Saudi-backed LIV Golf Invitational to tee off in London in June

Greg Norman (Photo by Oisin Keniry/Getty Images)

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The Greg Norman led, Saudi-backed Super Golf League lives on with news that an eight tournament schedule, each boasting $25 million in prize money, will tee off in London in June.

It remains unclear who will compete in the newly-named LIV Golf Invitational but with 54-hole, no-cut shotgun start events splitting $20 million to the individual prize pool and $5 million for a team element, there’ll likely be no shortage of takers, despite a number of the game’s best players pledging their loyalty to golf’s established tours in recent weeks.

LIV Golf Investments will commit $400 million in total to launch the league with $250 million in prize money, including a bumper $30 million pot for the season-ending event.

That said, Norman’s recruitment drive continues apace with letters sent to over 250 players inviting them to compete, though not demanding that they commit to all eight events.

“Will they all come in the beginning? Heck no,” said a realistic Norman. “We understand that. But they have to determine for themselves as independent contractors that they can play both and do both. This is 100 percent additive. There is nothing wrong with playing both tours. I encourage them to do that.’’

Norman may say there’s nothing wrong with playing both tours but PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan has already made it clear that players will be banned from the PGA Tour for defecting. The DP World Tour seems to have followed suit but with names like McIlroy, Rahm, Woods and Morikawa all committing to golf’s status quo already, it’s hard to envisage a deep talent pool participating in this summer’s series.

That said, Phil Mickelson’s relationship with the PGA Tour sits fraught at best after he slammed the “obnoxious greed” he’s been subjected to throughout his career. The six-time Major winner might be on hiatus but Norman is convinced that a comeback is on the cards for Lefty, and it may yet happen at the opening event of the LIV Golf Invitational set for Centurion Club in London from June 9-11 – the week prior to the US Open.

“From player to player, that’s how I’ll answer this: Phil will be back,’’ Norman said. “He’s been great for the game of golf. He’s got a fan base that is incredible. He’s done things that other players wish they could emulate. I wish him nothing but success.

“We all make mistakes. We all screw up and say stupid things we didn’t want to say. As soon as he gets things sorted out, we will welcome him whenever he wants to come back.’’

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