More than a futuristic and millionaire Arab SuperLeague of golf, Greg Norman's seems to be a circuit of old glories. The next Liv Invitational Series does not convince the big names of the world green and without them it seems difficult to think of a truly alternative circuit to the current ones.
Arab SuperLeague, schedule
A month after the first tee shot of the match organized with the dollars of the main Saudi sovereign fund (Pif), several professionals have already asked for permission to play at the Centurion Club.
Few of those who seem really willing to change the air, however. However, the appointment is set for 9 June in London with the opening race of the circuit from the golden eggs: the 48 invited players will share a prize pool of 20 million dollars.
To protect image and portfolio, PGA Tour and DP World Tour imposed a series of steps on their players before making their debut at the Liv Invitational Series. They range from the authorization email to the ban on playing any matches in conjunction with PGA or DP World Tour (and there are some).
Finally, those who drive for the Saudis would take into account the concrete possibility of saying goodbye to the Ryder Cup both as a player and as captain (or deputy). Moral of the story: to date, an American, three Englishmen, a German and a Spanish have the almost certainty of seeing Rome 2023 from the green or on TV.
These are Phil Mickelson, Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter, Sergio Garcia, Martin Kaymer and Richard Bland. One of them has a great past and four have a great one. The sixth has a past, period and stop. Phil Mickelson has been the anti-Tiger Woods for years, an alternative to the phenomenon of modern golf on the field and beyond.
A stars and stripes icon. A gold mine: according to the PGA Tour website, Lefty has so far grossed $ 140 million in prize money alone. He is 51 years old and has been playing on the PGA Tour for exactly twenty years: in his career he has won 45 races on the main world circuit and various tournaments around the world.
Last surprise, the 2021 PGA Championship. Today he is number 58 in the ranking and has been voluntarily away from the green for several weeks after the not-so-gentleman's words addressed to the PGA and the Arab world ("Thugs to do business with, they killed the journalist Khashoggi and, in the matter of human rights , they have a horrible reputation.
They execute people because they are gay. But their riches represent a unique opportunity for us golfers too "). Lee Westwood From potential Ryder Cup captain in Rome 2023 to spectator of the Capitoline event. This is the fate that the 49-year-old born in Nottinghamshire, a professional since 1993 with twenty-two weeks as the absolute leader of the world ranking (October 2010), seems to have begun.
He was the first to become number one after Tiger Woods. He stayed there for 17 weeks and then handed over the scepter to Martin Kaymer. First major victory in April 1998, last in Abu Dhabi in 2020: a total of 44 between PGA, European Tour, Japan Tour, Australian, Sunshine Tour ...
Since 1997 he has always played in the Ryder Cup except in Paris 2018: in total they make eleven editions, with seven victories. Today he is number 64. Never a success in a Major. Martin Kaymer In the list of players ready to marry the new Saudi Super League project there will probably be the other former world number one mentioned above, namely Martin Kaymer.
The 38-year-old from Dusseldorf hasn't won a tournament since 2014 when he triumphed at the US Open (his second major after the 2010 PGA Championship). Professional since 2005, he has 25 trophies on his showcase and an eternal recognition from European fans for being one of the heroes of Medinah, in the 2012 Ryder Cup when Team Europe scored a comeback that still makes Americans cry.
Sergio Garcia and Ian Poulter Of Sergio Garcia and Ian Poulter it is perhaps superfluous to speak. El Nino and The Postman have been two champions for three decades. The Spaniard, born in 1980, has a growing career with the peak at the Masters 2017.
he hasn't won for two years and last week let slip an emblematic phrase. "I can't wait to leave this circuit," he said shortly after the marshall's recall to the Wells Fargo Championship, on the PGA Tour.
Since there will soon be a fundamental incompatibility between Superlega and the rest of the circuits, it is clear that everyone has done two plus two passing the Spanish in the enlisted box by Greg Norman. Garcia has the all-time record for Ryder Cup victories: 25 wins in ten editions, from 1999 to 2021.