What does LIV Golf stand for? Explaining the name, meaning of the Saudi-backed invitational tour

Sports

LIV Golf Tour is set to host its inaugural event in London from Thursday, June 9 through Saturday, June 11. As the start date for the tournament draws nearer, there is more and more intrigue surrounding the upstart golf tour.

LIV Golf has managed to lure players like Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson, Louis Oosthuizen and Kevin Na over from the PGA Tour to join its ranks. While the PGA Tour is still extremely strong, LIV Golf is looking to prove that it is more than just a blip on the radar.

But what exactly is the LIV Golf Tour? The newest golf competition is still a mystery to casual fans, from how it originated to the meaning of the “LIV” in its name. Below is a brief breakdown of the tour as well as the meaning behind its name.

MORE: Why Dustin Johnson is playing in the Saudi-backed golf series

What is the LIV Golf Tour?

The LIV Golf Tour is the name of the start-up tour that is attempting to compete with the PGA Tour. It was commonly referred to as the “Saudi Golf League” during its early days given that it is financially backed by Saudi Arabia.

It will host eight events during its inaugural season. Pros won’t have to commit to playing a full schedule and will instead be paid to play on a per-event basis. The purses for the eight total events will total $225 million — $20 million will be awarded at the first event in London — while the most notable golfers that are competing in the tour have gotten nine-figure paychecks to defect from the PGA Tour.

MORE: Phil Mickelson’s LIV controversy explained

The PGA Tour has insisted that players must choose between competing in PGA Tour events and in LIV Golf events. To date, only a handful of notable players — Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson, Louis Oosthuizen and Kevin Na — have committed to playing on the LIV Golf Tour. Johnson and Na resigned from the PGA Tour to do so given the tour’s policies limiting participation in LIV Golf Tour events.

It will also use a different format than the PGA Tour tournaments, and that is partially reflected by their name.

What does LIV Golf stand for?

The “LIV” in the LIV Golf Tour’s name isn’t an acronym. It is the Roman numeral for 54.

What does that mean in the context of the LIV Golf tour? Greg Norman explained in a recent interview with Sports Illustrated.

54 is the lowest score you could shoot if you were to birdie every hole on a par-72 course, so there is an aspirational aspect to the thinking. It is also the number of holes to be played in each event.

Indeed, LIV Golf players will play just 54 holes in total, as the start-up’s tournaments are only three days long. Most events and tournaments on the PGA Tour last four days and 72 holes.

So, while the LIV Golf Tour may look like a strange name on paper, there is actually a reason they chose it. And at least it’s catchier than the rather bland “Saudi Golf League” moniker.

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