ABU DHABI: Ahead of the inaugural LIV Golf Promotions event at the Abu Dhabi Golf Club from December 8 – 10, a diverse array of golf talents, spanning from young prospects to seasoned veterans and international stars, spoke with the media. This tournament stands as a pivotal moment during the off-season for the league, where competitors from around the world will compete for three coveted spots on the 2024 LIV Golf roster through four rounds of 18-hole stroke play. As the excitement builds for the inaugural LIV Golf Promotions event, the sentiments of these players offer insights into the perspectives surrounding this groundbreaking tournament.
Amateur sensation Max Kennedy from Ireland shared his thoughts stating, “LIV Golf seems to be a very exciting new thing that’s happened in the game of golf, and this is my first time being in a LIV Tour kind of event. It seems like a very exciting way to play the game of golf. I feel like golf in the past has been a little boring, so lightening that up and letting the players go and seeing what they do is a good way to play golf, and I’m all for that. Being here this week, I’m very excited for the challenge that’s ahead. I think it’s a great format, and I’m looking forward to the challenge this week of competing and trying to get onto a very good tour.”
Chinese star Sampson Yunhe Zheng, who secured a bye into the second round, commented on the advantage, saying, “I think it definitely gives you a little bit of an advantage. On Friday, I can kind of see how the course plays, how the conditions change, how the scores unfold a little bit. So yeah, [there’s] definitely an advantage to that. Tomorrow, just as usual, I think I’m going to play the course. Maybe not 18 holes, but probably most of it. Friday is more of an adjustment, kind of dial in some distances and dial in the speed on the green type of day, just a little more relaxed.”
Indian ace Karandeep Kochhar, arriving in peak form after recent second place finish at the Indonesian Masters and fifth place at the China Open, shared his thoughts on his recent performances, saying, “I think the last month has been pretty good for me, especially a couple of weeks ago in Indonesia, missed well, so I think confidence is quite high. Overall, I think the game has been pretty well over the past six months. I’m really excited for this event. The golf course is in great shape. I think it’s a great opportunity for all of us players to get on a bigger tour and play with some of the best players in the world. Really excited at this opportunity, and hopefully have a good week.”
Australian veteran Scott Hend, boasting 16 worldwide wins across various tours, expressed his positive outlook on a potential LIV Golf career, saying, “As a player, I feel like it’s really a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to play in events that are sort of this format, and to come here and try and possibly get a LIV card, once again, I keep saying it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It’s a special opportunity for a guy, especially my age at any point in my career, so I’m looking forward to the week, and I think it’s great with a variety of international players here trying to get on to the tour.” Despite his years of experience and the prospect of playing alongside other over-50s like Richard Bland and Phil Mickelson, Hend added, “It’s an old cliche, isn’t it; the golf clubs don’t know how old you are. Anything can happen. Just come out here, and 20 guys getting through every day until you get to rounds 3 and 4 and the slate being wiped clean every day. You’ve just got to get yourself to rounds 3 and 4 and you get a hot putter, and anything can happen, and all of a sudden the doors are wide open.”
The American Chris Stroud expressed optimism about the inaugural LIV Golf Promotions event, having gathered insights from his peers ahead of the 2024 qualifier. “My focus when I heard about this opportunity just a few weeks ago, I mean, pretty much half the LIV players that played this last year are all my buddies. I’ve played for 16 years on the PGA TOUR, and I’ve kept in touch with all of them. Their answer is the same. They’ve never had so much fun in their life. They’re going to these incredible places. They’re only playing 14 events a year, easy on the body, bringing the family. Incredible golf courses, and they’re just having fun because it’s a team aspect. That draws to me. I’ve done this a long time. 20 years as a pro, 16 years on the PGA TOUR. I’ve had a lot of individual golf. But the team aspect excites me. I think every single person here, at least me for sure, I’m here to win and win only.”
While each player brings their own story to LIV Golf Promotions, a common theme emerges, the excitement and eagerness to embrace the opportunities that LIV Golf presents. LIV Golf Promotions will be available globally live and on-demand on LIV Golf Plus, the LIV Golf YouTube channel, and broadcast partners around the world, with live coverage on Friday and Saturday from 12:00 – 4:00 p.m. and Sunday from 12:30 – 5:00 p.m. (all times local). For more information, visit LIV Golf Promotions 2023.
The LIV Golf League is owned and operated by LIV Golf Investments whose vision and mission is centered around making holistic and sustainable investments to enhance the global golf ecosystem and unlock the sport’s untapped worldwide potential.