3 more golfers just joined LIV (and 1 fell tragically short)

Greg Norman spoke at LIV's Promotions event.

LIV Golf gained three extra gamers for its 2024 season on Sunday.

LIV Golf

LIV made headlines with its acquisition of Jon Rahm earlier this week. It’ll proceed to create headlines within the coming days and weeks because it fills out Rahm’s LIV workforce and provides free brokers to others. However on Sunday it added three lesser-known names, too, by its first-ever Promotions occasion.

The occasion introduced 73 gamers from throughout excursions to Abu Dhabi for a three-day shootout to fill three spots for the 2024 LIV season.

Friday’s opening spherical pared the sphere all the way down to 42 gamers. Scores had been reset for Saturday’s 18-hole competitors, which then pared the sphere to twenty gamers. On Sunday scores had been reset once more and the remaining contestants performed 36 holes to find out the three spots.

Finland’s Kalle Samooja recorded the bottom 36-hole rating, making birdie on his ultimate two holes to put up eight underneath (65-71) and declare medalist honors, incomes his spot within the course of.

“My solely mission was to make it to Sunday after which give all of it I’ve, and we’re standing right here,” Samooja mentioned.

Three gamers completed the day at seven underneath and so proceeded to a sudden-death playoff for the ultimate two spots; that’s the place issues received fascinating. On the par-5 18th, the primary playoff gap, England’s Laurie Canter reached the inexperienced in two whereas Japan’s Jinichiro Kozuma discovered the water together with his tee shot. However a three-putt from Canter mixed with an up-and-down for par from Kozuma and one other par from Zimbabwe’s Kieran Vincent despatched them to a second playoff gap.

On the second playoff gap, Canter tried a daring second shot from a tough lie — however then he topped it into the water, all however eliminating himself from rivalry. Vincent and Kozuma cruised by to assert the ultimate two spots.

“Credit score to him, credit score to Laurie,” mentioned Vincent. “It’s clearly only a painful sport, and clearly we’re fortunate to be on this facet of it, however clearly it’s heartbreak for Laurie.”

Samooja is a 35-year-old who has spent a lot of his profession on the DP World Tour; he claimed the $200,000 first prize. Vincent, 26, will be a part of his brother Scott on LIV. And Kozuma, 29, will play a full LIV season after making three begins on the startup circuit in 2022.

“I don’t assume the tears are doing it justice,” mentioned an emotional Vincent. “Clearly it’s simply a type of experiences that — clearly watching my brother the entire yr, seeing how life-changing it may be, I simply hope that this propels my profession to an entire new degree.”

LIV Golf's qualifiers.
Jinichiro Kozuma, Kalle Samooja and Kieran Vincent (L-R)

LIV Golf

Canter leads the subsequent set of finishers in 4th-Tenth who will earn exemptions into the 2024 Worldwide Sequence, a set of LIV-funded occasions on the Asian Tour’s schedule. He earned $75,000 for fourth place all the best way all the way down to $25,000 for Tenth place. Finishers in spots 11-20 earned $17,500.

LIV’s Promotions occasion happens because the league chases legitimacy coming into its third season. Critics have cited the league’s closed system (most of its 48 gamers didn’t qualify for LIV however had been hand-selected) as an indication of unseriousness and among the many causes it was undeserving. However a qualifying match opens three spots to exchange three relegated gamers from the 2023 season.

The occasion additionally comes within the context of ongoing negotiations between the Saudi Public Funding Fund and the PGA Tour — negotiations which have solely gotten extra advanced in latest weeks. Though the PGA Tour didn’t decide the Promotions occasion to be “unauthorized,” many of the PGA Tour gamers who entered didn’t file for media releases in time. Consequently these gamers — which embody Kevin Chappell and Martin Coach (who completed within the prime 10) in addition to Jason Dufner — could also be topic to suspensions.

LIV CEO Greg Norman was triumphant in his post-tournament remarks.

“My cellphone has been blowing up since I’ve been right here,” Norman mentioned with attribute confidence. “Individuals from all around the world have been watching this, as a result of clearly it has a really highly effective which means about this pathway to the LIV league for 2024. That’s a testomony to the thought and the method that we put by creating this chance for the three guys who made it right here right this moment.”

LIV’s 2024 season kicks off in February at Mayakoba in Mexico. You possibly can see the highest 10 finishers from the Promotions occasion beneath.

1. Kalle Samooja

2. Kieran Vincent

3. Jinichiro Kozuma

4. Laurie Canter, England

5. Jaco Ahlers, South Africa

6. Zach Bauchou, USA

7. Poom Saksansin, Thailand

8. Kevin Chappell, USA

9. Martin Coach, France

10. Suradit Yongcharoenchai, Thailand

Dylan Dethier

Dylan Dethier

Golf.com Editor

Dylan Dethier is a senior author for GOLF Journal/GOLF.com. The Williamstown, Mass. native joined GOLF in 2017 after two years scuffling on the mini-tours. Dethier is a graduate of Williams School, the place he majored in English, and he’s the creator of 18 in America, which particulars the yr he spent as an 18-year-old dwelling from his automotive and taking part in a spherical of golf in each state.

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