What Is The Future Of Golf With The LIV Golf Tour?
After months of speculation, the inaugural Saudi-backed LIV Golf event gets underway today to open the breakaway series that threatens to change the sport as we know it.
Phil Mickelson, former world No 1s Dustin Johnson and Lee Westwood as well as Ian Poulter are among the biggest names competing at Centurion Club in St Albans, with six-time major champion Mickelson set to end his four-month break from golf following his explosive comments about the PGA Tour and the breakaway spearheaded by Greg Norman.
The PGA Tour have responded by threatening players with fines and legal action but that has not put off some stars from joining the 48-player entry list – no doubt aided by reportedly huge appearance fees – for an event that features new competition rules and what tournament organisers say is an “exciting” new format.
The event at Centurion club will be played over three days and 54 holes, rather than the traditional four-day tournaments with 72 holes. There won’t be a cut, so the 48 players who start the week will play all three rounds, while there will also be a team competition in addition to the traditional individual competition.
This is the first of seven events on the LIV Golf tour, with each having a prize fund of $25m – every player in the field receives a cut, with a guaranteed $4m for the winner and $120,000 for last place. Of the $25m, $5m will be split between the top three teams.
Follow all the action and reaction to the inaugural event of the controversial tour, below:
Schwartzel in the red!
Charl Schwartzel – another member of the all South Africa Stingers GC – moves under par for his round with a fine birdie on the 11th.
The former Masters champion has changed to a long putter and it’s worked for him on this occasion.
Michael Jones9 June 2022 16:35
Koepka chasing the leaders
Chase Koepka, the younger brother of Brooks, is putting in a steady round at Centurian Club. He’s inched his way to two under and has just missed a putt to join the leaders, running it narrowly to the left of the hole.
Michael Jones9 June 2022 16:30
Golf, but louder?
LIV Golf promised a new exciting format for golf going forward. More money, big names, new graphics. So far the actual golf has been fairly sedate.
Some fresh faces are making waves, Hennie Du Plessis and Phachara Kongwatmai in particular, but most of the coverage has been on the headline groups who aren’t playing all that well.
The shotgun start was frenetic and fresh but having everyone out on the course at once just means you miss a lot of shots from most of the field.
Michael Jones9 June 2022 16:24
Can Phil get a birdie?
He hasn’t been fantastic on the greens today and leaves himself a 15 footer for birdie on the eighth. It’s dead straight and Mickelson hits it with decent pace before the ball hits the back of the cup and drops!
Phil is back to evens for the day.
Michael Jones9 June 2022 16:19
After consecutive birdies on the fifth and the sixth holes, Dustin Johnson gives those shot back after smoking his drive on the seventh out of bounds.
He hit a provisional third shot off the tee and failed to sink a 20 foot putt for a bogey after reaching the green in four. It’s not been a great day for DJ so far.
Michael Jones9 June 2022 16:07
Stingers on the move
Stinger GC are the new team leaders as Brandon Grace (-2) moves up the leaderboard. His teammate and fellow South African Hennie Du Plessis (-2) has dropped a shot but remains two under for the day.
Michael Jones9 June 2022 16:05
A quick flash on the leaderboard show Phachara Khongwatmai drop back to (-3) for a share of the lead with Hennie Du Plessis.
David Puig – one of two amateurs in the field – was slowly worked his way to (-2). What a start this is for him.
Michael Jones9 June 2022 15:58
DJ out of bounds
Dustin Johnson followed up a birdie on the sixth by blasting his tee shot on seven out of bounds. The American was forced to reload and his provisional ball finds the fairway.
Michael Jones9 June 2022 15:54
Du Plessis making moves
Hennie Du Plessis becomes the second player to reach (-3) for the day and he’s within one of the lead now.
Over on seven Dustin Johnson and Phil Mickelson are wild off the tee and have work to do if they want to save par.
Michael Jones9 June 2022 15:50
LIV Golf’s first eagle
Peter Uihlein with undoubtably the shot of the day so far.
Michael Jones9 June 2022 15:42