Which players are expected to join Greg Norman's crusade ahead of the revamped 2023 season? We weigh up the likelihood of the biggest names linked to LIV Golf so far
Since LIV Golf became part of our everyday lives, have we managed to go 24 hours without a big-name player being linked with Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund backed breakaway series?
It’s like football’s now infamous Transfer Deadline Day except, well, it’s every day.
And with commissioner Greg Norman looking to lock up his 12 teams and 48 players as part of LIV’s revamp for the 2023 season, so who’s in, who’s out, and who’s still on the fence?
Let’s weigh up the latest rumours of who is leaving the PGA and DP World Tour for the LIV Golf series…
LIV Golf rumours
One South American star who hasn’t yet made the switch, Pereira now looks a shoo-in to sign for LIV ahead of its revamped 2023 season.
The Chilean was rumoured to join Abraham Ancer and Joaquin Niemann in the series all summer, but opted to stay on the PGA Tour and play the Presidents Cup. Now though, with the rumour mill doing the rounds again, it appears Pereira will join LIV after being spotted alongside a host of its players at Sergio Garcia’s charity day.
This is on top of a report from The Telegraph claiming Pereira “had already agreed” to join LIV back in September.
Unlike Smith, Leishman, and Adam Scott, Jason Day is an Aussie who’s name has been kept quiet on the LIV front despite Norman’s desires to create a star-studded team of natives. This changed at the QBE Shootout, when the 2015 PGA champion enticed speculation after telling the Palm Beach Post he “wouldn’t go as of now”, but “might think differently” come next year. Money talks, after all.
The World No 4 has been linked with LIV since the league’s inaugural event after admitting a lucrative offer would be “very tempting”.
The American then somewhat rebuked his claims at the Rocket Mortgage Classic, insisting he has no plans to join the series “at the moment”. Hmm, by no means a total objection.
The rumours then escalated again following the LIV Golf Team Championship, with The Guardian reporting that Cantlay and best bud Xander Schauffele are top of the Saudis wish list for 2023. After keeping tight-lipped for several months, Cantlay then put his foot down on the matter at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, insisting he has “no plans” to join LIV “as of now”.
Like his Ryder Cup partner Cantlay, Schauffele’s name has been heavily linked with LIV since its inaugural season concluded. Still hunting his first major win, the American admitted he had received an “obnoxious” offer from the league back in June, causing him to weigh-in and commit to the PGA Tour.
In what would mark a huge blow for Jay Monahan’s circuit, the Schauffele rumours then resurfaced with talk of him, Cantlay, Pereira and Thomas Pieters joining LIV ahead of 2023. Like Cantlay, however, the Olympic Gold Medallist was soon forced address the rumours, pledging his loyalty to the American circuit but while simultaneously providing the definition of tactful. In other words, don’t rule this one out.
Could the PGA Tour’s oversaturation of players called Cameron soon become a LIV issue? Only if you believe the papers. Open runner-up Young was linked with LIV all summer after The Times dropped a source-less story he was heading to LIV.
This was shortly reciprocated as ‘coulds’ and ‘maybes’, before Young announced after the FedEx Cup Playoffs he had ‘decided to stay’ on the PGA Tour. Still, we’ve heard that one before…
The Masters winner has long been linked to join his buddy Greg on the Saudi payroll, and was previously understood to be lined up for the Australian team alongside Open champion Cameron Smith and Marc Leishman.
However, it was then revealed Scott was one of 22 players involved in the PGA Tour’s emergency meeting led by Tiger Woods to help strategise against the threat of LIV. While Norman hasn’t given up on Scott joining LIV for 2023 – even going as far as to send his Aussie stars on a mission to help lure him in – the 42-year-old then proved he’s all in with the PGA Tour by join the circuit’s Player Advisory Council (PAC) a 16-player committee.
You know a rumour has spiralled out of control when the player himself takes to Twitter to shut down the noise. After a pro-LIV account called ‘LIV Golf Insider’ claimed ‘John Rahm’ to the league was “indeed a GO”, the tweet somehow gained traction despite the misspelling of the Spaniard’s name. Such is the state of our game right now, Rahm was then forced to weigh-in on the drama, hilariously shutting down the rumour with one epic tweet…
What a world we LIV in.
Like Scott, word on the street for months was that the 2020 Masters champion would be joining LIV in 2022, with many reports suggesting he would be receiving a $400 million signing-on fee. Matsuyama even pulled out of the FedEx St Jude Championship with a neck injury – enticing more speculation he’d be one of Norman’s big name announcements after the Playoffs. But, in a surprise turn of events, the Japanese star has now insisted he’s “fully committed” to the PGA Tour.
Mr Fowler recently said: “I believe the PGA Tour is the best place to play. I would love to see it be that way in the future but some things do need to evolve. So that’s where I’m at.” Would be fun to see him team up with Bubba, Hunter Mahan and Ben Crane to recreate Golf Boys though…
This rumour was doing the rounds ahead of The Open before being spectacularly shut down by the player himself. Not that that really means anything, given how many players have U-turned so far…
A surprise inclusion, given how much he has spoken out against joining LIV alongside his mate Rory McIlroy – but the rumours circulate, and here we are. Would be the biggest surprise so far.
Which golfers have joined LIV?
LIV Golf players announced for the 2023 season:
Harold Varner III
Announced ahead of LIV Golf Bedminster:
Announced ahead of LIV Golf Portland:
Announced ahead of LIV Golf London: