Golfers will compete for $50 million, the richest purse in the history of the sport, in LIV Golf’s season-ending team championship, which is scheduled to be played at Trump National Doral Miami from October 27-30.
Twelve four-person teams will compete for a $16 million first-place prize. The teams will be seeded one through 12. The top four seeds will get through to the quarterfinals. The other eight will compete in qualifying rounds.
How will the seeding be determined? By closest to the team managers’ pin shootout, which will take place immediately after players are drafted.
That was the format for how the team championship will work in LIV Golf’s rules and regulations, which were released by a US District Court in California on Monday as part of its federal antitrust lawsuit against the PGA Tour.
“The Team Series Championship will be played over four days as a head-to-head knockout final, with the winning Team crowned as the ‘Team Series Champion,'” section 5.4 of the rules and regulations states. “Each team will be ranked and seeded one (1) through twelve (12) for competition in the Team Series Championship based on a shootout undertaken immediately following the Player Draft preceding the Team Series Championship, with each Team Captain having one (1) shot. hit towards a target in a ‘closest to the pin’-style shootout.”
According to the section, “[T]he Team whose Team Captain’s shot ends up closest to the goal will be designated as the first (first) seed and each remaining Team will be ranked based on the proximity to the goal of each other Team Captain’s shot.”
A spokesperson for LIV Golf told ESPN on Tuesday that details of the team championship are still being finalized and will be released in the future.
“It’s very unsurprising that they would choose something so tacky and unoriginal to try to expand the game,” a longtime PGA Tour player told ESPN on Tuesday. “It’s f—ing lame is what it is. It’s lame as s—. It’s XFL. It’s AND1 Mixtape Tour. It’s not competitive golf. It’s a circus.”
In the qualifying rounds, according to the document, the fifth seeded team will have the first pick in selecting their opponent, with the second seeded team following with their pick and then the third and fourth. Losing teams will be eliminated after each round.
The team matches will consist of two individual match play competitions and one pair match competition. Each match is worth one point. Ties will be broken by a sudden-death playoff, where the captains select two players to compete.
The four players of the second place team will share 10 million dollars, the third will receive 8 million dollars and the fourth takes 4 million dollars. Teams that finish fifth through eighth will win $2 million each, and teams that are ninth through 12th receive $1 million each.
“It’s not competitive,” the PGA Tour player said. “The real competitive golfers, the kids who play on the PGA Tour and compete in the majors, that’s why they’re just not interested in this nonsense.”
LIV Golf CEO and commissioner Greg Norman will grant up to 12 exemptions to players to compete in the team championship. The next 24 participants will be determined by the top players in the individual rankings who have competed in at least four regular-season tournaments, and the remaining 12 spots will go to the highest-ranked players in the Official World Golf Ranking on October 17, provided that they have participated in at least three LIV Golf events.