Eight tournaments with 54 holes without cut, with 48 players, individual and team competition, bags of 25 million per appointment. Live music during the event. This is what the new super league watered with the millions of Saudi oil proposed, for some another exercise in ‘sportswashing’, a facelift through sport of an authoritarian monarchy, in the style of Qatar with the World Cup.
Phil Mickelson, Bryson DeChambeau, Dustin Johnson, Cameron Smith, Sergio García, Ian Poulter, Patrick Reed… A myriad of stars were seduced by an innovative model, some hurt by what they considered unfair treatment from their previous ‘houses’ .
The establishment reacted with hostility. The PGA withdrew the card to the ‘insurgents’ Some of them gave it up voluntarily, others wanted to play both circuits. The crossovers of statements were endless and the matter inevitably ended up in court.
The United States Department of Justice is currently investigating the PGA and DP World Tour, at the request of the LIV, in a lawsuit for alleged attempted monopoly. Patrick Reed has sued half the world and in general there has been a climate of tension throughout the year, with peaks such as Wentworth or the British Open.
By 2023, the LIV plans to expand its schedule to 14 tournaments, with three confirmed venues for now in the United States, PGA territory, and fields such as Mayakoba or Valderrama, which were previously on the calendar of the North American and European circuits respectively.
The challenge is already of such magnitude that it seems that the only sensible option is an agreement. Augusta has already said that she will not veto the LIVers in the Masters and there are elephants in the room like the world ranking, which still does not accept the LIV in its gear, or the Ryder that will host Rome at the end of September.
LIV Golf is a professional golf tour funded by the Public Investment Fund, the sovereign wealth fund of Saudi Arabia. The name “LIV” refers to the Roman numerals for 54, the score if every hole on a par-72 course had been scored with birdies, and the number of holes to be played in LIV events.