April 15, 2024

LIV Golf Announces Format for Team Championship at Doral

 LIV Golf Announces Format for Team Championship at Doral

SUGAR GROVE, ILLINOIS – SEPTEMBER 18: Team Captain Dustin Johnson of 4 Aces GC celebrates with teammates Pat Perez, Talor Gooch, and Patrick Reed after winning the team title during Day Three of the LIV Golf Invitational – Chicago at Rich Harvest Farms on September 18, 2022 in Sugar Grove, Illinois. (Photo by Chris Trotman/LIV Golf via Getty Images)

LIV Golf has announced the format for its final event of 2022, the team championship to be held in late October at Trump Doral near Miami.

Twelve teams of four LIV players will compete for a $50 million prize pool over three days in a mixture of singles match play, two-man foursomes (alternate shot) match play, and team stroke play among the final four teams to decide the winners.

Although the prize pool is set, the exact membership of each team is far less certain. Players have frequently moved on to, off of, and between teams in LIV’s inaugural season, which has been a trial run for many of the new formats and concepts the nascent league has implemented. The tournaments this year have been labeled “invitationals,” while league officials promise true league play, with permanent rosters will commence in 2023, when a 14-event season is planned.
This year, all 12 teams will field rosters of four players, but only the bottom eight in the season-long points standings will compete on day 1 to reach the semifinals. Play will consist of three head-to-head team matches: one foursomes match, and two singles matches, in which each team’s captain will compete. The first team to collect two points will be the match winner, and no ties or half points will be awarded.

The second day of play will feature the same format, but on Day 3, the final four teams will compete in stroke play, with the winning team receiving $16 million in total, or $4 million each. Second and third place teams will receive $10 million and $8 million respectively.

The tournament will be held at the Blue Monster course at Trump National Doral. The Dick Wilson design has hosted dozens of PGA Tour events dating back to the first Doral Open in 1962. From 2007 to 2016 it hosted the WGC-Cadillac Championship. Former-President Donald Trump purchased the property out of bankruptcy for $150 million in 2012.

In a statement released by the tour, LIV Golf Commissioner Greg Norman said, “I’m looking forward to this monumental event that will harness the beloved traits of team golf and head-to-head rivalries in a historic setting.”

Although the makeup of many of the teams has shifted throughout LIV’s first season, the leading team has had a steady roster recently. The 4 Aces, made up of Dustin Johnson, Talor Gooch, Patrick Reed, and Pat Perez, have won the last four LIV events, earning $12 million combined in the process. The team’s 136 points far outpaces the second-place team in the standings, the all-South African Stinger GC, which includes Charl Schwartzel, Louis Oosthuizen,  and Branden Grace. Stinger GC has featured Shaun Norris as its fourth for the past two events.

The Majesticks GC, currently featuring Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter, Henrik Stenson and Sam Horsfield are in third with 57 points.

LIV Golf officials previously announced plans for a four-day team championship, and indicated that all play would be in a match play format. But according to a report by Sports Illustrated’s Bob Harig, a deal for the right to U.S. television broadcasts of LIV golf is imminent, and a potential media partner influenced the decision to move to a three-day event with a stroke play final day.

The first five LIV Golf tournaments have been available for U.S. viewing only by streaming on YouTube or LIV Golf’s website.

Be sure to check back with The Golf Spectator for more LIV Golf news.

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