LIV Golf officially launched in October 2021 with Greg Norman as CEO and held their first event in June 2022. Most of the official LIV activity has taken place over the last year, culminating in the news that the second season of the golf league will be broadcast on The CW. So how did we get here? Let's look back at some of the wildest moments of the last year of LIV as we prepare for their second season to kick off in February.
World Golf Rankings Trojan Horse
After the Official World Golf Rankings decided they would not give out points for LIV events for various reasons, the upstart league looked for a loophole and decided to form a "strategic alliance" with the MENA Tour which had put on four events in the previous two years. The OWGR shut this down and awarded no points for the two events LIV and MENA collaborated on which both carried a $20,000,000 prize pool. Since then MENA's prize pool has dropped back down to $75,000.
Prize Money Suprise!
LIV golfers signed huge deals and the public was told that they would be competing for gigantic prizes. What they did not mention was that winnings would come out of the amount they were given up front.
Phil Mickelson has a complicated relationship with LIV. He was their first big signing and remains their biggest name, but he also opined on "scary motherf--kers" and told Alan Shipnuck that it was sportswashing, but also a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. So he took the money and looked freaked out as tournaments approached. Was it worth it? Well, according to the LIV website he has one top-ten finish in seven starts.
Charles Barkley Gets a Pass
LIV was willing to throw a ton of money at a bunch of people, but one person who really wanted their money somehow didn't get it. Charles Barkley openly campaigned for a job with LIV, but they basically ignored him, meaning he promoted the league and did their sportswashing free of charge.
The LIV Golf Leaderboard
The LIV Golf leaderboard is an absolute monstrosity. Just a confusing abomination. Which is why it's so great that they have decided to bring it to The CW and basic cable where millions more people can be perplexed by it.
Please Broadcast The Golf?
The LIV broadcast bidding war has been going on for quite some time now and in the fall it appeared FOX would "win" the rights. Except LIV would be the one to produce the broadcast and sell commercial sponsorships. You know, the same deal the CW eventually landed. FOX was the fourth-most-viewed network in America in 2021. The CW came in at #21.
Cameron Smith Can't Believe You'd Ask Him That
Like most LIV golfers, Cameron Smith said he was not joining LIV right up until he joined LIV. Smith won the British Open in July and it was immediately floated that he was going to join LIV, but he vehemently denied this immediately and repeatedly. And then, to the surprise of no one, he joined LIV. Not because of the money, but because they play music.
Reporter Kicked Out of Press Conference
Rob Harris of the Associated Press was cut off and escorted out of one of the league's early press conferences, which was MC'd by Ari Fleisher. Players downplayed suggestions the new league was sportswashing.
LIV Golf's Music Festival Vibes
Golf tournaments are notoriously stuffy affairs where people walk around outside drinking and consuming local delicacies. So LIV half-empty music festival vibes were a nice change of pace.
Golf for the FOX News Viewer
Things are going great if you like FOX News, Donald Trump and golf. Not everyone does. But don't worry, the Saudis giving Trump a bunch of money to host a tournament was just one of those things that you shouldn't think about. Just focus on this interview with Tucker Carlson where Bryson DeChambeau brilliantly compared LIV golf to a new pizza place that pays the customers to eat. Which fits perfectly with the business model where a sports league pays a TV station to broadcast their events.