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It’s estimated LIV Golf spent around $1.15 billion to get up and running in 2023, but a leading figure in the golf industry warns it must get stronger, or risk disappearing within three years.

LIV Golf’s second season gets underway in Mexico on Saturday morning, with a number of issues still unresolved, chief among them the continuing battle for world rankings points for the Greg Norman-led league.

A handful of new names have signed on for year two, but it’s fair to say none are really going to move the needle in the battle with the PGA Tour.

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Belgium’s Thomas Pieters is the highest-ranked of the new signings, at 35 in the world, but he’s now six years removed from his only top-five finish at a major, although he has won six times on the European Tour, most recently in January 2022.

The PGA Tour has reacted to the threat from LIV Golf by increasing prizemoney at what it calls “elevated” or “designated” events, in what shapes as a protracted war between the two sides.

For its part, LIV is focusing on the teams aspect of its competition, with Norman claiming that the “most popular sports in the world are team sports.”

According to former agent, Andrew ‘Chubby’ Chandler, who counted Ernie Els and Rory McIlroy amongst his clients, 2023 is shaping as “a big year for LIV”.

“The PGA Tour has done so much to keep going forward, now LIV have got to find a few gems and Pieters doesn’t quite fit that bill,” he told the BBC.

“They’ve got to keep adding to their roster or it will be very dull, won’t it? There’s a lot depending on what they do this year. They have to make this team thing more interesting.”

Chandler has compared LIV to another upstart organisation which has made huge inroads in just over a decade – the Indian Premier League.

“Every IPL team has a high-profile, very rich owner,” he pointed out.

“That is where I think this has to go if it is going to succeed and that’s where the value comes.”

LIV Golf will come to Adelaide in April, a welcome alternative to the insular PGA Tour which has effectively destroyed the once-thriving Australasian Tour.

But Chandler says Norman’s league needs to take significant steps forward, and quickly.

“The public will decide in the end,” he added. “They’ll either watch on TV or not; they’ll either go to the tournaments or not.

“To keep going LIV has to get stronger, it can’t be as is forever or it’ll disappear in two or three years time.”

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