LIV Golf reveals 14-event and $405m expansion plans as Bubba Watson linked with switch

Saudi-backed tour expects players to take part in International Series events on the Asian Tour

The LIV Golf Invitational Series is at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, USA this weekend for its third tournament. EPA
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The LIV Golf Invitational Series will expand to 14 tournaments in 2023 while the combined purses will increase to $405 million, organisers confirmed.

The Saudi-backed tour is holding eight tournaments with $255m in prize money this year, its inaugural season, and revealed its expansion plans the day before its third event, in Bedminster, New Jersey.

LIV Golf didn't announce the 2023 tournament dates and locations but said it would "expand LIV Golf's global footprint" with play in North America, Latin America, Australia, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.

The organisation also said players will be expected to take part in International Series events on the Asian Tour, giving them a total of 25 playing opportunities in all.

LIV Golf said it is leaving open the dates of the 2023 major tournaments and international team events to give the players choices about where they want to play – provided the PGA Tour and DP World Tour allow players who left those groups for LIV Golf to take part.

The PGA Tour suspended players who have signed on with LIV Golf, while some have just quit the US-based tour. LIV Golf has lured players such as Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson, Bryson DeChambeau and Brooks Koepka.

Next season, events in the LIV Golf League events will continue to include a four-member team competition along with an individual component.

Watson set to join, Cantlay not 'at the moment'

Bubba Watson is reportedly set to become the next high-profile PGA Tour player to join LIV Golf. AP

Meanwhile, Bubba Watson is reportedly set to become the latest player to leave the PGA Tour to join LIV Golf.

The Telegraph reported that the two-time Masters champion will make his LIV debut at a tournament to be played the first weekend in September at The International in Bolton, outside Boston.

Watson, 43, reportedly will serve as a captain on one of LIV's four-man teams.

Prior to the alleged move, the American commented on his interest in LIV Golf, saying: "They're trying to change. "They started with women's golf, started supporting the women's golf [through a series of events on the Ladies European Tour] and then they started supporting men's golf.

"There's women's tournaments already that they sponsor. Trying to grow the game. They're trying to change industry over there, bring golf, bring tourism to Saudi Arabia with the beautiful beaches that they already have."

Patrick Cantlay said he has no immediate plans to join LIV Golf. AFP

While Watson looks set to join the tour, world No 4 Patrick Cantlay said he has no plans "at the moment" to leave when the PGA Tour season concludes.

Cantlay, a seven-time winner on the PGA Tour, made the comments ahead of the Rocket Mortgage Classic tournament in Detroit.

Cantlay, 30, was first asked if he was upset by the rumours linking him to the LIV Golf tour.

"Not really," Cantlay said. "I don't take too much stock in outside noise." He was then asked if he'd like to dispel rumours about him leaving for LIV after the FedExCup. "Right, I don't have any plans at the moment to leave after the FedExCup," Cantlay said.

He was also asked to what degree money is as a motivating factor when determining events to play. "Yeah, I think anytime anyone's playing their profession, money's a big contributing motivator," he said.

Updated: July 28, 2022, 10:54 AM