The LIV Golf Invitational Series will "transition to the LIV Golf League beginning in 2023, one year ahead of schedule," according to Bob Harig of MORNING READ. A LIV Golf official said that the "success of the initial events and the fact that there is demand for the 48 player spots prompted the move to a league concept that will have 12 set four-man teams and captains who are allowed to recruit them." The original idea was to "begin the league this year, but due to considerable pushback in the spring and several players backing out, LIV Golf was forced to pivot to a more modest plan for 2022." Now, LIV Golf will "unveil a 14-tournament schedule for 2023 that is expected to begin in March." No dates or tournament sites "are official, but LIV Golf is expected to go back to the Centurion Club as well as Trump Bedminster and Trump Doral, which are on this year’s schedule." It is "possible that the league could also go to places such as Mexico and Australia" (SI.com, 6/30). In West Palm Beach, Tom D'Angelo notes the fields for this year's eight events have been more "fluid as more players defect from the PGA Tour" (PALM BEACH POST, 7/1).
FRANCHISE MODEL TAKING SHAPE: GOLF DIGEST's Dan Rapaport noted LIV officials "view the franchise model -- eventually selling them -- as crucial to their business model and the sustainability of the product." Despite some "belief that the Saudis' Public Investment Fund has given LIV a blank check and that the league does not need to make money to persist, officials have maintained that the PIF's goal with LIV is profit and that the league will survive only if there is return on investment" (GOLFDIGEST.com, 6/30).
FOLLOW THE MONEY: GOLFWEEK's Eamon Lynch wrote seen through a "clear business lens," the current LIV Golf players "would be classified not as assets but as liabilities, their peaks long past and their popularity severely diminished." But their "pragmatic value bears no relation to their price when Norman is writing checks on MBS’s account." It is "proving awfully expensive to bankroll the bruised egos of Norman and Yasir Al-Rumayyan, the head of the PIF, who has bristled at the refusal of the PGA and DP World tours to indulge him." A "threadbare piece of armchair analysis says the Saudis have a bottomless purse and can finance Norman’s folly in perpetuity." Lynch: "That’s true, at a surface level. They can, but will they?" (GOLFWEEK.com, 6/30).
ZALATORIS STICKING WITH PGA TOUR: GOLFWEEK's Riley Hamel noted Will Zalatoris "made it clear" on Thursday that he would not be joining LIV Golf, as the PGA Championship and U.S. Open runner-up "announced his allegiance" to both the PGA Tour and DP World Tour. In a social media post, he wrote, "I love where the PGA Tour and the DP World Tour and their associated tours are headed" (GOLFWEEK.com, 6/30). In May, Zalatoris stated that he "backed commissioner Jay Monahan’s decision to deny conflicting-event releases for LIV Golf’s inaugural event in London." He said at the time, “It’s great. I mean, look, if you want to do it, no one’s stopping you. But what we have here is pretty good too" (GOLFDIGEST.com, 6/30).
SPACES IS THE PLACE: SBJ's "Strictly Business" Twitter Spaces talked all things LIV Golf on Thursday. SBJ's Josh Carpenter and David Rumsey were joined by The Fried Egg's Brendan Porath and Morning Read's Bob Harig, who is on the ground in Portland this week.