LIV Golf has been hit by the resignation of chief operating officer Atul Khosla after just one year in the role, amid reports the Saudi-backed rebel tour could lose $355MILLION by 2028
LIV Golf COO Atul Khosla is stepping down after just one year on the job at the breakaway golf league.
Khosla was expected to lead LIV – which features 12 four-man teams and shotgun starts – going forward, but players and agents were told earlier this week that 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 one year on the job
‘At the end of LIV’s successful inaugural season, Atul Khosla decided to move on,’ said Norman.
‘We respect AK 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 for more than $100 million.
The league also features rule changes, notably the shotgun start, which sees golfers start simultaneously from different tees and is meant to create a more exciting environment.
Phil Mickelson received an eye-watering signing fee to join breakaway league LIV
However, recent reporting suggests that LIV is falling short of the lofty goals it has set for itself.
A New York Times report last week, which involved a review of hundreds of pages of confidential documents, included an outside consulting firm’s view of the path to financial success for a rival league.
The benchmark for success is signing each of the top 12 players in the world, getting sponsors and television deals, all while not facing retaliation from the PGA Tour.
The documents, prepared by McKinsey & Company, laid out a scenario in which the league would lose $355 million if top players, particularly the likes of Mickelson, Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods, did not sign.
While Mickelson joined the league, McIlroy and Woods stood in stiff opposition in the league, and Smith is currently the LIV’s 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 currently does not have a TV contract – would contribute to its demise.
LIV is the lead plaintiff in an antitrust lawsuit against the PGA Tour, which has suspended all players signed to the Saudi-funded league.
The league is planning a 14-event schedule for 2023 and has already announced seven sites, three of which are former PGA Tour venues.