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Explaining Saudi-backed league’s promotion, relegation plans

Explaining Saudi-backed league’s promotion, relegation plans

LIV Golf was a disruptor in its first year. Now it wants to be an innovator.

Whether you believe it or not, LIV wants to be additive to the professional golf scene and provide fans with a different form of entertainment. It certainly does the latter with its no-cut, shotgun-start events that offer music playing throughout the round and countless activities in its fan village in addition to the on-course product. At times, the festival-like atmosphere makes you forget you’re at a golf tournament.

The upstart circuit has lofty goals of a business model that would eventually be similar to that of the other major team sports in the United States, such as the NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL, and officials hope that franchising teams will create a revenue stream that the league solely funded by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund currently doesn’t possess (aside from its first global partner).

When it comes to the league format, those plans are more European than American, especially with its new promotion and relegation system. LIV views open competition not only as a cornerstone of its evolving product, but also as a way to legitimize its place in the professional golf landscape.

Starting later this year, the LIV Golf Promotions Event will help to ensure there are open player pathways for golfers to join the LIV Golf League in 2024.

Here’s how it all works.

The season-long points list that ultimately decides the individual champion – Dustin Johnson in 2022 – will also double as a way for players to earn their spot for the next season. Players who finish Nos. 1-24 at each event during the regular season earn a massive payday as well as points: 40 points for the winner all the way down to just one for the 24th-place finisher. After the 13 regular-season tournaments, those who finish inside the top 24 for the year will keep their status for the following season. Simple enough.

On top of that, the player who tops the money list on the Asian Tour’s International Series will automatically earn a spot for the next season. Scott Vincent earned his 2023 LIV status this way via the International Series in 2022.

Players who signed multi-year contracts – Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson, Bryson DeChambeau, etc. – will also be safe from relegation until their contract is up. Think of a contract like a PGA Tour or major championship exemption. In LIV’s case, it’s for the full league season, not just one event.

On the PGA Tour, players can…


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