9 Ways LIV Golf Is Different To The PGA Tour

9 Ways LIV Golf Is Different To The PGA Tour

2022 has been a year of upheaval and change in men’s professional golf with the emergence and establishment of the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Tour. A number of top-ranked players left the main tours to join the new organization, including Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson and even Open Champion Cam Smith, who made the move later in the year.

LIV Golf is a very lucrative circuit and the players who made the trip were handsomely paid to register. They also make big money at each of LIV Golf’s events through cash prizes. One of the selling points of the LIV Golf Tour is that it defies the golfing norm, it offers something new at the elite level, something different from the PGA Tour… But what exactly are the big differences?

54 holes

A fundamental difference between LIV Golf and the PGA Tour is that LIV events are played over only 54 holes. Strokeplay events on the PGA Tour are played over four rounds – 72 holes. Just like the events of the other major world tours and, of course, the Majors.

no cut

None of that pain with LIV

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LIV events have no cut. Players are not under stress. Everyone who starts a LIV event plays all three rounds. Regular PGA Tour strokeplay events feature a cut after 36 holes. The standard rule on the PGA Tour is that the players with the best 65 scores (plus ties) make the 36-hole cut and play the final two rounds. There are no cuts in the three FedEx Cup playoff events on the PGA Tour (FedEx St. Jude Championship, BMW Championship and Tour Championship).

Limited LIV fields

LIV Golf events feature a field of just 48 players. Depending on the time of year, regular PGA Tour events will feature a field of 132, 144 or 156 players. FedEx Cup Playoff events on the PGA Tour feature reduced fields – from 70 in the St Jude to just 30 for the Tour Championship.

The shotgun starts

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LIV golf events start using a shotgun tee – All players start at different tees on the course at the same time. PGA Tour events start from the 1st or 10th start in the first two rounds, then generally all players start from 1st in scoring order (leaders going last) for the final two rounds .

The shotgun start means rounds of LIV Golf are completed much faster, while each round of a PGA Tour event can last from dawn to dusk for everyone to finish.


Pat Perez celebrates another big check

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LIV Golf offers large payouts for all participants. LIV events carry a $25 million purse, of which $20 million counts toward individual competition. First place receives $4 million up to $120,000 for the player who finishes in last (48th) place. On the PGA Tour, only those who make the cut will receive prize money (although starting this year, PGA Tour members are guaranteed a $500,000 payout for the season.) Additionally, LIV is offering other cash prizes for the…

team element

Team Majesticks GC – Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood, Henrik Stenson and Sam Horsfield

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LIV Golf events also feature a team competition. There are 12 four-player teams in each event playing for a share of $5 million, including $3 million for the winning team, $1.5 million for the second-placed team and $500,000 for the winner. team finishing third. There is also a Season Ending Tag Team Championship where all teams receive a pay day – $16 million for the winning team, up to $1 million for the last (12th) place team . The PGA Tour has no team element… Except of course the Ryder Cup and Presidents Cups – events for which LIV players are not eligible.

Path to participation

Bo Hoag calls out his wife after winning the final round of the Korn Ferry Tour qualifying tournament

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The PGA Tour has a clear path to participation – Feeder Tours allow players to climb the ranks and earn their PGA Tour status. The events also feature Monday qualifiers giving others a chance to play their way. LIV Golf includes 48 players, who have been registered. The Tour claims there is a path through its international series, but it hardly compares to the PGA Tour where players actually earn their place rather than have their agents negotiate it.

Number of events

LIV Golf has 14 events scheduled in 2023, including the season-ending team championship in Jeddah from November 3-5. In contrast, the PGA Tour for the 2022/23 wrap-up season features 47 events and that includes all major tournaments and golf world championships. These are the events that earn the most World Ranking Points. Which brings us to…

World Ranking Points

The 150th Open at St Andrews

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PGA Tour events offer Official World Golf Ranking points, which means Tour members can earn points in every tournament they play on the tour. The higher they climb in the rankings, the more likely they are to meet the qualification criteria to play in major championships like the Open Championship. LIV Golf events do not currently award any World Ranking Points. LIV players have seen their global ranking drop as they strive to include other events in their schedules where ranking points are available.

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