Liv, first big change in the competition formula

In less than twenty days, the LIV Golf season will kick off with the debut of Jon Rahm

by Andrea Gussoni
Liv, first big change in the competition formula
© Getty Images Sport - Quinn Harris / Stringer

In less than twenty days, the LIV Golf season will kick off with the debut of Jon Rahm. During the presentation press conference, the Spanish champion had expressed reservations regarding the format of the LIV and had presented some proposals for changes to the leaders of the Saudi League.

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In a subsequent interview, Rahm reiterated his position, but also stated that he would be willing to adapt to the unusual format if his proposals were not accepted. However, we are now aware of a first substantial change in the competition formula in view of the start of the LIV tournaments.

Rahm's arrival led to the creation of the thirteenth Team, known as Legio XIII GC, which increased the number of players from 48 to 52. Furthermore, the field will be further expanded to 54 guests in order to maintain the 18-hole formula with flights made up of three players.

To reach the set number, the leader of the International Series (high-level Asian Tour events) at the start of the tournament will be entered, along with a player invited by one of the tournament sponsors. These two players will win the LIV individual ranking points and, if they are professionals, the prize money.

Is this change just the first step in a series of changes or do LIV Golf executives foresee further changes in the future? The answer to this question remains to be discovered. Stay tuned for more updates on Season LIV. The initial blueprint for a new golf tour aimed at rivaling the PGA Tour came into the public eye in 2019 with the announcement of a league known as the Premier Golf League.

This move prompted a response from PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan, who hinted that golfers opting to participate in this new league might be excluded from PGA Tour events. Later in 2020, the PGA European Tour and the PGA Tour joined forces in a "strategic alliance" to collaborate on commercial opportunities, scheduling, and prize funds for their respective memberships.

The Premier Golf League engaged in discussions with Saudi investors regarding a financial partnership. However, Golf Saudi, a division of the Public Investment Fund, opted to finance a separate entity in 2020, which had its own vision for establishing a global professional league often referred to as the "Super Golf League." This entity was officially launched in October 2021 under the name LIV Golf Investments, with former professional golfer Greg Norman assuming the role of CEO.

LIV Golf has frequently been likened to the golfing equivalent of the dormant breakaway European Super League in football. In July 2022, LIV Golf formally applied for inclusion in the Official World Golf Ranking, a process that typically takes one to two years from the submission of the application to approval and the allocation of OWGR points.

In October 2022, LIV Golf entered into a "strategic alliance" with the MENA Tour. This arrangement was designed to immediately grant LIV Golf events ranking points. However, it was subsequently confirmed that events in 2022 would not receive points, as changes to the MENA Tour would require further review.

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