Spaniard Jon Rahm begins this weekend his new journey in LIV Golf, a circuit promoted by the Saudi Public Investment Fund that has up to twelve tournaments throughout the year spread around the world. and that will prevent Rahm from playing PGA Tour events.
Rahm will be able to compete in the big four of golf, the Masters, the PGA Championship, the Open Championship and the US Open, but his day-to-day life will be linked to this circuit, which, for a couple of years, has stood up to the competition. PGA Tour, the quintessential world golf circuit.
But what are the main differences between the PGA and LIV Golf?
Three days of competition and not four: From now on, Rahm will see his weeks of competition reduced by one day of golf. Just as on the PGA Tour the tournaments have four days, from Thursday to Sunday, with this competition the competition days are reduced to three, normally from Friday to Sunday, although in its first tournament in Mexico it will start on Thursday and end on Saturday.
54 holes, not 72
Being only three days, the players do not do four laps, but three. The 72 holes played on the PGA Tour become only 54 in the LIV, so the differences can be adjusted more than in a PGA tournament. In fact, the name of the competition was chosen for that very reason, because 54 in Roman numerals is ‘LIV’.
No cuts at the end of Friday
Rahm will also have to get used to the fact that the LIV Golf circuit does not have cuts. In the PGA, at the end of the day on Friday, the first 65 qualified golfers advance to the next day, but the rest go home. For its part, on this circuit everyone makes it to the weekend, regardless of whether they are further behind or ahead in the standings.
It is played individually… and by teams
In addition to the individual competition, LIV Golf offers another competition to add spectacle, such as the team event. Simultaneously with the individual results, there are 13 fixed teams with four golfers each who have their own logo, name and colors.
During the first two rounds, the two best scores of each team are used to add them to a general one and on the third day the result of a third player also counts to know the winning team of each event. Likewise, at the end of the season there is a great event called Teams Championship that is held only by teams.
No dress code
There are many PGA Tour tournaments that are very ‘purist’ when it comes to clothing. Some European tournaments do allow you to wear shorts or jeans, something that is not very common, but the normal thing is that in PGA events held in the United States you must wear long pants to play golf. However, this rule does not exist in the LIV, in which players can play in shorts or dressed as they see fit, taking into account, above all, the hot temperature of the tournaments held in the Arabian Peninsula.
Shorter days, because everyone leaves at the same time. Shotgun vs. tee time
On the American circuit, the days end up being quite long in terms of schedules because each group of three players has a tee time from the tee of hole number 1, normally between five and ten minutes later than the previous group. . This changes completely in the LIV, which has the so-called ‘shotgun’. On each hole, from 1 to 18, a player is waiting for the horn that indicates that it can be started. At that moment, eighteen players start, a minute later the other eighteen and then the last eighteen, which allows the day to barely last four or five hours.
Each tournament has a purse of 25 million dollars (20 million to be distributed in the individual tournament and 5 million per team tournament). The winner of a LIV Tour tournament pockets $4 million, while the members of each winning team take home $750,000. Likewise, the tournaments that close the season have a special purse, although the amount to be distributed in the 2024 team tournament has not yet been announced. However, in 2023 said event had a purse of 50 million dollars to be distributed among the winner and the first classified.
BY: Nadeem Faisal Baiga