Barely one month into its operation and already the LIV Golf Invitational Series is being accused of deceiving its own stars.
Or at least many fans have seized upon the chance to aim a chorus of "I told you so!" at the PGA Tour defectors after the new breakaway league announced its expanded schedule for 2023. After playing eight events in its inaugural campaign this year, LIV Golf confirmed on Wednesday that the Series will involve 14 stops next term, along with 11 optional tournaments on the Asian Tour.
It's a move many fans and pundits alike saw coming, contradicting the ideals pushed by numerous LIV rebels when they joined the exodus earlier this year. Numerous stars said their move was motivated by the fact they wanted to 'play less golf' or 'spend more time with their families'.
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Many members of the public doubted those claims and called on players to admit money was the main motivating factor. And future turncoats may be expected to own up to as much after the LIV Golf Series almost doubled in size overnight.
"I'm now waiting for the first LIV player to defect to the PGA Tour because he wants to play less golf," joked golf writer Jason Sobel. Each LIV event will still feature $25million (£20.6m) in prize money, with 54 holes played across three days and no cut.
"So much for 'playing less' & 'family time' & 'making my own schedule'," tweeted Philadelphia journalist Marcus Heyes. "It took Greg Norman & the Saudis less than 2 months to yank the leash of their lapdogs. Enjoy Thailand, boys."
Should LIV Golf rebels be banned from the sport's majors? Let us know in the comments section.
The press release announcing LIV Golf's boosted 2023 calendar said players "are expected to compete in numerous International Series tournaments." This could mean golfers who had a vision of winning a tournament or two and putting their feet up for the rest of the year may go disappointed.
The relatively exclusive 48-man field also means smaller names who defected early but have since been replaced by higher-profile stars are forced to return to their old Tours with tails between their legs. Meanwhile, the LIV Golf Series will continue its attempts to lure the sport's best and brightest.
Two-time Masters champion Bubba Watson is the latest to be linked with the Saudi-backed series. That's after Henrik Stenson joined the exodus and was stripped of the Team Europe captaincy at next year's Ryder Cup in Rome.
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