The LIV Golf International Series is here and players got off to a shotgun start at 9:15am ET (2:15pm local time) to begin the controversial new tour. We’ll have live updates throughout day one, so check back for more highlights, news and analysis from day one of LIV Golf.
What the LIV broadcast looks and sounds like
As with any new league, there was much curiosity as to where and how LIV Golf would be broadcast.
For the opener outside of London, LIV Golf will be broadcast on their own website, YouTube and Facebook. And it looks like… a golf tournament.
The presentation includes a constantly updated leaderboard on the left side of the screen with players and their team logos. The top left shows the number of holes remaining, since a shotgun start will have all players finish at about the same time.
American golf fans who complain about shows with too many commercial breaks take note – the new series has no sponsorship commitments this week, meaning no commercials. During the opening round broadcast, there were virtually no features or other segments to take away from the Golf.
As for commentary, the main stand has longtime Premier League football broadcaster Arlo White, who is English, along with American Jerry Foltz, most recently Golf Channel, and Hong Kong-born Dom Boulet, voice of the Asian Tour.
Dustin double bogeys the 7th hole
Not everyone smiles at the Centurion Club. On the seventh par-4, Dustin Johnson blew his drive wide to the right and threw his tee in disgust.
He double bogeyed the hole to drop from 1 under to 1 over in the round and finished tied 15th in the event.
Johnson plays alongside Phil Mickelson – LIV Golf have brought their two biggest names together and started them on the 1st tee – and Mickelson is also 1 over in his first professional golf since the Saudi International in early February.
This is how the team format works
One of LIV Golf’s key selling points is its four-man team format. With 12 holes remaining on the round – as LIV tracks time after shotgun start – the Crushers GC team led by 4 under.
Phachara Khongwatmai of Thailand was 4 under, leading the Crushers and the entire event.
The team score is calculated from a team’s two best results in the first two rounds and the three best results in the third and last round.
The top three teams will receive shares of a $5 million prize pool, with $3 million for first place, $1.5 million for second place and $500,000 for third place split between the four players will. So theoretically, a player could have a bad event but get three good teammates and a nice payday.
So what are they wearing?
If you just tune in, you’ll find that most of the players don’t look any different than they do in other tournaments. Dustin Johnson and Sergio Garcia, for example, are in their usual threads with the Adidas logo; Garcia with an Adidas cap and Johnson with a TaylorMade logo cap.
Players’ LIV golf teams are represented by the caddies, who wear team names and logos on their vests.
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As for Phil Mickelson, who has lost sponsors after his comments in February about the “insufferable greed” of the PGA Tour and the Saudi-backed league, he’s sporting a black hat with his own Spring Phil logo and a black vest the Augusta National Golf Club logo.
Play begins at the LIV Golf Opener
Dustin Johnson’s opening shot was shown live on the show and he shared the fairway. Phil Mickelson is grouped with DJ, and he also hit the fairway with his opening shot on #1. And so begins a new league of golf.
The broadcast is live
In the webcast’s opening moments, Greg Norman enters the booth and says, “I’m excited to give golf a free hand. The starting shot is only a few moments away.
A ride to the shotgun start
As anyone who’s ever played at a charity golf tournament or a major event at their local club knows, hauling for a shotgun launch is controlled chaos. It usually entails an army of golf carts all launched at once from the clubhouse.
LIV Golf went a step further and snagged a fleet of London Black Cabs to transport players around Centurion Club.
LIV Golf also released a hype video on Thursday narrated by Dennis Quaid.
Tee times and groupings for Day 1 at LIV Golf
Here are the Day 1 groups, along with the new team names. At the shotgun start, everyone tees off at the same time:
- hole 1 Dustin Johnson – 4 Aces GC Scott Vincent – Smash GC Phil Mickelson – Hy Flyers GC
- hole 2 Sergio Garcia – Fireballs GC Talor Gooch – Torque GC Pablo Larrazabal – Cleeks GC
- hole 3 Charl Schwarzel – Stinger GC Graeme McDowell – Crushers GC Wade Ormsby – Punch GC
- hole 4 Sam Horsfield – Majesticks GC Sadom Kaewkanjana – Iron Heads GC Andy Ogletree – Torque GC
- hole 5 Richard Bland – Crushers GC Ratchanon Chantananuwat (a) – Hy Flyers GC Ryosuke Kinoshita – Punch GC
- hole 6 Jediah Morgan – Fireballs GC Ian Snyman – Cleeks GC Oliver Fisher – Niblicks GC
- hole 7 Chase Koepka – Hy Flyers GC Turk Pettit – Niblicks GC Kevin Yuan – 4 aces GC
- hole 8 Itthipat Buranatanyarat – Smash GC Hennie Du Plessis – Stinger GC James Piot (a) – Fireballs GC
- hole 10 Jinichiro Kozuma – Smash GC Phachara Khongwatmai – Crushers GC JC Ritchie – Cleeks GC
- hole 12 David Puig (a) – Fireballs GC Oliver Bekker – 4 Aces GC Viraj Madappa – Iron Heads GC
- hole 13 Peter Uihlein – Niblicks GC Adrian Otaegui – Torque GC Blake Windred – Punch GC
- hole 14 Laurie Canter – Majesticks GC Martin Kaymer – Cleeks GC Hudson Swafford – Torque GC
- hole 15 Shaun Norris – 4 Aces GC Travis Smyth – Crushers GC Hideto Tanihara – Iron Heads GC
- hole 16 Branden Grace – Stinger GC Sihwan Kim – Smash GC Matt Jones – Punch GC
- hole 17 Lee Westwood – Majesticks GC Bernd Wiesberger – Niblicks GC Justin Harding – Hy Flyers GC
- hole 18 Louis Oosthuizen – Stinger GC Kevin Na – Iron Heads GC Ian Poulter – Majesticks GC
What is the LIV Golf 2022 calendar?
LIV Golf is debuting in London, with seven more events scheduled to take place across the US and abroad before the end of the year. Here’s the full lineup:
- 9th-11th June, Centurion Club, Hemel Hempstead, St Albans
- June 30-July 2, Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club, North Plains, Ore.
- 29-31 July. Trump National Golf Club, Bedminster, NJ
- 2nd-4th Sept., The International, Bolton, Mass.
- 16-18 Sept., Rich Harvest Farms, Sugar Grove, Illinois.
- 7th-9th October, Stonehill Golf Club, Bangkok
- 14-16 October, Royal Greens Golf Club, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
- 28-30 October, Trump National Doral, Miami
Show me the money!!
In case the broadcast didn’t quite make it clear what players are fighting over this week, here’s a quick rundown.
Of the 12 participating teams, only the top three will receive a share of the $5 million prize pool – first place shares $3 million ($750,000 per player) and second place $1.5 million ($375,000 per player) and third place earns $500,000 ($125,000 per player). Player).
Individually, $4 million goes to the winner, followed by $2.125 million (runner-up), $1.5 million (third), and $1.05 million (fourth). Further down, 12th earns $450,000, 24th earns $168,000 and last earns $120,000.
At best, a player could earn $4.75 million on Saturday night. At worst, a player will call, well, $120,000.