New company announces lucrative 10-event series for Asian Tour in 2022
Greg Norman on Friday was announced as CEO of Liv Golf Investments, a newly formed company that will bring a series of 10 new events to the Asian Tour.
The series will be added to the Asian Tour schedule in 2022 and feature tournaments in Asia, the Middle East and Europe. More than $200 million will support player fees and prize funds.
LIV Golf Investments' majority shareholder is Private Investment Fund (PIF), which operates sovereign wealth funds on behalf of the government of Saudi Arabia.
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“This is only the beginning,” said Norman. “Liv Golf Investments has secured a major capital commitment that will be used to create additive new opportunities across worldwide professional golf. We will be a cooperative and respectful supporter of the game at every level, and today’s announcement alongside the Asian Tour is the first example of that."
The infusion was heralded by Cho Minn Thant, commissioner and CEO of the Asian Tour.
"This is the single biggest development in the history of the Asian Tour and a major milestone for professional golf," he said.
Announced previously was a 10-year partnership between the Asian Tour and Golf Saudi, the organizers of the Saudi International, which will become the Tour's flagship tournament and feature an increased purse of $5 million. The Saudi International will not be one of the 10 tournaments in this new series.
According to Golfweek, eight PGA Tour players are seeking permission to compete in the Saudi International. Tour players need to obtain a release to compete on other tours.
"The Asian Tour is a sleeping giant and we share ambition to grow the series and unlock what we believe is significant untapped potential," Norman said.
Left unsaid is the status of a new league that has long been rumored to be in offing. On Wednesday in New York, a new tour that was to have Norman as commissioner was outlined to select media.
Liv Golf Investments will serve as a promoter of the new 10-event series, leaving open the possibility that a new league could have significant ties to the Asian Tour.
The Asian Tour has been dormant since March 2020 due to COVID-19, but is expected to resume play with the Blue Canyon Championship (Nov. 25-28) and the Laguna Phuket Championship (Dec. 2-5). Two more tournaments that will conclude the 2020-21 season are tentatively scheduled for Singapore in January.