Players laud team format on LIV Golf tour: ‘Something fresh and new’

Adore it or hate it, one factor that has grow to be glaringly clear about the controversial LIV Golf series, which tees off with its third occasion starting Friday at Trump Nationwide Golf Membership in Bedminster, N.J., is that it isn’t going anyplace anytime quickly.

The PGA Tour has banned players who have participated in the rival circuit, but extra gamers proceed to affix. Backed by the Public Funding Fund, which is controlled by the Saudi government and valued at greater than $600 billion, it has the monetary sources to maintain it going for years.

It’s attainable the PGA Tour and LIV will come to some sort of compromise sooner or later, however that isn’t occurring in the mean time.

Meaning gamers will proceed to play on LIV, with 5 extra occasions to be held this 12 months and one other 14 already scheduled for 2023.

This week at Trump National, as with the primary two tournaments, the sphere consists of 48 gamers and is headlined by a few of the recreation’s largest stars — including Phil Mickelson, Brooks Koepka, Bryson DeChambeau, Dustin Johnson and Sergio Garcia.

Lee Westwood hits a tee shot on the LIV Golf pro-am.
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The format is identical because the others, too — 54 holes, no minimize, a shotgun begin and hefty assured paydays for particular person and team performances. The full purse is $20 million, with $4 million of that going to the person winner and $5 million cut up among the many profitable four-man team.

“I think it’s something new and fresh for golf,” stated Lee Westwood, who can be within the area. “You know, I’m all for competition. This is clearly competitive to the other tours out there.”

“I think we’re all extremely excited about the team format of it, so I think you’ve got a very structured product going forward,” added Charles Howell III, who’s making his LIV debut this week. “You have the players that you know are going to play and where they’re going to play.”

It additionally marks the primary time that the course has hosted a event for the reason that 2017 U.S. Girls’s Open.

That week, Donald Trump, then president of the USA, spent a lot of his time lording over the proceedings from a big, glass-enclosed balcony. This week, he’s anticipated to be omnipresent on the grounds, as he was throughout Thursday’s pro-am, whilst his associates are being investigated by the Justice Division for Trump’s actions surrounding the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol.

President Donald Trump hits a tee shot as Bryson DeChambeau looks on during a LIV Golf pro-am event.
President Donald Trump hits a tee shot as Bryson DeChambeau seems to be on throughout a LIV Golf pro-am occasion.
Getty Photos

This week’s event additionally marks something of a revenge tour for the former president.

His Bedminster course was to host the PGA Championship earlier this 12 months. However in January of final 12 months the club was stripped of the major by the PGA of America days after the insurrection.

“It has become clear that conducting the PGA Championship at Trump Bedminster would be detrimental to the PGA of America brand and would put at risk the PGA’s ability to deliver on many programs and sustain the longevity of our mission,” PGA president Jim Richerson stated in a press release on the time.

Trump’s Doral, Fla., course additionally beforehand hosted the PGA Tour’s Cadillac Championship earlier than the corporate introduced it might not be renewing past 2016 and the event finally moved to Mexico. On Thursday, Trump was requested by reporters if he had any regrets that his course was internet hosting a LIV event as an alternative of a significant championship or PGA Tour occasion.

“No, no regrets,” he stated. “That’s their problem. This course blows every other course away.”

Trump — who performed in Thursday’s pro-am with Johnson, DeChambeau and his son Eric — was additionally requested how a lot cash he was bringing in by internet hosting the LIV event, although he declined to reply.

“I don’t do it for that,” he stated. “They’ve been very generous, but I don’t do it for that. I do it because I think it’s great for golf.”

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