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Mexico beckons Poulter, Westwood and co throwing LIV Golf in question

Which lineup do you support? four aces of Dustin Johnson Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter’s Majesticks? Cameron Smith, the winner of the Open, leads Ripper GC. Or is it one of the other nine groups competing in the LIV Golf League under a new name?

The new season of LIV, which begins on Friday in Mexico, may not interest you at all.

It could be problematic for the Saudi Arabian-funded start-up if it turns out to be the case globally.

The circuit will have 14 events this year, earning a total of $405 million (£335 million), up from eight tournaments in its inaugural 2022 season.

The team competition, which is important for LIV’s future, will be given more attention. The 48 players fight individually for $20 million (£16.5 million) purses at each event, although they continue to be a part of twelve four-man teams.

These 12 organizations are seen by LIV as potential investment targets that could eventually yield a return on the roughly $2 billion (£1.65 billion) that Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund has already invested (PIF).

LIV anticipates that the player-branded apparel will become a must-have for devoted followers.

According to Greg Norman, CEO of the LIV Golf League, team sports are the most popular in the globe.

“And our league concept has already started to establish relationships with new audiences all over the world.

“Major champions, current and potential Hall of Famers, and up-and-coming players are all committed to building this new platform for world-class competition as the sport evolves for the next generation.”

It is a strategy designed to entice wealthy backers who could ultimately offer the justification for PIF’s significant commitment.

This is based on the Indian Premier League of cricket, can you not get away from that? Andrew “Chubby” Chandler, a former agent and promoter, spoke to BBC Sport.

Every IPL franchise is owned by a well-known, wealthy individual. I believe that’s where it needs to go if it’s going to prosper, and that’s where the value lies.

The 2018 campaign has resumed following a turbulent close season in which the PGA Tour devised a schedule of special tournaments with average purses of $20 million (£16.5 million) to appease their greatest stars.

In contrast, several officials from LIV left their positions, including the chief operating officer Atul Khosla, director of franchises Matt Goodman, and chief of communications Jonathan Grella.

Before to the commencement of the 2017 season at El Camaleon in Mayakoba, Khosla predicted that there would be additional additions from the top 20 in the globe, as well as significant television and sponsorship deals.

The newcomers, however, come from a lower social class. South Americans Mito Pereira and Sebastian Munoz are ranked 50 and 98 in the world, respectively. Americans Brendan Steele and Danny Lee are ranked 124 and 267, respectively. South African Dean Burmester is ranked 63. And Belgian Thomas Pieters is ranked 35.

The four major tournament organizers, who will next gather at the Masters in April, will take this into consideration because without LIV events earning ranking points, all of their rankings would fall.

The year is significant for LIV, Chandler continued. The PGA Tour has made significant efforts to advance; now LIV needs to discover a few gems, and Pieters doesn’t quite meet the mark.

They must continue expanding their roster, otherwise it will get quite monotonous. Several things are dependent on what they accomplish this year. This team thing needs to be made more engaging.

Pieters has been added due to a long-term injury to American Hudson Swafford, while Laurie Canter of England, who was released for this season, will start early in place of the injured Martin Kaymer.

LIV definitely surpassed expectations by signing notable champions like Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Patrick Reed, and Bryson DeChambeau for the 2022 season. They are individuals that would have been contending for spots on the US Ryder Cup squad for this year.

The substantial contracts that players like Phil Mickelson, Henrik Stenson, Graeme McDowell, Paul Casey, Poulter, and Westwood secured were even the more justifiable considering their comparatively older ages.

But will the American CW channel, which has been compared to the UK’s “Dave,” draw in sizable viewers with this lineup?

Because it is a revenue-sharing agreement rather than a rights agreement, golf fans in the US will have to select their sport from an unfamiliar location on the remote control pad.

Although further television arrangements are anticipated, it is yet unclear how LIV may be watched in other countries, including the UK.

EasyPost has been named the official shipping solutions partner of LIV Golf, according to a first sponsorship deal that has been disclosed.

We are eager to support their novel approach to golf since it will appeal to a wider audience of fans, says EasyPost CEO Sam Hancock.

This is a common story, and it centers on LIV’s success in reaching a new, younger audience. Exists something like that, and if so, is it being used already?

The recent, boisterous WM Open in Phoenix seemed to be where it was.

The PGA Tour and the Middle East leg of the DP World Tour have seen exciting action thus far this year, with some of the greatest names taking part in nail-biting finishes. We must devise a strategy for contending with the strengthened status quo.

In the end, Chandler remarked, “The public will decide.” They will either watch on TV or not, and they will either attend the competitions or not.

“LIV must become stronger to continue; it cannot remain unchanged indefinitely or it will vanish in two or three years.”

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