Saudi-Backed LIV Golf Invitational to Offer $255M in Purse Money Over 8 2022 Events

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LIV Golf Investments, the Saudi Arabia-backed company that has been trying to start a super golf league, is moving forward with an event series in 2022. 

Per ESPN’s Mark Schlabach, the company announced on Wednesday an eight-event series that will have a total payout of $255 million. 

The series will begin with a tournament at Centurion Golf Club in London from June 9-11. There are four United States events on the schedule, starting with one at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club in Portland from July 1-3. 

Other U.S. locations hosting an event include Bedminster, New Jersey (Trump National Golf Club Bedminster), Boston (The International) and Chicago (Rich Harvest Farms). 

Thailand and Saudi Arabia will host the final two regular-season events. The series will culminate with a team championship event from Oct. 28-30, though a location has yet to be announced. 

The press release from LIV Golf Investments noted the tournament schedule doesn’t interfere with any of the four major championships, international team events or heritage tournaments. 

Last month, Phil Mickelson generated controversy for what he told author Alan Shipnuck in an upcoming unauthorized biography about using the proposed new league as leverage to generate more money from the PGA Tour despite Saudi Arabia’s history of human rights issues: 

“They’re scary motherf–kers to get involved with. We know they killed [Washington Post reporter and U.S. resident Jamal] Khashoggi and have a horrible record on human rights. They execute people over there for being gay. Knowing all of this, why would I even consider it? Because this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reshape how the PGA Tour operates. They’ve been able to get by with manipulative, coercive, strong-arm tactics because we, the players, had no recourse. As nice a guy as [PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan] comes across as, unless you have leverage, he won’t do what’s right. And the Saudi money has finally given us that leverage. I’m not sure I even want [the SGL] to succeed, but just the idea of it is allowing us to get things done with the [PGA] Tour.”

Mickelson said in a statement his comments to Shipnuck were off the record, though Shipnuck disputed that in a response on Twitter:

Alan Shipnuck @AlanShipnuck

The ‘off the record’ piece of this is completely false and I’ll have more to say on that shortly. <a href=”https://t.co/7cogbJlneK”>https://t.co/7cogbJlneK</a>

Several sponsors, including Callaway and KPMG, cut ties with Mickelson following his comments. Lefty issued an apology for his comments and would be taking “some time away” from playing. 

PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan told reporters last year that any players on the circuit who wants to join the Saudi Arabia-backed league would be immediately suspended and likely permanently expelled from competing in PGA Tour-sanctioned events. 

Several top stars on the PGA Tour, including Dustin Johnson, Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Bryson DeChambeau, have said they won’t join the breakaway league. 

LIV Golf Investments has invested $300 million in the Asian Tour to cover 10 years of playing opportunities and prize money for the International Series. 

The LIV Golf Invitational Series features 54-hole events with no cuts and shotgun starts. There will be a maximum of 48 players in the field, divided into 12 four-man teams at each event, with rosters for each team determined by a draft before the start of the tournament. 

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