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LIV Golf Players are participating in the masters: here’s what it means

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LIV Golf
A round of golf. LIV Players will play in the 2023 circuit. Photo/Unsplash
  • There are controversial changes in golf and fans and players alike have spoken their hearts out
  • LIV Golf players will play in the 2023 Masters Tournament
  • Golf lovers will now enjoy the same golf experience

There have been some controversial changes in golf, and fans and players have both had a lot to say about it. LIV Golf players were announced as being able to play in the 2023 Masters Tournament.

The Augusta Masters threw a cat amongst the pigeons when they said that players that would qualify under the existing criteria would be allowed to play in the 2023 tournament – whether they had signed with LIV Golf or not.

It means that golf lovers will get to enjoy the same golf experience, watching the favorites no matter which league they are in. So you’ll see old favorites, underdogs and players from both LIV and PGA competing, meaning the masters odds are tighter than ever and some excellent viewing is guaranteed.

What is LIV Golf?

In March 2021, the announcement that a new professional golfing league would be opening, and the idea was to have the world’s best golfers and a new set of competitions. Founded by Keith Pelley, a former European tour CEO, and financial backing came from Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund.

LIV golf player

A round of golf. Photo/unsplash

One of the most interesting features of the league is that they have teams of four, and they all compete with each other during the season. And a big aim for LIV Golf is to bring new and exciting features for golf fans, including interactive fan engagement, live streaming, and plenty of innovative technology.

One of the criticisms that have been heavy in the media and with other players is some of the human rights issues that Saudi Arabia has.

For 2023, 14 tournaments were announced, and they are taking place in Saudi Arabia, England, Spain, Australia, Singapore, Mexico, and the USA.

If you are wondering about the LIV name: if every hole on a par-72 were birdied, the score would be 54. And it is 54 holes that all LIV events will be played over, rather than the 72 that the PGA Tour has.

What Does LIV Prize Money Look Like?

A total purse of $25 million and that is made up of $5m for the top 3 teams and individual prizes too. Each event offers up a $4 million cheque for the winner too. Many players see the LIV as more attractive because, unlike in the PGA Tour, even finishing last will have a payout of $120,000.

So all of the hard work won’t be seeing some players go home with nothing.

More interesting is there is a lot of cash up for grabs for the top-three performers of the season, with a pool of $30 million available. For the finals of the LIV Golf Team Championship, there is a $50 million prize pool, and all four members of the winning team will pocket $16 million. The runners-up get $10 million, and the finishing third will get you $8 million.

Which Professional Golfers Joined the LIV?

While there might be some apprehension from some golf pros, others were happy to strike a deal. The money on offer from LIV Golf is hard to ignore – and with their plans for more fan engagement and more features for the audience, it might be a great move.

The total will increase as time goes on, and there are 48 players currently competing in the 2023 tournaments LIV had lined up.

Some of the biggest names to join are Paul Casey, Talor Gooch, Sergio Garcia, Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson, and Louis Oosthuizen.

Is There a Problem With Playing in Both PGA and LIV?

A gold ball

LIV Golf. Photo/cardozoAEJ

It is very reminiscent of the European Super League debacle in football. The Super League received phenomenal backlash from fans, players, and even the governments – but maintained that it was good for the sport, players, and the fans.

From the PGA’s standpoint, the LIV is actually more restrictive than the Tour, and from there, it seems to be a simple talent turf war.

For the players, there have been some comments from other golfers who haven’t joined LIV Golf – but one of the things that are rocking the boat more than just a little is the current legal battle between the PGA Tour and LIV Golf.

They have been at odds since 2022.

  • An antitrust lawsuit was filed by 11 LIV players against the PGA.
  • Temporary restraining orders were denied to three of the LIV players who wanted to play in the FedEx Cup.
  • Mickelson and a few others removed themselves from the antitrust lawsuits.
  • The PGA Tour countersued LIV Golf for interfering with contracts.
  • PGA Tour filed a federal suit in NY against Yasir Al-Rumayyan and the Public Investment Fund.
  • The Public Investment Fund sought to quash the request for producing documents (claiming sovereign immunity).
  • The PGA Tour filed documents to put Yasir Al-Rumayyan and the Public Investment Fund as co-defendants.
  • A Judge ruled against sovereign immunity and that documents should be handed over

And most recently, the US District Court for the Northern District of CA ruled in favor of the PGA Tour – and Yasir Al-Rumayyan and Public Investment Fund were made co-defendants.

In short, the LIV players are arguing that the PGA Tour is trying to stop players from competing, while the PGA Tour is arguing that LIV Golf is interfering with contracts. They are separate cases but, of course, related.

Should LIV Golf Players be in the Masters?

All arguments between PGA and LIV aside, the Masters is and always was where the best players of the sport compete.

And, with the decision to let LIV players compete, the Masters has held true to their purpose. While some of the fan opinions were mixed, in general, most felt that the issue was dealt with, with class.

Eligible players will remain eligible unless future criteria change – and that should mean that the Masters will ultimately be the one tournament that truly showcases all of the top talents in the sport.

Teresa is a journalist with years of experience in creating web content. She is a wanderlust at heart, but an outgoing sports writer with focus on tennis, athletics, football, motorsports and NBA.

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