LIV Golf may be winding down its inaugural season next week at Trump National Doral, but in reality, the controversial tour is just getting started.
LIV’s final event will be held Oct. 28-30, a three-day extravaganza on the Blue Monster that will determine the series’ season-long team champion and include a $50 million purse, double the prize money for each of the first seven events. The winning team will split $16 million and all 12 teams receive prize money.
Former President Donald Trump will play in the Pro-Am — closed to the public — on Oct. 27.
LIV, financed by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, will be rebranded as the LIV Golf League next year and include 14 events. The league will stick to its 54-hole, no-cut format.
The most recent event in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, won by Brooks Koepka, determined the season-long individual champion.
Dustin Johnson captured the $18 million bonus by claiming the individual title, followed by Branden Grace ($8 million bonus) and Peter Uihlein ($4 million bonus). All three reside in Jupiter.
Uihlein, 33, has pocketed more than $11.3 million in prize money and bonuses. He made just more than $4 million since joining the PGA Tour in 2011.
“Just a lot happier out here than I have been the last five years playing on Tour,” Uihlein said following the final round of the event in Saudi Arabia in which he lost to Koepka in a playoff.
“The team aspect of it I like. I was never really a fan of the lone wolf kind of thing that we had to do. But being a part of the team, practicing, hanging out, kind of like college. It resonates with me and sticks with me. I really like it.”
Each event in the LIV series included 12 four-man teams. Those teams will be seeded for Doral based on their finish at the first seven events.
Dustin Johnson’s team leads LIV standings heading into finale
4 Aces, captained by Johnson and including Patrick Reed, Talor Gooch and Pat Perez, leads the team standings with 152 points. Johnson’s team has won four of the seven events.
Crushers captain Bryson DeChambeau leads a team that includes Anirban Lahiri of Palm Beach Gardens, Paul Casey and Charles Howell III. They are second with 96 points and have three runner-up finishes and a third place in seven events.
Fireballs is third with 93 points and includes captain Sergio Garcia along with Carlos Ortiz, Abraham Ancer and Eugenio Chacarra.
The all-South African Stinger team captained by Louis Oosthuizen and including Jupiter’s Branden Grace, Palm Beach Gardens’ Charl Schwartzel and Hennie Du Plessis, is fourth.
Smash, captained by Brooks Koepka, is fifth with 62 points after winning the team competition at Jeddah. Koepka’s team includes Uihlein, his brother Chase Koepka of West Palm Beach and Jason Kokrak.
“We’re excited for Miami,” said Brooks Koepka, who finished eighth in the season-long individual standings. “I think everyone is playing really well and that’s what we need.”
Top four seeds get first-day bye
The top four seeds receive a bye at Doral and the 5th through 12th seeds will compete in head-to-head match-play competitions on Friday, Oct. 28. For each head-to-head team match-up, three matches will take place: two singles matches and one alternate-shot foursomes match.
The four winners from Friday will join the top four seeds for the same format Saturday. Four teams earning two points will advance to Sunday’s team championship.
All 16 players will compete in twosomes Sunday, with team captains playing together. All four scores count towards the team’s score and the team with the lowest score is the LIV Golf Invitational Series Team Champion.
With no individual component for the Doral event, the only players on the course each day will be those from the teams scheduled to compete.
Following the $16 million first-place prize, the runner-up team will split $10 million, third place receives $8 million and fourth place takes home $4 million. The next four teams each split $2 million and the final four teams each split $1 million.
When the winning team is crowned, the season will end with LIV having awarded $225 million in prize money, plus another $30 million in bonuses.
That does not include around $1 billion in signing bonuses handed out by CEO Greg Norman and paid in yearly installments.
The Doral event begins Friday, Oct. 28 and runs through Sunday, Oct. 30 with the shotgun start each day at 12:15 a.m. Gates and fan village open at 9 a.m. each day starting Friday.
Source: Golf Week