Golf-LIV Golf announces 2023 schedule with 14 events in seven countries

FILE PHOTO: Oct 30, 2022; Miami, Florida, USA; Greg Norman the LIV Golf CEO watches during the final round of the season finale of the LIV Golf series at Trump National Doral. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

(Reuters) - LIV Golf's 2023 schedule will have 14 events set to be played in seven countries with $405 million in prize purses, the breakaway tour announced on Monday, doubling the number of events from its inaugural season last year.

The season begins with a Feb. 24-26 event in Mexico's Riviera Maya and ends with the team championship in the first week of November in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Other events will take place in the United States, Australia, Singapore, Spain and the United Kingdom. The 2022 season had events held in London, Portland, Bedminster, Boston, Chicago, Bangkok and Jeddah.

"Last year helped lay the foundation for the future of golf at extraordinary courses that have hosted some of the world's top competitions," LIV Golf CEO and Commissioner Greg Norman said in a statement.

"LIV Golf's schedule features fantastic venues and championship sites for our official league launch that will carry the sport into a new era."

Bankrolled by Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund, LIV Golf caused a stir in the sport last year when it lured players away from the existing Tours with the promise of guaranteed, big-money paydays and a reduced schedule.

Top players such as Cameron Smith, Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson, Brooks Koepka, Bryson DeChambeau, Sergio Garcia and Patrick Reed joined LIV Golf, with the U.S.-based PGA Tour suspending members who opted to join the rival circuit.

Critics say LIV Golf amounts to blatant "sportswashing" by a nation trying to improve its reputation tarnished by a history of human rights abuses.

Earlier this month, LIV Golf secured the U.S. television rights deal it was seeking with the CW Network which will broadcast all 14 events of the Saudi-backed series.

(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge)

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