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LIV Golf: Players, schedule and where to watch

The arrival of LIV Golf has made a massive splash in the golfing world, posing the biggest threat to the PGA TOUR in its history.

Household name golfers like Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau and Phil Mickelson all left the PGA TOUR for pastures new in hugely controversial moves.

But why is LIV controversial? 

Find out everything you need to know about LIV Golf below.

Who plays for LIV Golf?

The biggest names committed to LIV Golf include Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Phil Mickelson, Bryson DeChambeau, Cameron Smith, Sergio Garcia, Henrik Stenson, Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter, Branden Grace, Charles Howell III, Louis Oosthuizen, Charl Schwartzel, Matthew Wolff, Bubba Watson, Harold Varner III, Graeme McDowell, Paul Casey, Abraham Ancer and Marc Leishman, with the rest of the roster comprised of various professionals from a number of professional golf tours.

Where can I watch LIV Golf?

LIV Golf is available to watch on YouTube and DAZN in the United Kingdom. 

Are LIV golfers in the OWGR?

One of the biggest talking points around LIV and its players is their eligibility for ranking points, which will affect things like endorsement deals and ability to play in majors. 

One argument for LIV events being eligible for ranking points is their relative player strength. Their events will feature multiple majors winners, including the reigning Champion Golfer of the Year in Cameron Smith. However opponents of LIV being eligible for ranking points point to the fact that events are only 54 holes long, have vastly reduced fields compared to the PGA TOUR and DP World Tour, and there being no cut in their events.

As a result, the OWGR doesn't recognise LIV events, and their players are gradually sliding down the world rankings.

Can LIV Golf players play in the majors?

This is one of the primary points of contention for LIV golfers and may vary from major to major. Qualification for each major has different criteria, and qualifying for some tournaments will be harder than others.

For example, as a past champion, Dustin Johnson has a lifetime invitation to play at the Masters, as do Phil Mickelson, Sergio Garcia, Patrick Reed, Charl Schwartzel and Bubba Watson. Other players will qualify as being in the top 50 in the Official World Golf Rankings as of the end of 2022, such as Abraham Ancer, Louis Oosthuizen, Talor Gooch and Harold Varner III, but with LIV Golf events not eligible for ranking points, it may become harder for players to qualify to play at Augusta National.

The Open has not dissimilar qualification criteria that will become increasingly hard for LIV golfers to meet, with the PGA Championship and US Open also largely relying on ranking points. 

While it won't be easy for many golfers to qualify, it's worth noting that all four majors operate outside of the PGA TOUR, who shouldn't have much - if any - influence on who qualifies.

Can LIV Golf players play in the Ryder Cup?

Both the European and American sides have said that LIV golfers will not be eligible to play in the Ryder Cup.

Why is LIV Golf controversial?

Aside from being a breakaway tour, which appears to be weakening the PGA TOUR, LIV Golf is financially backed by Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund, a huge source of controversy, with critics suggesting the tour is merely a vehicle for sportswashing.

Who is Greg Norman?

A two-time Open champion (and seven-time major runner-up), Greg Norman has long advocated for change in golf, suggesting back in 1994 that a new World Golf Tour would usurp the PGA Tour the following year. In more recent years, he's spearheaded attempts to create a rival tour to the PGA TOUR, succeeding with LIV Golf.

Norman was irked by the fact he was contracted to play on a certain tour, when as an independent contractor, he should've been free to play wherever he wanted.

Norman is now the CEO of LIV Golf Investments, and acts frequently as the tour's mouthpiece.

Can LIV golfers play on the PGA TOUR?

No. The PGA TOUR refused to release players to play LIV events, and said that those who wished to do so must resign their PGA TOUR membership or face sanctions.

Can LIV golfers play on the DP World Tour?

At the moment, yes. Like the PGA TOUR, the DP World Tour requires requests from golfers for them to be released to play other events. When LIV hosted its first event in London, a number of players had release requests refused but played anyway, incurring sanctions. Those sanctions were appealed, with a hearing ongoing to decide whether LIV players can still play on the DP World Tour.

When's the next LIV Golf event?

The next LIV event takes place at El Camaleon at Mayakoba, 24-26 Feb.

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