Rebel organization LIV Golf has rocked the sport and certainly ruffled a lot of feathers along the way.
But it could still breathe new life into the game in Australia, with news that three tournaments will be staged next year.
The controversial tour – led by Australian golfing icon Greg Norman – is largely funded by the Saudi government, which has been accused of numerous human rights crimes.
READ MORE: The real punishment in the collapse of the trainer’s “dog”
READ MORE: Kyrgios stuns world No. 1 Medvedev
READ MORE: Head coach set to snub club from AFL rivals
This is the main reason LIV is blacklisted by many, although it is also seen as a blatant attempt to leverage the long-running PGA Tour to raise prize money for the best players in the world.
Australians, however, have little reason to be loyal to the US PGA Tour, which can be accused of essentially ignoring the game Down Under for a number of years now.
While the island nation has produced three major male winners over the past decade, the gain has hardly been reciprocated by the most prestigious golf league in the world.
Their loss could be Norman’s gain, as he plots a return to his homeland with the aim of steering Australian fans to LIV Golf with the lure of seeing some of the biggest names up close and personal.
The Australian Golf Digest reports that LIV plans to hold three tournaments in the country in 2023 as part of a $300 million partnership with the Asian Tour.
A LIV Golf League tournament will be played in Sydney in April. On top of that, two of the Asian Tour’s international series events are set to be held Down Under.
9News Queensland reports that the Gold Coast is one of the main candidates to host at least one of these tournaments.
Australian golfers will be incentivized to register for LIV if they can play three events in their home country. The snag will be the almost certain banishment from the PGA Tour.
Australia’s two current biggest tournaments – the Australian Open and the Australian PGA Championship – are sanctioned by the Europe-based DP World Tour.
The news fell just hours after it was announced. Australia’s most recent great champion, Cameron Smith, has agreed to a $140 million deal with Norman’s rebel league.
LIV Golf will organize tournaments in Australia
Fellow Australian Marc Leishman is also said to be ditching the PGA Tour in favor of Saudi riches.
With LIV Golf in the south, Australians will have the chance to see their best players like Smith and Leishman – as well as American superstars like Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson, Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau – compete on these shores.
It’s a luxury they would otherwise almost surely miss.
For a daily dose of the best news and exclusive content from Wide World of Sports, subscribe to our newsletter by click here!
Stars who have signed on to Greg Norman’s LIV Golf Tour