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Can the LIV International Series and the PGA Tour coexist and compete against each other?

The LIV International Series, while controversial, could bring a breath of fresh air to a sport seen by many as slow, boring and out of touch with today’s fans.

Joseph McMahon
Joseph McMahon
The LIV International Series, while controversial, could bring a breath of fresh air to a sport seen by many as slow, boring and out of touch with today’s fans. (Photo by Luke Walker/LIV Golf/Getty Images)
Luke Walker/LIV GolfGetty

The PGA Tour’s monopoly on pro golf has come to an end, which is exactly what many players have been calling for. Phil Mickelson has made his discontent with the PGA clear on many occasions as well as his desire to try playing outside of the PGA. “And it is the tour’s obnoxious greed that has really opened the door for opportunities elsewhere,” he said. The opportunity has materialized and several top players have left the PGA for the new LIV International Series.

Competition in other professional sports

Other professional sports leagues have seen competition come and go over the years. One of the most well-known episodes was the United States Football League, a professional American football league that lasted three seasons, from 1983 to 1985. Other sports such as ice hockey, baseball, cricket, rugby, soccer, etc. have seen their main professional leagues threatened by up-and-comers, but to no avail.

So, from a historical perspective, things don’t look too bright for the LIV International Series. Nevertheless, this is 2022 and the LIV has come up with some interesting changes that could find a niche in younger audiences and online viewers. The first tournament in London will be broadcast on LIV’s website and on YouTube, making it much easier and cheaper for fans to tune in all over the world.

“This is the beginning of something very cool for the golf world”

The team format has raised eyebrows and caught everyone’s attention. “To be able to be part of a four-man team and go out there and know it’s not just for yourself – it means you guys do well as a team this week as well. I think that’s exciting. It’s a pity that we don’t have more golf events like that all over the world,” said South African golfer, Louis Oosthuizen. Players and team captains took part in a draft on Tuesday to set up the 12 teams for three days of play, another novelty for this new tour.

Shotgun start

Play will begin at 9 a.m. ET. Players will tee off at the same time in threesomes on 16 of the 18 holes. This change in play format means that everyone begins and ends at the same time, which will make for exciting TV coverage and players won’t benefit or be at a disadvantage for teeing off in the morning or afternoon. “I was excited about a new format .. a new kind of golf that I think is great for the game. It’s great for the fans. I think it’s going to be very exciting,” Dustin Johnson said.

Players will be taken to their starting holes in London black cabs while fans enjoy an air show featuring The Blades aerobatic team and warbirds before play begins. Dustin Johnson reiterated his agreement with the new format, “I definitely like the shotgun start. It’s great for TV. It’s great for the players.”

Novelty in play, variety in players

While the field in London is limited to 48 players, there is a wide variety of profiles that should make watching the tournament interesting for fans all over the world. Players from 12 nationalities will be competing in the LIV inaugural tournament with ages ranging from 15 (Rachanon “TK” Chantananuwat) to 51 (Phil Mickelson).

When the LIV International Golf Tour comes to an end in October, we will have a better idea of whether or not it has a chance to continue in 2023. It will be interesting to see how many other PGA Tour players decided to compete for the big cash prizes on the new tour in detriment to the prestige of playing in major tournaments and competing in the 2023 Ryder Cup.

Competition is good, they say. We’ll know in October if they were right.