LIV Golf, according to its own foundations, was born with the intention of bringing golf closer to the general public, adapting it to new times and everything they entail. Tournaments without a cut, live music, less rigidity...
With the peace signed with the PGA and the DP World Tour, through a merger agreed in June, the Saudi circuit continues to innovate. This Wednesday, confirming some rumors that had spread in recent months, he announced the introduction of transfers in the world of golf.
“The league has launched the sport's first transfer window with player movement, free agency and new team rosters in progress as momentum builds for LIV. The second full golf season will begin in 2024″, the organization shared in a statement.
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The novelty, in line with the image that the LIV wants to project, is reminiscent of the operation of leagues like the NBA. The Saudi circuit, without going any further, does not only have individual winners.
At the end of its season, it also crowns teams, in the purest style of North American franchises. In 2023, Talor Gooch of the RangeGoats GC was the individual champion. Bryson DeChambeau's GC Crushers, meanwhile, took the collective classification, pocketing $14 million.
Among the teams, there are also the Fireballs GC, with the Spanish Sergio Gacía, who serves as captain, and Eugenio López-Chacarra. This operation has its impact on the articulation of the transfer market, which is divided into three phases marked by the status of the players in the league.
In the first, the golfers in the top-24 of the individual classification, with continuity assured in the competition, can renew with their team (in case their agreement ends) or leave for free agency, which shapes the second part of the transfer period.
At that time, teams can freely negotiate with those golfers in the top-24 who have decided not to extend their previous contract and with those players between 25th and 44th whose contracts have expired. Golfers beyond position 44 are relegated to LIV Golf Promotions, where they will have the opportunity to be promoted again through the draft, the third phase of the new market.
Throughout the seasons, the LIV will offer two market windows. The first will take place in the offseason (around these dates). The second, right in the middle of the calendar. Currently, the top-24 players with a chance to extend their contract are Peter Uihlein (12th, 4Aces GC), Anirban Lahiri (13th, Crushers GC), Carlos Ortiz (15th, Fireballs GC), Richard Bland (20th, Cleeks GC) and Scott Vincent (22nd, Iron Chiefs GC).
The golfers who will be released to free agency, on the other hand, are Pat Pérez (28th, 4Aces GC), the Spanish David Puig (31st, Torque GC), who this year achieved his first victory as a professional, Matt Jones ( 37th, Ripper GC), Bernd Wiesberger (41st, Cleeks GC), and Graeme McDowell (42nd, Cleeks GC). The first agitators of a new reality, very American, in golf.