After failing to attract the world’s greatest pros, the new Saudi-funded startup league is now focusing on the world’s best amateurs.
According to a story in the Telegraph, the top six players in the World Amateur Golf Ranking have been given one-year invitations to compete in all eight tournaments of this year’s inaugural LIV Golf Invitational Series, which kicks off next month in London. When the invitations were sent out and who was in the top six at the time is unknown.
“As part of our objective to develop the future generation of golf talent,” a LIV spokeswoman told the Telegraph, “we did invite numerous amateurs.” “They have the option of staying amateur or going pro.”
LIV Golf has approached at least two of the current top six amateurs, according to GolfChannel.com, but no other details were available. In addition, one of the WAGR’s top six players stated that he had not received any kind of invitation from the league.
According to the source, such amateurs would be eligible for guaranteed payouts of $840,000 for the first seven tournaments, the equivalent of finishing last in each, as well as the chance to play for $4 million in prize money and a share of the $90 million team prize pool.
However, the story also claims that amateurs are unable to receive prize money on the PGA Tour and the DP World Tour due to their respective organizations’ regulations, which is not entirely correct. Amateurs cannot earn prize money, according to new rules surrounding name, image, and likeness, as well as the USGA’s amateur status requirements. Furthermore, international players already face NCAA eligibility difficulties in acquiring NIL deals, which would be one way for LIV Golf to financially reward current amateurs.
Four of the six players in the most recent WAGR, which was updated Wednesday morning, are college golfers, with only one anticipated to turn pro following the NCAA Championship in June. As a result, it’s expected that any player who accepts prize money at these LIV events will lose his amateur status and, in some situations, his NCAA eligibility.
According to the story, a spokeswoman for the league stated that the league “would allow amateurs to fast alter their status and earn unprecedented sums to kick-start their careers,” and that the amateurs would also be given Asian Tour membership.