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A different format, massive payouts, and controversy galore: Here’s a guide to the LIV Golf Invitational Boston.

Lane Turner/Globe Staff
The LIV Golf Invitational Boston will be played from Friday to Sunday at The International in Bolton.


There is no PGA Tour event this weekend, but there will be pro golf, with the controversial LIV Golf series staging its fourth event this year at The International in Bolton.

While its stated goal is to be fan friendly with smaller fields and fewer rounds, as often is the case, it is more about the money. Each event has a $25 million purse, with the possibility of bigger payouts at the end of the season. The cash has been more than enough to lure some of golf’s top competitors away the PGA Tour, with big names including Phil Mickelson, Cam Smith, Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Bryson DeChambeau, and Sergio Garcia joining LIV Golf.

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The source of the money is the root of the controversy. The series is funded by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, the financial arm of the Saudi government, as it uses golf to try to improve its global image.

Saudi Arabia’s list of human rights violations includes public executions; discrimination against women, LGBTQ members, and migrant workers; free speech and religious prohibitions; and the accusation that the kingdom’s leader, Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud, approved the murder of American journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

LIV CEO and former No. 1 golfer in the world Greg Norman did not help things with his response when asked about the death of Khashoggi.

“Look, we’ve all made mistakes and you just want to learn by those mistakes and how you can correct them going forward,” Norman said in May.

Relatives of Sept. 11 victims urged Donald Trump to cancel the third leg of the series, which was held July 29-31 at the former president’s Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J. As a presidential candidate, Trump had raised the issue of Saudi involvement in the attacks, but had no issue hosting the event and played in the pro-am with Johnson and DeChambeau, along with his son Eric.

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Here’s a guide to the LIV Golf Invitational Boston.

Format

Unlike PGA tournaments, which are four rounds of 18 holes and have a cutoff after the second round, LIV Golf is only three rounds, with no cuts. There are 48 players divided into 12 teams.

For its inaugural season, LIV Golf has eight events – the first seven serving as a “regular season” and offering a total purse of $30 million for the top three individuals ($18 million, $8 million, and $4 million). This is only available to players who play in a minimum of four events, and based on points after the first seven are complete.

The eighth event will be a seeded four-day, four-round match play for the team championship. It will have a total prize fund of $50 million and all 12 teams receive a cut ($16 million for first place and $1 million for 12th). Each player receives a 25 percent cut of team earnings.

Here is the structure for the first seven tournaments:

Captain: Each team has a captain who selects his squad. All members of the four-player teams, including the captain, participate in the three-day event.

Individual Winner: The player with the lowest 54-hole stroke play total is the winner. At the regular season’s end, the player with the most ranking points after seven events will be named the individual champion.

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Team Competition: Over the first two rounds, the best two stroke-play scores will count for each team. For the third and final round, the best three scores will count. The lowest overall team score after 54 holes is the team winner.

Purse: $25 million — $20 million for individuals, ranging from $4 million for the winner and $120,000 for the last-place finisher.

Dates: The tournament runs Friday through Sunday, The competition begins each day at 1:15 p.m. with a shotgun start.

How to watch: The tournament will be globally available direct to consumers on LIVGolf.com, YouTube and Facebook.

The course

Tom Fazio designed The Oaks Course in 2001. In 2021, Tripp Davis oversaw a restoration that included complete bunker renovation. The course was lengthened, tee boxes laser-leveled and re-grassed, and additional work was done to improve irrigation, drainage, and cart paths. The total yardage for the par-70 course is 6,944 yards.

While TPC Boston in Norton had been a part of the PGA Tour from 2003-18, there has not been a regular stop in the Boston area for the last few years. That, and the fact that the Texas-based Escalante Golf group bought The International in 2021, made the Oaks Course an attractive option. Escalante Golf also owns Pumpkin Ridge in Portland, Ore., where the first US LIV tournament was held June 30-July 2.

If you go

General admission for a single-day grounds pass is $49. Three-day passes are $115. Admission is free for children 15 and under, as well as active-duty military/veterans plus a guest.

All tickets are digital and should be purchased in advance. Concession and merchandise sales will not accept cash payments.

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Parking: Parking is included with all ticket purchases. General parking is available at the Lancaster Fairgrounds, on 318 Seven Bridge Road, Lancaster on Route 117.

All rideshare drop-offs and pick-ups will be at the Lancaster Fairgrounds. Once entering the fairgrounds, follow the signs for the designated taxi and rideshare drop-off and pick-up locations.

Complimentary shuttles to the course will run Friday, Saturday, and Sunday beginning at 10 a.m. throughout the day until 30 minutes after the end of each day’s music performance in the fan village. Each shuttle will drop off and pick up guests near the tournament’s main entrance at hole No. 1. The shuttle ride from the pick-up point to the drop-off location is approximately 10 minutes.

Local parking and road access is prohibited. There is no public parking at or on the surrounding streets of The International Golf Club. There will be no through traffic on Ballville Road for anyone but residents.

Friday-Sunday schedule

9 a.m.: Parking lots open

10 a.m.: Gates open

1 p.m.: Frog-X Navy SEAL parachute team performs

1:15 p.m.: Players tee off (shotgun start)

6 p.m.: Live music performances on Saturday (St. Lucia) and Sunday (Diplo). In addition, Dalton and the Sheriffs will perform at noon on Saturday

Who’s playing?

Six players are making their LIV Golf debuts, including world No. 2 and 2022 British Open champion Cameron Smith, world No. 19 and top Chilean golfer Joaquin Niemann, Harold Varner III (No. 46), Cameron Tringale (No. 55), Marc Leishman (No. 62) and India’s top-ranked pro Anirban Lahiri (No. 92) who will join the field of 48 competing.

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They will be joining Mickelson, Johnson, Koepka, DeChambeau, Garcia, Patrick Reed, Louis Oosthuizen, Lee Westwood, Matthew Wolff, and Henrik Stenson.

Former world No. 2 player and two-time Masters champion Bubba Watson will be an off-course captain during the Boston event. He’ll also make on-air appearances during live event coverage.

Full field

Abraham Ancer, Richard Bland, Laurie Canter, Paul Casey, Eugenio Chacarra, Bryson DeChambeau, Sergio Garcia, Talor Gooch, Branden Grace, Sam Horsfield, Charles Howell III, Dustin Johnson, Matt Jones, Sadom Kaewkanjana, Martin Kaymer, Phachara Khongwatmai, Sihwan Kim, Brooks Koepka, Chase Koepka, Jason Kokrak, Anirban Lahiri, Marc Leishman, Graeme McDowell, Phil Mickelson, Jediah Morgan, Kevin Na, Joaquin Niemann, Shaun Norris, Louis Oosthuizen, Wade Ormsby, Carlos Ortiz, Adrian Otaegui, Pat Perez, Turk Pettit, James Piot, Ian Poulter, Patrick Reed, Charl Schwartzel, Cameron Smith, Henrik Stenson, Hudson Swafford, Cameron Tringale, Peter Uihlein, Harold Varner III, Scott Vincent, Lee Westwood, Bernd Wiesberger, Matthew Wolff

Previous events

Here are the winners from the first three events

June 9-11, London: Charl Schwartzel won the inaugural event at Centurion Club, while Stingers GC, which consists of Louis Oosthuizen, Schwartzel, Hennie du Plessis, and Brandon Grace won the team competition.

June 30-July 2, Portland, Ore.: Grace took individual honors at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club. Taking the team title were 4 Aces GC (captained Dustin Johnson, Talor Gooch, Pat Perez, and Patrick Reed).

July 29-31, Bedminster, N.J.: Henrik Stenson came out on top, while 4 Aces repeated as the top team.

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