The upstart LIV tour has quickly become a thorn in the side of the PGA. The LIV tour has lured 20 of the top 100 players in the world, including nine major champions, to the tour with massive signing bonuses and guaranteed money for playing in events for all golfers.
Exactly how much money are LIV tour tournaments compared to PGA events?
The Tell Me More Golf team will look at who the LIV Tour is, the format of its events, and the differences in payouts between the LIV Tour and the PGA Tour events.
What is the LIV Tour?
The LIV tour is backed financially by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, and Greg Norman is the league’s CEO. The LinkedIn page for LIV Golf Investments says that the company’s headquarters are in London, England.
The correct pronunciation of LIV is liv as “live and let die” and is not an acronym. However, LIV is also Roman numerals for 54, and each event has 54 holes, leading to some people calling it the 54 tour.
According to the LIV website, its mission is “to modernize and supercharge the game of professional golf through expanded opportunities for both players and fans alike.”
LIV Event vs. PGA Tour Event
The LIV tour’s events are different from their PGA counterparts. A standard, stroke-play PGA event is 72 holes played over four days, and they typically have a cut after the second round. LIV’s events have a distinctly different format.
The inaugural event, the London Invitational, held on June 9-11, 2022, was won by Charl Schwartzel at -7. His 4-person team, Stinger GC, also won the team segment of the event.
LIV Event Payouts
2022 LIV events will all have a purse of $25 million per event. Of the $25 million, $20 goes to individual golfers per event, and $5 million goes to team payouts. There are no cuts in LIV events, so players who play in the event will get a paycheck.
According to an article in Forbes, the LIV Tour has secured $2 billion in funding from Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund.
There is also a Team Championship held on the 8th and final event of the LIV season that will have a $50 million purse.
Here’s a quick look at what the LIV tour pays out per event:
Charl Schwartzel won $4 million for winning the event, plus $750 thousand for his team, winning a record $4.75 million overall. Andy Ogletree, who finished dead last at +24, took home $120 thousand.
LIV Payouts vs. PGA Tour Payouts
Every LIV tour event this season will pay more than any event on the PGA Tour. The Players Championship, held in March, has the largest total purse for a PGA Tour event at $3.6 million.
LIV vs. PGA Tour Events:
PGA Tour purses have climbed to record levels recently, but they pale compared to the LIV tour purses.
Minimum Payout for Players Who Make the Cut
The Players Championship
The PGA Championship
The Memorial Tournament
The Arnold Palmer Invitational
WGC Match Play
Every LIV event has a larger purse, winner’s payout, and larger minimum payout for players who play in their events.
PGA Player Impact Program and the FedEx Cup Playoffs
The PGA Tour has introduced the Player Impact Program, which paid out $40 million to the players who finished in the Top 10. Tiger Woods came in first in 2021 and received an $8 million bonus.
The Player Impact Program Criteria:
TV Sponsor Exposure
The FedEx Cup Playoffs
The FedEx Cup Playoffs have a total of $75 million in bonuses that players will compete for over three events. In addition, the winner of the FedEx Cup will take home an $18 million purse.
Until recently, the PGA Tour has been the standard by which all other professional golf tours were measured.
Now the LIV tour has upped the financial stakes and, in doing so, has lured some of the biggest names in golf, including Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, and Bryson Dechambeau.
Even without the proposed bonus money players have accepted to go over to the LIV Tour, each LIV event has a larger purse than any event on the PGA Tour. With no cuts, a player will walk away with a minimum of $120 thousand.
Is the LIV Tour sustainable without lucrative television and advertising revenue? How will the PGA Tour react to losing some of its biggest names?
We’ll find out in the coming months as the LIV Tour, and the race to the FedEx Cup Playoffs heat up. One thing is sure, the landscape of international professional golf is much different than it was just a few months ago.