Jorge Noguera




The new event dividing the sport

The first tournament of the LIV Golf Invitational Series starts this Thursday at Centurion Golf Club, London, UK.

This event, a new Saudi-funded alternative to the PGA and DP World Tour that few took seriously, has finally come to fruition.

48 players have signed up for the first event, some renouncing their PGA membership, after legal threats, creating a golfing divide.

Stars include Dustin Johnson and Phil Mickelson, who have received six-figure sums to play, as well as Sergio Garcia.

Others such as Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm and Tiger Woods, who was even offered a nine-figure cheque, have turned down the proposals.

The public face of the deal is Australian Greg Norman, winner of two British Opens. Jack Nicklaus, had previously turned the role down.

The LIV prize pots are somewhat juicier than those of the PGA, with $25 million being shared out  ...and $4 million for the winner.

The money will be distributed between individual ranking ($20m) and team play ($5m), one of the novelties.

Players will compete individually over three rounds of 18 holes with no cut, to be broadcast on Youtube & Facebook.

Also, twelve teams of four have been formed to play a 'tournament within a tournament', a format that doesn't exist in other events.