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LIV Golf has devised a qualifying tournament and relegation system that will come into play for the 2024 season

February 24, 2023
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Patrick Smith/LIV Golf

MAYAKOBA, Mexico — LIV Golf has revealed the format of qualifying school for its 2024 season, with major champions from the past five years, as well as winners of PGA Tour and DP World Tour events in the 12 months prior, among those given exemptions to bypass the first of four rounds.

The 72-hole stroke-play qualifier, called the “LIV Golf Promotions Event,” will be held sometime in November after the LIV Golf League’s second season finishes in Saudi Arabia on Nov. 5.

“The LIV Golf Promotions Event will ensure there is an open player pathway for golfers from across the ecosystem to gain exemption into the LIV Golf League,” LIV officials wrote in materials seen by Golf Digest.

Three spots on LIV’s 48-player roster for the 2024 season are up for grabs at the promotion tournament, while the winner of the money list from the Asian Tour’s International Series will bypass the qualifying school and take a fourth promotion spot. With three top-10s in as many starts, including a victory last week, American Andy Ogletree currently leads the International Series money list. LIV Golf partnered with the Asian Tour last year with a $300 million investment that also created the lucrative International Series.

In exchange, four LIV golfers will be relegated following the 2023 regular season. They will be the bottom four players on LIV’s individual points list from the regular season who are not already exempt (under a multi-year contract).

According to LIV Golf, this is how qualifying will work:

The qualifying tournament will begin with an 18-hole Round 1 and have a field comprised of these players: those who finished between Nos. 6-32 of the Asian Tour’s International Series rankings; winners of a variety of top amateur events such as the U.S. and British Amateur championship; entries from players inside the top 200 on the Official World Golf Ranking; and entries from the top 20 on the World Amateur Golf Rankings. The top 20 players and ties advance to the second round.

With scores re-set, the second 18-hole round is where established players and stars from the major tours, as well as the four relegations from LIV’s previous season, will come in. Among those eligible to enter Round 2 are winners of the following tournaments since 2018: the Open Championship, U.S. Open, Masters, PGA Championship and members of teams from the 2023 Ryder Cup and 2022 Presidents Cup. In addition, golfers who finished at Nos. 2-5 of the International Series ranks will be eligible to enter this round.

The top 16 players from Round 2 qualify for the re-set 36-hole final that is Rounds 3 and 4. The top three finishers from there will be given full playing rights for following season on LIV Golf.

LIV’s qualifying school will work in concert with LIV’s relegation system. LIV will have a season-long points standings that awards massive bonuses to the top three finishers (first gets $18 million), but also defines the top 24 who keep their LIV status for the following season if their contract is up at the end of this season. Points are awarded based on a player’s finish at each of LIV’s 13 regular series events, with 40 points given to the winner of that tournament and points regress until 24th place receives one point (there is a tiebreaker for shared finishes).

For players who finish between 25th and 44th in the season standings, they will be put go into a “transfer market” in which other teams may pick them up. Finishers 45-48 will be relegated, although if some of those players are under multi-year contracts, LIV would have to reach higher up in the standings to find the four worst finishers not already exempt.

LIV’s qualifying school categories and format outlined:

Exemption Categories

The following categories will be exempt into the LIV Golf Promotions event at the stage outlined below:

  1. Players finishing in positions 2-32 of the 2023 International Series Rankings
  2. Players finishing in positions 6-32 of the International Series Rankings
  3. Players finishing in positions 2-5 of the International Series Rankings
  4. Players finishing in positions 45-48 of the 2023 Individual League Rankings
  5. Winner of the most recent staging of the following championships:
  6. U.S. Amateur Championship
  7. British Amateur Championship
  8. NCAA D1 Individual Stroke-play Championship
  9. Latin-America Amateur Championship
  10. Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship
  11. European Amateur Championship
  12. Eisenhower Individual Championship
  13. Players ranked within the top 200 of the Official World Golf Ranking at close of entries
  14. Players ranked within the top 20 of the World Amateur Golf Rankings at close of entries
  15. Winners of fully sanctioned events on the DP World Tour or PGA Tour in the previous season
  16. Winners of the following tournaments since the year 2018:
  17. Open Championship
  18. U.S. Open
  19. Masters
  20. PGA Championship
  21. Members of the last edition of the Ryder Cup or Presidents Cup

Format

Round 1

  • 18 holes of individual stroke-play
  • Field composed of Categories: 1a, 3, 4, 5
  • Leading 20 players (and ties) qualify for Round 2

Round 2

  • 18 holes of individual stroke-play
  • Field composed of leading 20 (and ties) from Round 1, plus Categories: 1b, 2, 6, 7, 8
  • Leading 16 players only qualify for Rounds 3 & 4

Rounds 3 & 4

  • 36 holes of individual stroke-play
  • Leading three players only receive full playing rights for following season LIV Golf League