Who are the latest PGA Tour golfers to make the switch to LIV Golf?
More big names are expected to depart the PGA Tour this week and join the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Invitational tour for its second tournament in Portland on June 30.
The US Open at Brookline brought back a feeling of normality to golf fans after two tense weeks of golf prior to and during the LIV Golf London Invitational, but things are getting weird again.
Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson, Sergio Garcia were the first big names to join the LIV Golf tour. Then Bryson DeChambeau and Patrtick Reed announced they were leaving. Things were pleasantly quiet during the US Open week that saw Matt Fitzpatrick win his first major at Brookline, but only 24 hours later more players allegedly followed the example of players like Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter and Graeme McDowell.
Show me the money!
Abraham Ancer from Mexico couldn’t resist the temptation to join the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Tour and will play at the next tournament in Portland, OR June 30 - July 2 for a shot to win the $4 million prize for the individual winner. Although he may not be a household name, he is 20th on the Official World Golf Ranking with three top-10 finishes this season, including a T-9 at the PGA Championship.
Other possible departures
Brooks Koepka has had a rough 2022 season so far with a missed cut at the Masters and two consecutive 55 position finishes at the PGA Championship and US Open. The four-time major winner edited his Twitter account profile on Monday evening and removed any mention of the PGA Tour.
Last week Golf Monthly and another media outlet on Twitter predicted that Koepka would follow his younger brother to the new LIV Golf tour after participating at the US Open. Brooks Koepka was recently married and, like other counterparts before him, will surely claim that it’s a business decision and he has decided to go for the best interest of his newly formed family.
More big names, but waiting for confirmation
In their article on May 17, Golf Monthly also mentioned the possibility of young American super talents Collin Morikawa and Xander Schauffele might leave the PGA Tour. So far, the big name defectors have been golfers at the end of their careers so losing these two, as well as young Norwegian superstar Viktor Hovland, would cause panic for PGA Tour officials.
If more young talent leave the PGA, the tour might have to go back on its decision to ban LIV players from its events and look for a way to allow them to compete in both tours in order to avoid any more damage to its brand.