The Saudi-backed sequence might play in Saudi Arabia once more this season, however that is one other tough piece of an ongoing schedule puzzle.
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After laying aside an announcement for weeks, it seems that LIV Golf is ready to unveil its 2023 schedule within the coming days, definitely by the top of the week. And it’s not like it may be postpone for much longer, with the Feb. 24 opener in Mexico only a month away.
Causes for the delay are due in some half to the comparatively risky nature of securing venues, with restricted websites out there that may host knowledgeable golf match.
However it’s also clear that there was some meddling by LIV Golf’s Saudi supporters, who seemingly stayed out of the day-to-day workings final yr as an eight-tournament schedule was pulled off with little or no lead time.
LIV Golf performed in Saudi Arabia final yr and will return this yr, although choices are restricted on dates. Courtesy LIV Golf
Now, with all of final yr and the offseason to get this finalized, LIV Golf has postpone the complete schedule launch a number of occasions, saying solely a handful of occasions and failing to finalize all the program.
The rationale probably has one thing to do with LIV’s Saudi bosses wanting an occasion to be performed in Saudi—one thing which was not within the plans late final yr as LIV Golf was wrapping up its invitational sequence.
LIV Golf officers haven’t commented on the delays, nor the potential Saudi affect. However the authentic intention was to have the complete schedule launch on November.
When LIV Golf was taking part in its seventh occasion in Jeddah, there was no indication the league would play any of its occasions there this yr. The sensation was that the gamers have been already dedicated to the Saudi Worldwide, and that one other occasion there was asking an excessive amount of.
However one thing modified.
And if you wish to play into the notion put forth by the PGA Tour put in certainly one of its court docket filings—that the Public Funding Fund (PIF) that underwrites LIV Golf is asking the photographs—this definitely offers legitimacy to these claims.
When LIV Golf obtained to Miami for its season-ending workforce occasion in October, a number of gamers urged that there have been rumblings of a schedule change that may see them return to Jeddah. The primary such suggestion was that the primary occasion of the schedule could be there, the week following the Saudi Worldwide. The gamers didn’t appear to be on board. Nor have been they in favor of one other concept that may have seen the opener performed the week of Mayakoba—three weeks after the Saudi Worldwide on the identical Royal Greens Nation Membership, pushing again an already-scheduled Mexico occasion.
Whereas the Saudis pay the payments and it is definitely inside their rights to need to play an occasion of their house nation, the concept is low on smarts for varied causes, maybe the largest of which is occasions staged on the venue outdoors of Jeddah merely to not appeal to a big gathering.
LIV Golf’s motto is “Golf, However Louder” and to launch a brand new season amid such a subdued ambiance would have been silly.
Right here’s the issue: when do you go there?
Varied iterations of the schedule have been leaked going again to final summer time. None of them included Jeddah. To this point LIV Golf has introduced tournaments and dates for tournaments in Mexico, Australia, Singapore, Arizona, Oklahoma, Spain and West Virginia.
It’s anticipated to return to venues the place LIV performed in 2022, together with London, New Jersey, Chicago and Miami. That leaves three extra places, and if you’re going to Jeddah, you nearly need to go on the finish of the season, given the oppressive warmth in Saudi Arabia in the course of the summer time.
The unique plan was to have the LIV Golf League conclude in September with its Crew Championship in Miami previous to the Ryder Cup. It seems that timeline will likely be stretched out, with the ending location nonetheless not disclosed.
The schedule must be introduced quickly. And it has confirmed to be far harder than anticipated.