LIV’s 2023 Plan: 14 Events, Franchise Owners, Relegation Tournament
Before the circuit’s third event at Trump Bedminster, LIV Golf on Wednesday outlined its plans for 2023 that will include a 14-tournament schedule, 12 established team franchises and a relegation tournament at the end of the season.
Though the official tournament schedule will be released at a later date, LIV said that events will be played across North and Latin Americas, Asia, Australia, the Middle East and Europe. All members of the LIV Golf League will be expected to play at each stop, with a total prize fund of $405 million.
In a release, LIV said that the schedule will not compete with either the majors or “heritage” events, with the idea being that “the best players in the game will always be able to make their own choices about where to play.” PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan has indefinitely suspended any member who has competed in a LIV event.
Next year, the LIV Golf League will feature the same 48 players, as opposed to the model it has rolled out in its inaugural year with new additions at each stop. This week, Henrik Stenson, Charles Howell III and Jason Kokrak are all making their LIV debuts. LIV CEO Greg Norman recently told Australian Golf Digest that the roster for 2023 was “set,” with more player announcements expected throughout the summer and fall.
Beginning next year, each team franchise will feature a captain who can “build their franchises as they see fit in an effort to gain the greatest fan following and sponsor interest.” Speaking Wednesday in New Jersey, Howell said that Bryson DeChambeau called to gauge his interest in LIV and joining his team; Kokrak said Brooks Koepka made a similar pitch.
In addition to the league schedule, LIV players are also expected to compete in “numerous” International Series tournaments on the Asian Tour, which could provide an avenue for LIV members to receive world-ranking points. (LIV’s application to the Official World Golf Ranking board is currently under review.) Without additional world-ranking points, each LIV member is projected to drop out of the top 50 by the end of the calendar year, endangering their prospects of playing in the 2023 majors.
In their introductory press conferences, many players mentioned how LIV’s limited schedule appealed to them.
At The Open, Paul Casey said there had been group chats among LIV members about turning up “en masse” at Asian Tour events in hopes of boosting the tournament’s strength of field. “So if they’re going to go play an Asian Tour event,” he said, “they all go together.”
Between the League events and International Series tournaments, LIV Golf said it will stage 25 worldwide tournaments next year. That includes an end-of-season “Promotions” event that will offer an opportunity for players to join the league for the following year, though it was not disclosed how many spots would be available. The International Series will also feature promotion and relegation opportunities, a key criterion for possible OWGR inclusion.
This week’s LIV event at Bedminster, owned by former President Donald Trump, will feature a 48-man field, 54 holes and $25 million purse.