With a tumultuous build-up and a succession of frequently jarring pre-tournament media engagements all but done, the LIV Golf Invitational Series will tee off at the Centurion Club in Hertfordshire.
Former world number one Dustin Johnson and Phil Mickelson are among the leading lights taking part in the competition, which is not being recognised by the Official World Golf Rankings (OWGR).
Major winners Martin Kaymer, Graeme McDowell and Louis Oosthuizen are also involved, along with European Ryder Cup stars Sergio Garcia, Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood.
Johnson is the only player currently ranked inside the world top 20 taking part – Oosthuizen slipped to 21st this week – but intrigue remains significant around the Saudi-backed project that organisers are billing as “golf, but louder”.
So, what accounts for this volume alteration other than the well-documented vast wads of cash? Here, we run through the inaugural LIV Golf schedule and format, along with the prize money on offer.
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What is the schedule for the LIV Golf Invitational Series?
This week’s opener is the first of eight events, spanning four countries and running until the team championship finale at Trump National Doral, Miami in October this year.
|1||Centurion Club||Hertfordshire, England||June 9-11|
|2||Pumpkin Ridge||Portland, Oregon||June 30 – July 2|
|3||Trump National Golf Club Bedminster||Bedminster, New Jersey||July 29-31|
|4||The International||Boston, Massachusetts||September 2-4|
|5||Rich Harvest Farms||Chicago, Illinois||September 16-18|
|6||Stonehill||Bangkok, Thailand||October 7-9|
|7||Royal Greens Golf & Country Club||Jeddah, Saudi Arabia||October 14-16|
|8||Trump National Golf Club Doral||Miami, Florida||October 27-30|
LIV Golf format explained
The LIV Golf Invitational Series features two competitions that will take place concurrently: an individual event and a team event.
The first seven events will take place over the course of LIV Golf’s four-month regular season. The eighth event will be the team championship in late October in Miami, where teams compete against one another in a matchplay format for the LIV Golf team trophy.
The first seven LIV events will have an individual competition, where each golfer will compete in a strokeplay format over the course of 54 holes, as opposed to the standard 72-hole tour events.
There are no cuts and the golfer with the lowest score after 54 holes will be declared the winner. The events will feature shotgun starts – each player starting at the same time but at a different hole, as opposed to consecutive playing groups starting one after the other at the first.
On each day of the opening competition at Centurion Club, the golfers will make their shotgun starts at 14:00 BST. The trophy presentation is scheduled for 18:30 BST on Sunday, highlighting the compressed playing time that the shotgun format allows.
Each event will feature 12 teams made up of four golfers each, with LIV Golf appointing a captain to lead each team. Those captains will then select the other three players for their teams in a snake draft format each week, as was the case for the opener in London.
Captains will also select the lineup for each week. Each team will have its own logo, name and colours.
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During the first two rounds, each team’s best two scores will be used to decide where they rank. That number rises to three in the third and final round.
The team championship in Miami will be a four-day, four-round match-play knockout bracket.
LIV Golf prize money
Each regular-season event features a $25 million purse (£20 million), with $20 million to be split over the 48 golfers taking part. The winner stands to make $4 million, with the player bringing up the rear in the no-cut format having the consolation of pocketing $120,000.
The remaining $5 million will go to the top three teams, with $3 million, $1.5 million and $500,000 covering the respective podium positions.
At the end of the individual events, players who have participated in at least four will divide a $30 million bonus pool. The individual champion will net $18 million, the second-place golfer $8 million, and the third-place $4 million.
The winning team after the season finale will receive $16 million, with the group in last place still able to split $1 million in tournament earnings.