A nearest-to-the-pin competition will determine seedings for October’s $US50 million ($AU74.2m) LIV Golf Series finale at Trump National Doral outside Miami.
Twelve four-man teams will compete in the mouth-watering prize pool on October 27-30, with $16m ($AU23m) for first prize. Only the FedEx Cup Championship offers a greater prize pool ($US75m), albeit those sums include bonuses earned by playing throughout the year.
The teams – determined by a pre-tournament draft – will be seeded one through to 12, with each team captain participating in a nearest-to-the-pin competition.
The closest to the pin will be seeded one and the farthest away will be seeded last, with the top four to immediately progress to the quarter-finals while the bottom eight will have to compete in qualifying rounds.
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The Team Series Championship will feature match play events, with two individual match play contests and one pairs match play contest. Each match is worth one point. A tie would be broken by a sudden-death playoff, with the captains picking two players to compete.
The details, initially redacted, were released by a US District Court in California amid LIV’s antitrust lawsuit against the PGA Tour earlier in the week.
“The Team Series Championship will be played over four days as a match-play head-to-head knockout playoff, with the winning Team crowned as the ‘Team Series Champion’,” section 5.4 of the rules and regulations states.
“Each team will be ranked and seeded one (1) through twelve (12) for competition in the Team Series Championship based on a shootout undertaken immediately following the Player Draft preceding the Team Series Championship, with each Team Captain having one (1) shot to hit toward a target in a ‘nearest the pin’-style shootout.”
ESPN reported the details of the event are yet to be finalised, but a PGA Tour player slammed the concept.
”It’s very unsurprising that they would pick something so tacky and unoriginal to try and expand the game,” a longtime PGA Tour player told ESPN.
“It’s f—ing lame is what it is. It’s lame as s—. It’s XFL. It’s AND1 Mixtape Tour. It’s not competitive golf. It’s a circus.”
They added: “It’s not competitive,” the PGA Tour player told ESPN.
“The real competitive golfers, the guys who play on the PGA Tour and compete in majors, it’s why they’re just not interested in this nonsense.”
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The field has yet to be finalised either, with Greg Norman to grant as many as 12 exemptions to players to compete in the team championship.
The next 24 participants will be determined by the individual rankings from across a minimum of four regular-season events, with the final 12 players in the field to be chosen off the back of their Official World Golf Rankings by October 17.
How the draft is determined is yet to be ironed out and whether or not the Australian team, headed by world No.3 Cameron Smith, that featured in Boston earlier this month comes together remains to be seen.