The breakaway LIV Golf series on Wednesday announced a 14-event league for 2023, with organisers aiming to expand their reach across the globe.
The Saudi-backed rebel series launched this year with eight events, vying for talent with the US PGA Tour and the Europe-based DP World Tour in a bitter battle that has created deep divisions within the sport.
Star players recruited by LIV Golf chief executive Greg Norman include major winners Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau, Brooks Koepka and Sergio Garcia.
LIV Golf said Wednesday that 48 players and 12 team franchises would compete in a 14-event Golf League next year.
Players will be competing for $405 million in prize money, with the season culminating in a team matchplay grand finale.
Organisers emphasised the schedule “will not compete with the majors, international team events or heritage events”.
The full list of tournaments will be announced at a later date.
LIV Golf League players will also be expected to compete in International Series tournaments — events staged in partnership with the Asian Tour.
In total, LIV Golf will put on 25 tournaments worldwide in 2023.
“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,” said Norman, a former world number one.
Launched this year with the backing of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, LIV Golf has attracted fierce criticism from human rights groups who say the venture exists as a tool to “sportswash” the kingdom’s international reputation.
Wednesday’s expansion announcement came as LIV prepares to stage its third event of the year this week at Trump National in Bedminster, New Jersey.
US players who have signed up to LIV Golf have been indefinitely suspended from the PGA Tour, meaning they are no longer eligible to play in the Ryder Cup, a team event that takes place every two years and pits the United States against Europe.
The DP World Tour fined its members who played in last month’s inaugural LIV event in London and banned them from three events, but no indefinite suspensions have yet been imposed.
European veteran Paul Casey, one of the latest players to sign with LIV, on Wednesday accused DP World Tour chiefs of “changing goal posts” with its decision to fine players who had not obtained releases to play on the rebel circuit.
“Fines being handed out for playing without a release, I’ve played many a tournament without a release and was never fined, and suddenly the goal posts are changing,” Casey said at a press conference in Bedminster.
Casey and fellow new LIV recruits Jason Kokrak and Charles Howell meanwhile insisted they were not intending to damage the sport by signing with LIV.
“None of us are intending to damage golf or damage the Tour,” Casey said.
“At no time have I ever tried to damage the Tour in the decision that I’ve made.
“If it’s damaged, I think the questions have to be asked somewhere else.”
PGA Tour veteran Howell insisted that his decision to join LIV was not influenced by money but rather a desire for a new experience after 22 years on the PGA Tour.
“No, money was not a factor,” Howell said.
“For me, I’ve been (on the PGA Tour) for 22 years, and it’s been awesome. I’ve got nothing but great things to say about the PGA TOUR, what they’ve given me, the opportunities, et cetera.
“For me, this is something new. It’s exciting. 22 years with the PGA TOUR, I was ready for this, for a change.”