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With a Media Deal Imminent, LIV Golf Tweaks Format for Team Finale in Miami

LIV Golf officials wouldn't comment Tuesday on any media partnerships but adjusted its team championship to have more players on the course Sunday.

LIV Golf is changing its season-ending team event and condensing the competition to three days in part because the organization is on the verge of landing a media rights deal that would include this tournament.

Officials for LIV Golf would not comment on the possibility of securing a media partner but announced Tuesday that the LIV Golf Invitational Team Series to be played at Trump National Doral near Miami Oct. 28-30 will be a three-day, seeded knockout competition with a $50 million purse.

The event has been on LIV Golf’s schedule since it first came out in March, with a $50 million purse, but details of how the event would be structured were to be determined. It was originally scheduled for four days and the idea was to have just two teams competing for the first-place prize on the final day.

But a television or media partner pushed back on the idea of only having eight players to showcase the final day, so LIV Golf revised its plan.

As it was announced Tuesday, the event will feature both match play and stroke play and see the winning team earn $16 million, or $4 million each, with $10 million for second and $8 million for third. The top four teams through LIV Golf’s seventh event next month in Jeddah will get a first-day bye.

Teams ranked fifth through 12th will compete in head-to-head match play competitions. Here is how it will work on Day 1:

  • There will be a shotgun start for all 32 of those players who will be grouped in foursomes.
  • For each head-to-head team match, there will be two players who compete at singles and two more who form a foursomes (alternate shot) team.
  • Each team captain will take on another team captain in singles, and then he decides which of his other three players compete in singles or as a foursomes team.
  • There are no ties. All matches are played out until there is a winner and the team that gets at least two points out of three will advance to Saturday’s play. There is one point for each singles match and one point for the foursomes match.
  • The same format is used on the second day, with the top four seeds facing off against the remaining four teams, with three points at stake per head-to-head match. The teams that manage two points out of three advance to Sunday’s final round.
  • The four remaining teams will compete in a shotgun start with all 16 players competing at stroke play. They will go off as twosomes with every player’s score counting.
  • The team with the lowest combined score of all four players will win the team championship.

As part of its format, LIV Golf has 12 four-man teams, which will become all but permanent in 2023 with captains allowed to fill out their teams. During regular competition, while the individual portion plays out, the best two scores of the first two rounds and the best three of the final round count for the team score.

The top three teams are paid each week from a pool of $5 million in addition to the $20 million individual purse.

Through five events, the 4 Aces team captained by Dustin Johnson and including Patrick Reed, Talor Gooch and Pat Perez, has won four times. An all-South African team called Stinger GC led by Louis Oosthuizen and with Charl Schwartzel and Branden Grace won the first event.

Based on a points formula awarded to teams each week, a seeding of 1 through 12 will be determined.

LIV Golf commissioner Greg Norman said at the last event two weeks ago in Chicago that the organization was talking to four potential media partners but did not say when an agreement might be reached or when it would start.

For now, LIV is showing its events on YouTube and on its own website.