LIV turns up the heat on the PGA Tour

Large cash. Large names. Nice locations.

And he has a huge effect on the world {of professional} golf.

If yr one was intriguing, count on yr two to be larger and bolder.

On the similar time, the second version of LIV Golf comes with questions of its personal:

What has modified?

LIV Golf’s second yr is, in some ways, its first actual season, full with a full 14-event schedule, enhanced concentrate on workforce play and the muse laid final yr.

Contemplating every thing that occurred across the launch of LIV — the entire thing was nearly scuttled by Phil Mickelson’s controversial feedback in regards to the Saudis sponsoring the tour being simply as “creepy” as LIV was able to announce their gamers and occasions — taking part in eight occasions in 2022 was an achievement.

There was discuss of not taking part in final yr, letting issues quiet down and persevering with all this yr, however the resolution was made to maneuver on. It wasn’t straightforward and it wasn’t all the time fairly, however LIV made it this yr, which was the principle aim.

When play begins in February in Mexico, count on curiosity to be on 12 four-player groups, every with their very own captain, their very own emblem, their very own merchandise, and if the LIV mannequin works, their very own traders.

Moreover the cash being thrown at gamers, LIV Golf has offered itself as transformative. That is why it begins with the gun, the 54-hole, no-cut format, and the will to make golf nightclub cool.

With the success of the System One mannequin, LIV’s concept is to get followers into workforce play, not only for one week however by means of the 14-event schedule. Particular person competitors will proceed. However the aim is to make multiplayer central to LIV’s story.

The workforce has performed within the Ryder Cup and the Presidents Cup however it’s unsure if that vitality will carry over into LIV Golf.

The opposite query is whether or not any workforce can get Dustin Johnson’s 4 aces out of his approach. Together with Patrick Reed, Tallor Gotch, and Pat Perez, Johnson’s workforce received 5 occasions final yr, together with the general championship.

What in regards to the broadcast deal?

These numbers are an important subsequent step for LIV Golf, and it’s nonetheless not clear what is going to occur. LIV insiders recommend the deal will likely be introduced earlier than the primary occasion in February.

Raised eyebrows late final yr when COO Atul Khosla resigned from his publish simply weeks after saying his important aim was to safe a broadcasting deal for the organisation. No alternative has been introduced for Khosla.

There have been rumors of shopping for time on different networks and talks with varied streaming providers, however it seems that promoting LIV Golf to a broadcast companion has been harder than regulators anticipated.

Since its inception, LIV’s leaders have stated they’ve been in discussions with a number of potential broadcast companions, however no deal has been disclosed. NBC, CBS, ESPN and Golf Channel can’t take part attributable to contracts with the PGA Tour.

There have been rumors of shopping for time on different networks and talks with varied streaming providers, however it seems that promoting LIV Golf to a broadcast companion has been harder than regulators anticipated.

LIV has been profitable prior to now yr through YouTube and its web site, however this isn’t a professional long-term technique. To grasp how necessary it’s to develop availability, count on LIV to discover a deal sooner fairly than later even when it is not every thing the organizers hope it is going to be.

Will gamers nonetheless be a part of LIV?

Gamers leaving the PGA Tour has been the dominant story, however this yr it is going to be totally different. The thought is to have the 48-player discipline scheduled for the season previous to the primary occasion.

There are extra participant bulletins coming, nevertheless it will not be a wave. LIV has seven places accessible, a few of which can probably be stuffed by gamers who managed them finally yr’s LIV occasions.

Rumors nonetheless swirl about others who is perhaps – Patrick Cantlay-Xander Schavelli chatter was essentially the most urgent – however LIV is not looking avid gamers so laborious proper now. Signing gamers now relies on how a lot industrial attraction they’ll add to the gamers already there.

Picture by Chris Trotman, LIV Golf through Getty Photographs

Will Greg Norman proceed as CEO and Commissioner?

Norman managed to get consideration at LIV Golf final yr, not all the time in a great way, however the group wanted a high-profile and aggressive chief, and he did his job.

Is Norman polarized?


Is he the long-term chief?

He says he desires to be, no matter whether or not Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods and others say he must step apart to make any potential progress towards ending the continuing turf struggle.

Norman carries the luggage of his previous fights with the PGA Tour, which is not serving to him, however he insists that is all in regards to the future, not the previous. He has efficiently disrupted the game, and now he’s taking on the problem of creating LIV Golf a hit.

LIV would most likely rent somebody to tackle the CEO function and let Norman focus solely on the competitors. However Norman’s transfer away from LIV Golf would not appear to be a part of the plan for now.

Is there a decision on the horizon?

Till LIV Golf drops its lawsuit towards the PGA Tour — and each side have gone forwards and backwards with lawsuits now — there isn’t any motive to consider any discussions will occur between the teams.

“They sued us” is a standard chorus amongst PGA Tour officers and gamers and it is true.

Though LIV’s federal antitrust go well with towards the PGA Tour will not be attributable to be heard till January 2024, the LIV case towards DP World Tour is on the agenda within the UK for subsequent month, and will have a profound impression on potential subsequent steps.

The case includes two gamers suspended from the DP World Tour for his or her involvement with LIV who’re searching for the suitable to proceed taking part in on their earlier tour. It’s much like the case over the PGA Tour, though a number of former tour gamers have had their names faraway from the lawsuit.

How the most important tournaments reply to the LIV predicament and whether or not World Golf Rating factors will finally be awarded for LIV occasions will even issue into the equation.

Do not count on a breakthrough anytime quickly.

High picture: Michelle Yves Sandberg, Icon Sportswire
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