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LIV golfers axed after inaugural event: Where are they now?

LIV golfers axed after inaugural event: Where are they now?

A handful of LIV Golf players from 2022 were not part of the roster in 2023 – Matt Chivers gets you up to speed with who has missed out since the first ever event

 

When the 48-man-field for the first LIV Golf Invitational was finally released after weeks of ambiguity and controversy, the world of golf was buzzing with excitement and concern – not just because of many shock inclusions, but because of the many unknowns Greg Norman had been forced to lure in.

Since then, LIV’s field has continued to chop and change with various big names defecting to the league. Stars like Bryson DeChambeau, Patrick Reed and Brooks Koepka were reeled in for LIV’s second event in Portland in 2022 – meaning multiple lesser-knowns became one-event wonders as they departed the series as quickly as they entered it.

So, what exactly happened to the LIV golfers who teed up at Centurion, only to never be seen again in the breakaway league? Let’s get stuck in!

Here today, gone tomorrow! Players leaving LIV Golf…

Oliver Bekker

The South African picked up $800,000 for finishing T6 at Centurion before returning to the DP World Tour. Bekker’s first event after LIV London was the BMW International Open, where he finished T98.

He has banked several top-10s since then, as well as winning on the Challenge Tour in 2023.

Before this, Bekker was part of the conglomerate of players banned for three tournaments and fined by the European circuit for their participation in LIV’s inaugural event.

Ratchanon Chantananuwat

The youngest winner of an Official World Golf Ranking event at just 15 years old, Chantananuwat was invited to play at Centurion by Norman and eventually finished T38.

However, not tempted by the allure of the LIV’s big bucks – just yet, anyway – Chantananuwat moved on after LIV London to fulfil his ‘amateur bucket list’ – beginning with an appearance in the Amateur Championship a week later.

One of the sport’s brightest prospects, Chantananuwat now plans to play college golf in the US and is on the cusp of the top 50 of the World Amateur Golf Rankings.

Oliver Fisher

Like his namesake Mr Bekker, Oliver Fisher returned to the DP World Tour after picking up $140,000 for a T38 finish at Centurion.

The Englishman’s first appearance after LIV London was the BMW International Open, where he missed the cut.

Since then, Fisher has struggled for form and plied his trade on the Challenge Tour for the majority of 2023.

Pablo Larrazabal

A surprise inclusion at Centurion given his ever-presence on the DP World Tour, the Spaniard finished T13 at Centurion, picking up $360,000.

Larrazabal then returned to the European circuit for the BMW International Open, finishing T5 to earn another $85,000.

He was then banned from the 2022 Scottish Open, before rocking up to St Andrews for The Open where he missed the cut. It was some month.

Larrazabal has since pledged his commitment to the DP World Tour. He has also won the Korea Championship and the KLM Open since playing for LIV Golf.

Viraj Madappa

One of several Asian Tour players who earned a place at Centurion after finishing well at the Asian Tour International Series event at Slaley Hall in the days prior, Madappa finished T30 in St Albans, cashing in on $156,000 before returning to Asia to compete on his parent tour and the Professional Golf Tour of India.

Andy Ogletree

Poor Andy Ogletree will forever go down as the last-place finisher at LIV Golf’s first-ever event.

The 2019 US Amateur winner – who collected a cheque for $120,000 at Centurion despite finishing 24-over-par – was immediately axed by the Saudi Arabia-funded series to make way for the likes of Brooks Koepka and Henrik Stenson.

However, Ogletree made fleeting appearances in the LIV Golf League in 2023 and after winning the International Series Order of Merit on the Asian Tour, he’s now earned a permanent spot in 2024.

RELATED: How much has each LIV Golf player made?

JC Ritchie

Another one who seems to have faded to obscurity after LIV’s opener, JC Ritchie finished T17 at Centurion and took home $232,000.

The South African has hardly been seen since, returning to the DP World Tour again and also playing on the Challenge Tour.

Ritchie placed 2nd in the British Challenge on the Challenge Tour in 2022 to bag himself 29k – his best finish on any circuit to date.

Blake Windred

Blake Windred managed a T38 finish in St Albans which earned him $140,000. After that, it was back to the Challenge Tour for the Australian, teeing it up in the Euram Bank Open where he missed the cut.

This was part of a poor stretch for Windred which culminated in 12 consecutive missed cuts in world ranking events. He is now ranked outside of the top 1200.

Kevin Yuan

Another player who qualified via the Asian Tour’s International Series, Kevin Yuan finished T33 and picked up $150,000, but he might never be seen in Norman’s breakaway league again.

He returned to Asia one week after Centurion, missing the cut in the Korean Open.

Yuan has since followed this with several top-10s on the PGA Tour of Australasia and the Asian Tour.

NOW READ: How far have the LIV Golf players fallen in the world rankings?

NOW READ: Which LIV Golfers have major exemptions in 2024?

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Matt Chivers

Matt Chivers

Now on the wrong side of 25, Matt has been playing golf since the age of 13 and was largely inspired to take up the game by countless family members who played golf during his childhood.

Matt is a member at Royal Cinque Ports in Deal playing off a 5 handicap, just a pitching wedge away from his hometown of Dover where he went to school and grew up. He has previously been a member at Etchinghill and Walmer and Kingsdown in Kent.

Having studied history at the University of Liverpool, Matt went on to pass his NCTJ Exams in Manchester a year later to fulfil his lifelong ambition of becoming a journalist. He picked up work experience along the way at places such as the Racing Post, the Independent, Sportsbeat and the Lancashire Evening Post.

Matt joined NCG in February 2023 and is the website’s main source of tour news, features and opinion. He has reported live from events such as The Open, the Ryder Cup and The Players Championship, having also interviewed and spent time with some of the biggest names in the sport.

Consuming tour golf on what is a 24/7 basis, you can come to Matt for informed views on the game and the latest updates on the PGA Tour, DP World Tour, LPGA Tour, Ladies European Tour and LIV Golf.

What’s in Matt’s bag: Cobra LTDx LS driver, Cobra LTDx 3-wood, TaylorMade P7MC irons, Ping Glide 4.0 wedges, Odyssey putter.

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