Exclusive: LIV Golf's Future Plans Include Relegation, Qualifying Tournament – Sports Illustrated

This week at Trump National Golf Club Bedminster in New Jersey, LIV Golf will hold its third event out of an eight-event inaugural schedule. Its 48-player field is mostly filled with players who have competed since the opening event in London, though several more have been added along the way.
Next year, LIV Golf plans to play 14 events with a set 48-man field, meaning its 12 four-man teams will be the same throughout the season.
Sources with LIV Golf have outlined more specific plans to for its third season. In October 2023, after the second season is finished and in preparation for the third, LIV Golf will relegate four players and institute its own version of Q-School, called the Promotions event.
Relegation is a term not often heard in golf, but the concept has been around since the PGA Tour went to an all-exempt tour in 1983. Basically, anyone not in the top 125 FedEx Cup points list loses their card and has to find a way to earn it back, effectively being relegated.

During the 2023 season, LIV will maintain a rankings list and players that finish in the top 24 at each tournament will earn points toward keeping their status for the following year.
At the end of 2023, four players at the bottom of the rankings will be relegated by LIV and the top 24 from the season-long points total will keep their status for the following year.
Team captains may be exempt from relegation along with other select players, depending on their contracts and agreements with LIV Golf.
If a captain is in fact relegated, he would still be involved with the management of the team going forward.
According to sources, the relegation process is designed to ensure that the player pool in the LIV Golf Invitational events is refreshed each year, and that there is a clear, open and fair pathway for any player in the world to earn their place in these events.
All relegated players have the ability to re-qualify for LIV Golf Invitationals through the LIV “Promotions” event and are exempt for that immediately following the season they have been relegated and for the next two seasons. Relegated players will also be eligible to compete in the LIV Golf International Series (currently sanctioned by the Asian Tour, and to be co-sanctioned by LIV Golf and the Asian Tour in 2023) as well as any other tours where they have status.
While not relegated, other players who are not under contract may also lose their playing rights in the LIV Golf Invitationals should they not be extended by their respective teams (similar to an F1 driver not having his contract renewed with his team).
Teams will make the selection of the player they wish to sign to replace those players who have been dropped.
All players still under contract from their team will be guaranteed playing rights via invitation rather than by gaining exemption via the category for top-24 players.
Some players, even if relegated, may be selected to receive invitations to compete for the following season.
Because player contracts vary and are not disclosed, individual players’ exemption status may supersede finishing outside the top 24. In other words, high-profile players such as Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson and Bryson DeChambeau are likely secure in their status for the foreseeable future.
The “Promotions” event, to be played over three or four days with a potential 36-hole finale, will provide players in the amateur and professional ranks the opportunity to try to qualify for the 14-event LIV Golf League that is scheduled in 2024.

Players exempt into the field include the following:
According to sources, it is expected that the first round will have 80 to 100 players participating.
The first 18 holes will include Nos. 6-32 from the International Series money list, contracted team-substitute players and all category exempt players.
The top 20 from the first-round competition will be joined in the second round by relegated players from the previous seasons of LIV Golf, Nos. 2-5 from the International Series and any player that finished between 25-44 on the points list who is not re-contracted by a team for the following season.
The top 16 from Round 2 will play in the last two rounds with the top three finishers qualifying for the 2024 LIV season.
“It was interesting when I heard about it,” DeChambeau said at the British Open when asked about the qualifying format. “I said ‘OK, this made a lot of sense’ and that again confirmed my position in being part of LIV Golf.”
The first- and second-round scores will be reset, creating a shootout flair over the last two rounds, which are meant to mimic LIV Golf’s regular events.

The Promotions event assumes that only four players will be relegated each season, with three moving up from the Promotions event and the winner of the International Series money list getting the fourth spot.
A prize fund will be part of the Promotions event, but its size and the number of paid players have not been determined.
The venue for the Promotions event is also to be determined and expected to be announced by the end of LIV’s current inaugural season.
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Alex Miceli, a journalist and radio/TV personality who has been involved in golf for 26 years, was the founder of Morning Read and eventually sold it to Buffalo Groupe. He continues to contribute writing, podcasts and videos to the new Morning Read on


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