Saudi Golf wants to open the major with LIV Golf
The annual award fund on the Invitational Series stands at $25 million.
If Saudi open own major, the prize money is likely to be significantly raised to be worthy.
But achieving official prestige in the international golf world is not easy. The PGA Tour has been separated from the PGAA since 1968.
In 1974, the PGA Tour opened The Players tournament with the highest prize money in the arena for top stars and wanted to make the event the fifth major.
However, after 48 years of debate in the professional world, so far, The Players have not been able to match the traditional major group, including The Masters, PGA Championship, US Open and The Open.
Traditional major group hosts include Augusta National (Masters), PGAA (PGA Championship), American Golf Association (US Open) and Royal & Ancient (The Open).
In 2022, these four tournaments have not banned golfers from the Invitational Series, but are expected to fix the criteria for accepting players from next year, in a stricter direction, especially the “top 50 professional golf tables in the world”.
This door is narrowing for LIV Golf members as they are falling down the OWGR tier because they cannot earn OWGR points while the Invitational Series is not recognized on the system.
The review is expected to take at least two years, with the decision on the Board of Directors consisting of representatives of the four major holding organizations, the PGA Tour and its ally DP World Tour and the International Federation of Professional Golf Associations.
In addition to his position as CEO of Golf Saudi, Sorour also holds the position of Managing Director of LIV Golf Investments.
Moreover, Sorour was also a close friend of Yasir Al-Rumayyan, the PIF’s top leader. The fund has a net worth of more than $650 billion.
In February 2022, Phil Mickelson, despite supporting the Invitational Series, described the Saudis as fearsome partners and cited bad stories about human rights in the country.
The incident caused many stars who had promised the Invitational Series to change their minds and the arena broke its opening plans. However, Al-Rumayyan told Sorour to do it.
“I called my boss and said ‘so many people leave. You want to do it again.’ He said to take the 10 available hands, add the most potential faces, add the two of us and then all compete for a $25 million prize fund,” Sorour told the New Yorker.
And after undisclosed arrangements, the Invitational Series debuted in June, so far recruiting 30 players from the PGA Tour, including Mickelson.
Saudi Golf CEO Majed Al Sorour has announced that he will join LIV Golf in opening a major if Invitational Series players are banned from attending the traditional prestigious quartet.
“The majors are now on the same side as the PGA Tour. I don’t know why. If they don’t let our members play, I’ll celebrate and open my own majors.
Honestly, I think all golf arenas right now are led by guys who don’t understand,” Sorour told the New Yorker.
Golf Saudi is a strategic golf development organization from the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF).
The PIF, meanwhile, financially backs LIV Golf Investments, which owns and operates the Invitational Series.