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Trump Doral to host $50 million LIV Golf series finale

Stephen Szurlej

Trump National Doral will host the $50 million finale for the upcoming LIV Golf Invitational series.

Monday’s announcement, a move long rumored in the golf world, returns professional golf to Doral, an annual stop on the PGA Tour from 1962 to 2016. The tour had ended its 45-year relationship with the venue after Cadillac declined to renew its sponsorship of the WGC event—a move widely seen as a response to controversial remarks made by Doral’s owner, Donald Trump, during his presidential run. The tour eventually moved the event to Mexico City.

The new Doral event is set for the last week of October. LIV Golf's Team Championship will be a four-day, four-round, match play knock-out event featuring 12 teams. The first-place team will walk away with $16 million, followed by $10 million for second, and $8 million for third with each player on the team receiving a 25 percent cut of earnings.

“There could not be a more perfect location to host our biggest event of the year at a course with such a long history with professional golfers, and we are excited to add another piece of history to this famed destination,” said Greg Norman, CEO & Commissioner of LIV Golf, in a statement. “I am very much looking forward to October to watch these teams go head-to-head to compete for the largest prize purse in tournament history. As we continue to select locations for our events in world-class cities, we knew Miami had to be included in the rota, and the Blue Monster is a fan favorite and a perfect place to end our inaugural season.”

The announcement means five of LIV Golf’s eight tournaments in its inaugural season will take place in the United States. Along with Doral those sites are Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club in Portland, Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J., the International outside of Boston and Rich Harvest Farms outside of Chicago. The series officially kicks off at the Centurion Club outside of London the week before the U.S. Open starting June 9, with Stonehill Golf Club in Bangkok and Royal Greens Golf Club in Saudi Arabia rounding out the schedule.

The first seven events will be 54-hole competitions with no cuts. There will also be shotgun starts in order to fit the events in a shorter time window, along with a team component, with 48 players divided between 12 squads. The first seven events will each boast $25 million purses, $20 million for individual prizes and another $5 million for the team competition.

A LIV Golf spokesperson told Golf Digest that 15 players inside the top 100 of the Official World Golf Ranking have applied to compete in the first LIV Golf event in June, but released no names, starting that the full field will be announced May 27. As of this writing just one player—Robert Garrigus, the No. 1,043 in the Official World Golf Ranking—has publicly acknowledged his attempt to participate in the LIV Golf series. PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan has promised that any player who sided with a rival league would face suspension from the PGA Tour and possibly a lifetime ban. Norman has said his group plans to challenge the tour’s ability to punish players. Though a number of players have acknowledged discussions with LIV Golf, nearly all of the game’s top-ranked players and marquee names have distanced themselves from the endeavor.

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