LIV Golf implemented a new rule for its 2023 season — relegation.
Taking a page from the English Premier League, the Saudi-backed tour has dropped the four lowest ranked players from their respective teams. This week, it was officially announced that LIV will host a promotional event that will add three golfers to the 2024 roster, according to Sports Illustrated’s Bob Harig.
Lack of player turnover was one of the reasons the OWGR (Official World Golf Rankings) cited upon turning down LIV’s application to earn points for its players next season.
The promotional event will be held Dec. 8-10 as LIV Golf hopes the Official Golf World Rankings change its mind.
Once the individual race at LIV Jeddah finished, the four players that were relegated were Jed Morgan (Rippers GC), James Piot (HyFlyers GC), Brooks Koepka’s little brother Chase Koepka (Smash GC) and Sihwan Kim (Iron Heads GC).
These four finished inside LIV’s ‘Drop Zone.’ It would have been six golfers, but Lee Westwood and Martin Kaymer are captains, which kept them safe from being relegated.
Players ranked No. 1-24 secured their status for 2024. Guys inside the 25-44th spots are in what LIV Golf calls the “Open Zone.” They can stay with their current team or sign with another in the transfer market.
Any guys past that No. 44 spot went into the “Drop Zone.”
The tournament in December will promote three players to LIV rosters. The top player on the Asian Tour will be promoted into the league in 2024, taking the fourth spot.
It will not be a traditional 54-hole tournament for these guys, but 72. The event will be divided into various cuts and feature different exemption categories.
LIV Promotional Tournament – Structure
The first round consists of the winners of the U.S. and British Amateur championships, Latin-America Amateur, Asia-Pacific Amateur and European Amateur, No. 6-32 in the International Series rankings, as well as players from the top 200 in the Official World Golf Ranking and top 20 of the World Amateur Golf Ranking.
The top 20 players and those tied with them advance into the second round.
The second round will see the scores reset for another 18 holes. The top 20 from Day 1 will be joined by players who earned automatic exemptions into the second round.
These players include relegated players, winners of a PGA Tour or a DP World Tour event, major champions since 2018, Ryder Cup and President Cup players and those ranked inside the top five on the International Series standings.
From there, the top 16 players will advance into the final two rounds of play.
Those players will battle it out in a traditional stroke play format.
Of those 16, three will earn automatic promotions to LIV Golf in 2024.
Relegation is new to the golf world, but it’s something to watch because it could set the tone for even bigger changes.
Savannah Leigh Richardson is a golf staff writer for SB Nation’s Playing Through. You can follow her on Twitter @SportsGirlSL and Instagram @savannah_leigh_sports for more golf coverage. Be sure to check out @_PlayingThrough too.