ASIAN GOLF INDUSTRY FEDERATION

LIV’s Asian Debut Aims to Excite, Says Norman

Greg Norman says fans are in for a treat at this week’s LIV Golf Asian debut in Bangkok. Picture by Joe Scarnici/LIV Golf via Getty Images.

Bangkok, Thailand: The 48 players preparing to tee-off at the US$25 million LIV Golf Invitational Bangkok will have plenty to play for when they line up at the new Stonehill venue this week (October 7-9).
 
Greg Norman, CEO and Commissioner of LIV Golf, said: “In our inaugural year with the Invitational Series, LIV Golf is already making waves among golf fans globally. Innovation creates energy that will further grow the sport into the future, and we are proud to be at the forefront of this movement.

“Our world-class players and new team format are generating a thrilling conclusion to this first year, and I’m eager to watch the action unfold in our final three tournaments of 2022.

“We are eager to present LIV Golf’s innovative format and elite competition to one of the most exciting and rapidly developing golf landscapes in the world. The field is comprised of players with local ties and international acclaim, all committed to performing their best and supporting their team-mates in pursuit of a title. It’s sure to be a weekend of excitement for LIV Golf’s Asian debut at Stonehill.”

Norman said the three-day event will offer a multitude of off-course excitement for visitors to Stonehill.

A variety of opportunities to test one’s golfing skills will include a high-tech golf simulator, chipping green and mini-golf, as well as music and immersive entertainment. Younger fans will also be able to enjoy arts and crafts, educational workshops, face painting, and virtual reality entertainment.

On the course, with just two regular season tournaments remaining for the 2022 LIV Golf Invitational Series, players are jostling for position in the individual standings, where a US$30 million purse will be shared among the top three podium places at the end of the campaign.

This year’s champion in the final individual standings after the LIV Golf Invitational Jeddah will receive a first-place prize of US$18 million, with US$8 million to the runner-up and US$4 million for third place.
 
In the individual standings, where points are awarded to the top 24 finishers within each tournament’s 48-player field, 2016 US Open and 2020 Masters champion Dustin Johnson leads the pack with 118 points. The American holds a healthy 39-point lead over his nearest challenger thanks to a win in Boston, top-three finishes in Bedminster and Chicago and consistent play throughout five events in which he has never finished outside the top 10.

South African Branden Grace (79) is in second place with a victory in Portland and is trailed by 2022 Open winner Cameron Smith (56). The Australian currently holds third place after notable performances in just two events: a fourth-place finish in his LIV Golf debut in Boston, followed by a three-stroke win in Chicago, the largest margin of victory for any LIV Golf individual champion his season.

With 40 points awarded for a tournament win and 30 for runner-up, the door is still open for those outside the top 10. Major winners Sergio Garcia (43) and Henrik Stenson (40), top Chilean golfer Joaquin Niemann (40), former world number one Lee Westwood (36) and 2020 US Open champion Bryson DeChambeau (23) are among the notable names still in the hunt.

The team competition is also building for an exciting finish, as LIV Golf’s 12 teams prepare for the back-to-back Asian swing in Thailand and Saudi Arabia before turning their attention to the season-ending LIV Golf Invitational Miami Team Championship at Trump National Doral Golf Club (October 28-30).

The iconic Blue Monster course will stage the seeded three-day, knockout tournament featuring both match play and stroke play, delivering the excitement of head-to-head competition as teams compete for a historic US$50 million purse.
 
The Invitational Series has seen a remarkable run from 4 Aces GC, with captain Johnson leading 2018 Masters winner Patrick Reed, Talor Gooch and Pat Perez to the top of the standings with 136 points thanks to four straight team wins in Portland, Bedminster, Boston and Chicago.

South African squad Stinger GC, winner of the inaugural London event and the only other team to record a win this season, is in second place with 72 points. Led by 2010 Open champion Louis Oosthuizen, with 2011 Masters champion Charles Schwartzel and Portland winner Grace consistent all season, Stinger GC has produced one win, one second place, and two other top-five finishes.
 
Majesticks GC, featuring Westwood, European Ryder Cup star Ian Poulter, 2016 Open champion Stenson and English pro Sam Horsfield lie third on 57 points thanks to a second place and two third-place finishes. The Majesticks are currently just one point ahead of Crushers GC featuring DeChambeau, former world number three Paul Casey, Indian Anirban Lahiri and veteran Charles Howell III.

With the top four seeds receiving a day one bye at the season-ending Team Championship at Doral, teams have much to play for in preparation for the finale.

At each regular season LIV Golf Invitational event, the top eight teams receive points based on their position on the final team leaderboard. For the first two rounds of every tournament, the best two stroke play scores count for each team. In the third and final round, the best three scores count, with the winning team decided by the lowest overall team score after 54 holes. If two or more teams finish with the same score, the team with the better final-round result wins the tie-breaker. Teams that finish in the top three receive prize money from the US$5 million team purse.

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