Which players are expected to join Greg Norman’s crusade ahead of the revamped 2024 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 feels like every day.
And with commissioner Greg Norman locking up more teams and more players as part of LIV’s 2024 season, who’s in, who’s out, and who’s still on the fence?
Let’s weigh up some rumours from the past and present of who could be leaving the PGA and DP World Tour for the LIV Golf League, and some rumours that did materialise…
Who is rumoured to be joining LIV Golf?
Unlike Cameron Smith, Marc Leishman, and Adam Scott, Jason Day is an Aussie whose name has been kept quiet on the LIV front despite Norman’s desire to create a star-studded team of his fellow countrymen.
Day’s name was linked with the initial reports of Jon Rahm’s groundbreaking move to LIV, as was Adrian Meronk, but the one-time major champion dashed them at the Grant Thornton Invitational.
“I still struggle to watch LIV,” Day said via the Palm Beach Post.
“I do like some of the concepts they have. They just haven’t quite nailed either the format or the true excitement of what they’re trying to accomplish.
“It’s still not for me. I know there are rumours about me going. They’re totally false. I don’t know where these rumours start.”
The World No. 5 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 2022 Rocket Mortgage Classic, insisting he has no plans to join the series “at the moment”. Hmm, by no means a total objection.
After keeping tight-lipped for several months, Cantlay then put his foot down on the matter at the following Sentry Tournament of Champions, insisting he has “no plans” to join LIV “as of now”.
Cantlay is a player director on the PGA Tour Policy Board and plays a key role in shaping the PGA Tour’s future.
Could he leave while in such a position of influence?
Meronk was mentioned in the same breath as Day in some quarters, but the Polish star appeared to end his speculation via Instagram.
On December 6, Meronk posted a video on his page that showed the activation of his new PGA Tour card for 2024.
The DP World Tour star was one of 10 players from the circuit to earn their playing rights in America via the Race to Dubai rankings.
Despite his notable Instagram post, Meronk signed for Martin Kaymer’s Cleeks GC with Richard Bland and Kalle Samooja.
Could the PGA Tour’s oversaturation of players called Cameron soon become a LIV issue? Only if you believe the papers.
Open runner-up Cameron Young was linked with LIV during the summer of 2022 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…
It felt like when, not if with Tony Finau’s possible move to LIV Golf.
It was widely reported that the six-time PGA Tour winner was in negotiations to follow Rahm to the Saudi-funded circuit.
This is what he said when he was asked about moving to LIV at the Grant Thornton Invitational:
“I have nothing to say right now.”
However, Finau took to Instagram to confirm he was staying with the PGA Tour.
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.
Hideki Matsuyama even pulled out of the FedEx St Jude Championship in August of that year 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 insisted he was “fully committed” to the PGA Tour.
Spanish website Ten Golf reported that Tyrrell Hatton, as well as Finau, could join LIV Golf and Rahm on his new team.
Hatton has formed a close bond with Rahm in the last two Ryder Cups, building a fruitful partnership and what appears to be a strong friendship too.
NCG reached out to Modest Golf, Hatton’s management team, for comment.
James Corrigan of The Telegraph reported during the 2024 Hero Dubai Desert Classic that Hatton had emerged as a primary target for LIV Golf and that Tommy Fleetwood and Nicolai Hojgaard had turned down offers.
Hatton addressed the rumours at the event: “I’d say there’s several people who have had conversations. I think that’s part and parcel of golf at the moment, but I’m quite happy playing the PGA Tour and DP World Tour.”
The LIVometer was maxed out for this particular player, however, as he joined Jon Rahm and Legion XIII ahead of the 2024 LIV Golf season.
Rickie Fowler arrived at the 2024 Sentry Tournament of Champions without his regular Farmers Insurance and Rocket Mortgage branding on his shirts.
Much to no one’s surprise, this led some golf fans to suspect a LIV Golf move was in the offing, but Fowler told Golfweek this wasn’t the case.
“You don’t have to worry about that,” he said.
“Seeing how much work the guys on the (PGA Tour) board, especially being around (Patrick) Cantlay during the off-season a little bit and leading up to this event, I’ve never seen a person be on the phone so much.
“These guys are pouring a lot of time and effort into it. I was on the PAC last year but have tried to stay out of the way because the guys that are in there, I trust.
“With Jordan, Cantlay, Tiger and the other guys, I’ve just trusted that we’re all going to end up in a good spot and I have zero plans to go anywhere.”
Since the end of the 2023 LIV Golf season, Wyndham Clark’s name has been thrown into the rumour mill.
Flushing It posted on X on January 15 that Clark has been in negotiations with LIV in the last couple of months, which would represent a big acquisition as the current US Open champion.
We are yet to receive official confirmation of what Jon Rahm’s team will be called, and who could join the two-time major champion on his side too, but surely this is the team that Clark would look to join.
Having just made his Ryder Cup debut and announcing himself even louder to the world of golf, Clark is arguably at the peak of his powers and an established PGA Tour star.
After being named the winner of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am after the event was ended by bad weather after 54 holes, Clark confirmed he turned down LIV:
“There’s definitely some truth,” he said. “I definitely met with LIV and went through those discussions. I wanted to see what they could bring to the table.
“I ultimately declined going to LIV because I felt like I still have a lot of things left in the tank on the PGA Tour and I wanted to chase records, I wanted to chase world ranking.
“My dream is to try to be one of the top players in the world if not the top player. I just grew up always imagining winning PGA Tour events. So ultimately, I chose my legacy over LIV and that’s really what it came down to.
“I don’t know what the future holds with my career and what the PGA Tour and LIV is going to do, but at least for this season I am 100 per cent set on the PGA Tour and I want to try to get to as high in the world as I possibly can.”
Will any of these LIV Golf rumours come true? Tell us on X!