman wants to build a rival tour to the PGA.

Martin Kaymer and Bernd Wiesberger on the Saudi Golf League
Neither Martin Kaymer nor Bernd Wiesberger got off to a particularly good start in the tournament. Martin Kaymer did deserve the honor of the first birdies of the tournament, but that ultimately came to little fruition with a round of +4. Thus he occupies T34 at the beginning of the tournament. Even further behind, Bernd Wiesgerber is alone in 45th place with +7 and thus only three places away from the end of the leaderboard.

Stroke of the day can be none other than this almost albatross by Wade Ormsby, who thus almost caused a sensation on the first event day of the Saudi Golf League.

Almost albatross glory 🫣 📏#PUNCHGC captain @wadeormsby going pin hunting #LIVGolf pic.twitter.com/7cN6b6JvTO — LIV Golf (@LIVGolfInv) June 9, 2022

Top 5 of the LIV Golf Invitational Series

1 – Charl Schwartzel (-5)
2- Hennie du Plessis (-4)
3- Phachara Khongwatmai (-3)
3- Scott Vincent (-3)
5- Justin Harding (-2)
5 – Branden Grace (-2)

In addition to the individual standings, the team standings also played a role in the LIV Golf Invitational Series. Here, the South Africans dominated with Team Stingers led by Louis Oosthuizen, even though the captain showed the weakest performance of his team with +2. But since only the best two results of a team on Thursday and Friday are included in the ranking, the team with -9 by Schwartzel and du Plessis easily maintains the lead. Far behind in second place with -3 strokes are the Crushers led by Peter Uihlein. Unsurprisingly, it is Phachara Khongwatmai who brought in the points for this team, along with the team captain who is at Even Par himself. Also in 2nd place is Mickelson’s team of Hy Flyers, which Mickelson’s three birdies in four holes towards the end of the round put him ahead, as well as Justin Harding, who is T5 at -2.

Categories
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.”

Categories
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

Categories
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.

Categories
Uncategorized

PGA Tour: PGA chief in talks with Phil Mickelson

Phil Mickelson and the PGA Tour are in a difficult situation. The American has entered both the PGA Championship to defend his title and the first event of the LIV Golf Invitational Series. In addition, the conflict with the Tour has not yet been finally clarified and pronounced. In a podcast, the head of the PGA of America, which is hosting the second major, said he is in talks with Phil Mickelson. It is not yet clear whether Mickelson will play in the PGA Championship.

Talks have been going on for weeks

Seth Waugh, the head of the PGA, speaking to the podcast, said that there have been talks with Mickelson since the fall and also recently. If Waugh has his way, it’s not yet clear which of the tournaments Mickelson will choose. “Mickelson is trying to figure out when the right time is for him,” adding, “I think the game is also trying to figure out the right time for him. How long is long enough? And is he mentally and physically ready for it?”

The marketing company Sportfive is also not so sure whether the 51-year-old will even compete in one of the two tournaments. According to their information, Mickelson is leaving all his options open. However, the fact that Mickelson was recently seen on the golf course in California again suggests that he will soon be returning to professional golf. Seth Waugh also sees things positively but finds the whole situation extremely unfortunate: “The whole thing (Mickelson’s incident) is just sad,” adding, “It’s sad for Phil, it’s sad for the game. He’s been great for the game for a long time and I believe in making amends and I believe he can do it”

Categories
European Tour

Regarding LIV Golf Events: European Tour sends out warning to players

In a memo to players on the DP World Tour (formerly the European Tour), Keith Pelley, CEO of the European Tour Group, has issued a strong warning against defection to the controversial LIV Golf Invitational Series, reports the GolfChannel. The memo was about the “release protocols” as some players want to attend the tournaments initiated by Greg Norman and financed by Saudi Arabian money.

European Tour: Urgent appeal from the boss

Conflicting events, regardless of how attractive they might appear to you personally, potentially compromise our efforts in these areas and could significantly hurt your tour in both the short and long term,” Pelley wrote. “Please continue to bear this bigger picture in mind.” In addition, Pelley explained that some of the tournaments in the LIV Golf Invitational Series would be held at the same time as heritage events, including the Irish Open, Italian Open and Open de Espana.

In his memo, Keith Pelley also refuted rumours that they had turned down a multi-million dollar Golf Saudi investment. “Although we had discussions with Golf Saudi about extending our relationship beyond the Saudi International tournament, we never received a formal written offer from them,” GolfChannel quoted from the memo. However, the European Tour (now DP World Tour) had received an offer from Raine Capital in 2020, who were linked to a Premier League Golf at the time.

LIV Golf Invitational Series by Greg Norman

The LIV Golf Invitational Series is now being funded by the Saudi Arabian Private Investment Fund (PIF) and is tempting with huge prize money. Earlier this week, it was announced that a first professional from the PGA Tour and further professionals from the DP World Tour have asked for permission to participate in the inaugural event (09-11 June in London) of the tournament series launched by Greg Norman.

Now the head of the DP World Tour (formerly European Tour) warned his players against a defection and appealed for loyalty to the tour. The PGA Tour had also threatened to exclude its players from the Majors and Ryder Cup when the rumours of a new Saudi League first emerged and urged its stars to stay on the PGA Tour with pledges of loyalty and new sources of income, such as the Players Impact Program.