With LIV Golf expanding to 13 teams, the format and rules needed an update, too.
But the most notable rule change LIV formally announced on Wednesday pertained to how team scores are tabulated.
In LIV’s first two seasons, each four-man team’s best three scores counted for every round. Starting in 2024, that will remain true for the first and second rounds, but for the final round of each event, all four team members’ scores will count.
Fields are expanding to 54 players for LIV’s third season in large part because the league managed to sign Spanish star Jon Rahm on a deal reportedly in excess of $300 million. Rahm, the No. 3 player in the world rankings, has enough cachet to be the captain of his own team, which will be called Legion XIII.
Englishman Tyrrell Hatton, Zimbabwe’s Kieran Vincent and Caleb Surratt filled out Rahm’s debut team.
The 13 teams of four will be joined in each event by two “wild cards.” Hudson Swafford and Englishman Laurie Canter are the two wild cards at this week’s season opener at Mayakoba, playing only in the individual competition.
Adapting to the larger field size, the cut-offs for the individual standings have changed. The top 24 spots remained the “Lock Zone,” while the “Open Zone” became places 25-48 and the “Drop Zone” is 49th and below. Players on expiring contracts who finish in the Open Zone aren’t guaranteed a spot and must be re-signed by their team or find another team to join. Those bottom six in the Drop Zone are relegated to the LIV Golf Promotions tournament.
LIV also said the field for the season-ending team championship will remain at 12 teams. The team that finishes in last will not qualify but will still attend the event.