LIV Golf hit by the resignation of chief operating officer Atul Khosla after just a year in the role, amid reports the Saudi-backed rebel tour could be losing $355MILLION by 2028
LIV Golf COO Atul Khosla has stepped down from his post after just a year in the job at the breakaway golf league.
Khosla was expected to lead LIV – which features 12 four-man teams and shotgun starts – into the future, but players and agents were told earlier this week Khosla intended to step down.
LIV commissioner Greg Norman confirmed the news Friday in a statement to the New York Times.
Atul Khosla has resigned from his role as LIV CEO after just a year on the job
‘At the conclusion of LIV´s successful inaugural season, Atul Khosla decided to move on,’ Norman said.
‘We respect A.K. and his personal decision.’
Funded by the Saudi Arabia sovereign wealth fund, LIV launched last year as a higher-paying PGA Tour alternative.
Top names like Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka and British Open champion Cameron Smith all signed on for more than $100 million.
The league also features rule changes, notably the shotgun start, which sees golfers start at the same time on different tees and is meant to create a more exciting atmosphere.
Phil Mickelson received an eye-watering signing fee to join breakaway league LIV
However, recent reporting suggests LIV is falling short of the lofty goals it’s set for itself.
A New York Times report last week, involving the review of hundreds of pages of confidential documents, included an outside consulting firm’s outlook on the path to financial success for a rival league.
The benchmark for success was to sign each of the world´s top 12 players, get sponsors and a television deal, all while not facing retaliation from the PGA Tour.
The documents, prepared by McKinsey & Company, laid out a scenario where the league would lose $355 million if top players, especially the likes of Mickelson, Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods did not sign on.
While Mickelson has joined the league, McIlroy and Woods have stood in staunch opposition to the league, and Smith is currently LIV’s only top 10 player.
LIV Golf CEO and commissioner Greg Norman confirmed Khosla’s resignation on Friday
The documents also noted that a ‘lack of excitement from fans’ regarding the league – which is currently without a TV contract – would contribute to its demise.
LIV is the lead plaintiff in an antitrust lawsuit with the PGA Tour, which has suspended all players who signed with the Saudi-funded league.
The league plans a 14-event schedule for 2023 and already has announced seven sites, three of them previous PGA Tour venues .