Connect with us


London to Host Launch of LIV Golf Invitational Series, Europe’s Richest Ever Golf Tournament




We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you've consented to and to improve our understanding of you. You can unsubscribe at any time.

London’s Centurion Club will play host to the inaugural tournament of the LIV Golf Invitational Series, a new startup circuit led by none other than the Great White Shark himself, Greg Norman. The eight-event series—offering a $255 million total prize purse—will hold five tournaments in the United States and three internationally, including the curtain raiser in London starting June 9th. The LIV events are a dramatic departure from typical PGA Tour and DP World Tour events that fans are used to in that they feature team and individual competitions, 54-hole no-cut events, and shotgun starts.

Organizers believe the updated format is exactly what modern golf fans have been asking for. “Fan research indicates a significant number of new fans would be enticed by a faster paced and shorter variation and non-traditional format of play. With smaller fields, fewer rounds, fewer events, shorter playing windows and modified shotgun starts, these events have been designed with fans as the top priority,” LIV Golf’s launch announcement read.

In contrast to traditional PGA Tour events, LIV’s Invitational Series will consist of a three-round, 54-hole competition with a shotgun start and 48 golfers divided amongst 12 teams. The events do not have a cut, meaning every player will compete in the entire tournament.

Many of the U.S. tournaments are being contested in cities that have been left out of the PGA Tour schedule in 2022, including major markets like Portland and the NYC metro area in July and Boston and Chicago in September. The other international sites are Bangkok, Thailand and Jeddah, Saudi Arabia in October. Additionally, the world team championship grand finale, also in October, will mark the return of professional golf to the famed Blue Monster course at Trump Doral in Miami, which for many years served as host of a prestigious World Golf Championship event.

Player invites were sent out in late March for the LIV Golf Invitational in London, which features a $20 million individual prize pool and a $4 million winner’s payout, the highest professional golf purse ever contested in Europe. While no player names have been officially confirmed as of this writing, there are reports that the series has recruited 15 of the top 100 players in the world. Names including major winners like Phil Mickelson, Sergio Garcia, Louis Oosthuizen, Bubba Watson, and Adam Scott have been mentioned, as have those of Ryder Cup legends Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter.

The PGA Tour has responded by threatening to ban players who compete on what they deem to be a rival circuit like LIV Golf. Recently, PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan reiterated that Tour golfers would not be allowed to play both the Tour and LIV Golf events, stating that, “I’m confident in our rules and regulations, my ability to administer them, and that’s my position on the matter. We’re confident in our position.”

The controversy has reopened the debate over whether PGA Tour players are independent contractors or employees of the organization. Rory McIlroy, who is Head of the Player Advisory Council on the PGA Tour, views players as the former, asserting that, “… I mean, we’re independent contractors and I feel like we should be able to do that if that’s what our personal choice is.”


Despite that assertion, the PGA Tour has maintained its stance that Tour regulations prohibit players from participating in a competing tournament if eligible for a PGA Tour event the same week. In this case, the Tour’s RBC Canadian Open will be played opposite the LIV Golf Invitational in London. Players are, however, eligible for three conflicting event releases. The Tour granted 30 such releases earlier this year—after initially balking—for players to participate in the Saudi International tournament. Both the PGA Tour and DP World Tour have until May 10th to grant or deny player requests to play in the London event.

Recent reports have suggested that the DP World Tour will deny their members permission to play in the event – and could punish those players who decide to compete anyway – setting up a potential legal showdown between the former European Tour and some of its biggest stars. Speculation is that the PGA Tour may end up granting releases for the London tournament, but that it may take a more hardline stance when the LIV Series shifts to the U.S. 

In a statement, World Golf Hall of Famer Norman acknowledged the independence of golfers while remaining cognizant of the PGA Tour’s regulations: “Our events are truly additive to the world of golf. We have done our best to create a schedule that allows players to play elsewhere, while still participating in our events. I believe players will increasingly make progress in achieving their right to play where they want. We will help in any way possible and will provide golfers with opportunities to achieve their full potential.”

Norman has promised future playing opportunities, expressing a desire for the game of golf to grow. The seeds have been planted and come June we will see if they’ve begun to sprout.

Share this article:

EU Reporter publishes articles from a variety of outside sources which express a wide range of viewpoints. The positions taken in these articles are not necessarily those of EU Reporter.