Despite their overtures being rebuffed by a number of the world’s top players, Greg Norman and the Saudi Golf League are ploughing on regardless and have revealed the schedule for their inaugural season.
The money-spinning competition will kick off in June with a trip to the exotic climes of St Albans, with the Centurion Club on hosting duties for the maiden event.
The eight-date itinerary, which has been dubbed the LIV Golf Invitational, will then kick on with a four-event trip to the United States – two of those tournaments will clash directly with the Rocket Mortgage Classic and the John Deere Classic on the PGA Tour.
The series will conclude with events in Bangkok and the Saudi city of Jeddah, while a finale – the Team Championship – has been confirmed for October 28-30 but without a host location known as yet.
|June 9-11||Centurion Golf Club||St Albans|
|July 1-3||Pumpkin Ridge GC||Portland|
|July 29 -31||Trump National Bedminster||New Jersey|
|Sep 2-4||The International||Boston|
|Sep 16-18||Rich Harvest Farms||Chicago|
|Oct 7-9||Stonehill GC||Bangkok|
|Oct 14-16||Royal Greens GC||Jeddah|
Two-time major champion Norman is overseeing the event on behalf of his Saudi overlords, and he confirmed that invitations have been sent to 250 of the world’s leading players – despite the PGA Tour threatening to ban those that took up an invite.
The Aussie said:
“Our events are truly additive to the world of golf. We have done our best to create a schedule that allows players to play elsewhere, while still participating in our events.
“I believe players will increasingly make progress in achieving their right to play where they want. We will help in any way possible, and will provide golfers with opportunities to achieve their full potential.”
Who Will Play in the Saudi Golf League?
Will you sell your soul? That seems to be the burning question surrounding the Saudi Golf League.
Decades of golfing heritage could be flushed down the toilet if the new competition is a success, and will be proof once and for all that sport is up for sale to the highest bidder – regardless of the questionable morals of the financiers.
The Saudis have promised $250 million – £191 million – to those who compete in their league, and players will be getting more bang for their buck with the tournaments reduced from the standard 72 holes to 54.
Rory McIlroy is one of the most outspoken critics of the Saudi Golf League, and he definitely won’t be there. Bryson DeChambeau and Dustin Johnson, who have flirted with the idea of signing up, have since reneged, and Phil Mickelson was compelled to apologise for his comments about potentially joining.
However, some have insinuated they would be signing up. Jason Kokrak and Adam Scott are thought to be among that contingent, while Lee Westwood – who turns 50 next year – said it would be a ‘no brainer’ for him at this point of his career.