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WHY? LIV Golf’s Second Season Is in the Books. So What Might Be Next?

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Plenty of bombast emerged from the finale in Miami, underlying the many issues surrounding the Saudi-backed league heading into the offseason. Bob Harig takes a closer look at each.

DORAL, Fla. — A good bit of bluster and bombast emanated from the Blue Monster course at Doral before, during and after the season-ending Team Championship for LIV Golf Miami.

Phil Mickelson claimed the PGA Tour, in part, was behind the Official World Golf Ranking denying LIV Golf’s application.

Bubba Watson said that his RangeGoats team has fielded “10 to 20” inquiries to purchase the franchise.

Greg Norman, LIV’s CEO, spoke for the first time in months.

The acting COO of LIV Golf, Gary Davidson, would not say if the league would resubmit it its application for world ranking points, offering again that the system is flawed if LIV players are not being ranked properly.

And while there are all manner of opinions, nobody can truly say what will happen with the “framework agreement” between the PGA Tour, DP World Tour and the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia that has a Dec. 31 deadline.

Phil Mickelson

There was golf played, too, as the Crushers and captain Bryson DeChambeau won the team title and the $14 million first prize, leading to an offseason of intrigue but also one of considerable uncertainty.

The acting COO of LIV Golf, Gary Davidson, would not say if the league would resubmit it its application for world ranking points, offering again that the system is flawed if LIV players are not being ranked properly.

And while there are all manner of opinions, nobody can truly say what will happen with the “framework agreement” between the PGA Tour, DP World Tour and the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia that has a Dec. 31 deadline.

There was golf played, too, as the Crushers and captain Bryson DeChambeau won the team title and the $14 million first prize, leading to an offseason of intrigue but also one of considerable uncertainty.

“I knew that LIV was always going to exist,” Norman said.

“It’s good for us,” Davidson said. “As we’ve said before, we’ve already got long-term commitments for venues, we’ve signed more long-term commitments to certain venues for the next two or three years. So in terms of long-term planning, it’s opened a couple of doors, taken away some headwinds, and we’ve taken that chance to bring on more venue broaden our schedule more internationally. We’re very positive into 2024 and beyond.”

The “beyond” part is what is most interesting about LIV’s future right now. Whether or not there is an agreement will have a big impact on how things will look after 2024. And indications are those negotiations are plodding along.

“There’s too much wood to chop,” said one LIV Golf official, suggesting that there would need to be an extension for the two sides to work out all the details. The alternative beyond that is no agreement at all.

Here’s a closer look at some of the comments made this week along with some takeaways.

Watson’s assertion that he’d had interest from people wanting to buy his RangeGoats team.

This is the LIV Golf business model. All along, the plan has been to set up franchises and have them sold to team owners. LIV Golf would reap 75 percent of the sale—one way of making back part of the significant investment. The player captains retain 25 percent equity in their teams.

Takeaway: Norman, too, said he’s had numerous inquiries about buying a team. And indications are that there have been several entities kicking the tires on LIV Golf and exploring the possibilities.

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