Asian Tour: LIV Golf millions hang in balance ahead of final International Series event
- Player who finishes top of Order of Merit will earn exemption for 2023 LIV Golf Invitational season
- Zimbabwe’s Scott Vincent in pole position, with American Sihwan Kim hot on his heels
There will be more than just the Indonesian Masters title on the line when the Asian Tour’s inaugural International Series concludes in Jakarta next month.
The winner of the series Order of Merit will get a shot at earning a multimillion-dollar reward in the form of an exemption into the 14-stop LIV Golf League next year.
With a new event already announced for Australia, the 48-player circuit is expected to expand its global footprint in 2023, with stops in North America, Latin America, Asia, Australia, the Middle East and Europe.
“The introduction of the International Series on the Asian Tour this year has been a huge success and the integration into the LIV Golf League is a very important next step,” Cho Minn Thant, the Tour’s commissioner and CEO, said.
“Not only has the International Series provided more playing opportunities and greater purses for our members but it also provides an incredible opportunity that lives up to LIV Golf’s promise of enhancing player pathways.”
The International Series was launched this year with prize purses of upwards of US$1.5million, and has been played across seven countries – Thailand, England, Singapore, Korea, Morocco, Egypt and Indonesia.
Zimbabwe’s Scott Vincent is in pole position on the merit list after last week’s stop in Egypt having amassed earnings of US$493,125 from the first six events of the seven-leg schedule. American Sihwan Kim is second with winnings of US$424,883.
In 2023, LIV Golf League players plan to compete in numerous International Series tournaments, bringing the world’s top players to locations in Asia and the Arab region and several new international destinations.
Tournaments will be broadcast across the globe and showcase an international field of headline and next-generation talent for a worldwide audience.
“In total, LIV Golf will deliver 25 tournaments worldwide in 2023 that will bring value, innovation and new audiences to golf,” Greg Norman, the LIV Golf boss, said.
“LIV Golf’s expanding global platform will add a new dimension to the golf ecosystem as we know it, one that provides an opportunity for players and fans around the world to help maximise our beloved sport’s true potential.”
Vincent and Kim are among a host of Asian Tour members who have already appeared at LIV Golf Invitational events.
In-form Thai Sadom Kaewkanjana and Australian Wade Ormsby were ever-present throughout all eight tournaments in 2022, both earning their starts directly through the Asian Tour Order of Merit.
Vincent and Thailand’s Phachara Khongwatmai also gained entry to all eight of the showpiece gatherings through their performances on the International Series this year.
Other Asian Tour regulars who benefited from their International Series ranking were Kim, Australian Travis Smyth, South African Ian Snyman and Thai Itthipat Buranatanyarat all playing in multiple LIV Golf series events.
Also savouring the opportunity to brush shoulders with some of the biggest names in the game, Australian Kevin Yuan and Indian Viraj Madappa qualified for the inaugural LIV Golf Invitational in England via the International Series England event at Slaley Hall, won by Vincent.
“Our franchise model will bring new energy and excitement to fans from all corners of the world, establishing a league of teams to connect and grow with,” Norman said.
“The International Series will attract new talent and offer unprecedented pathways that develop the next generation of stars. LIV Golf is committed to making sustainable investments that grow the game now and for the future, and we are proud to turn these dreams into a reality.”