After a slight delay, we finally learned who is heading to London for the LIV Golf Series opener on June 9-11 at the Centurion Golf Club.
Among those in the field for the debut event for the outfit fronted by Greg Norman and backed by the Saudis is Dustin Johnson, a former No. 1 player in the world who has a pair of majors under his belt. LIV officials had previously insisted the field would be announced last Friday – which is also the day each week the PGA Tour announces fields – but the news wasn’t released until Tuesday night.
Others listed in the field include Sergio Garcia, Louis Oosthuizen, Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood and Talor Gooch. Kevin Na and Lee Westwood, also long rumored to be on the roster, were also announced as part of the group.
Phil Mickelson was not in the field.
Back in April, Golfweek broke the news that the PGA Tour would not grant waivers to players looking to play in the tournament, reversing a long-standing protocol of allowing players to play limited events overseas.
All members are required to seek a conflicting event release to compete in non-Tour events.
The first year of the series will feature an eight-event schedule in 2022 with plenty more to allegedly come in the next few years.
Back in February, Johnson released a statement stating he was fully committed to the PGA Tour. For nearly a year, Johnson, who counts 24 PGA Tour titles on his resume, has been rumored to be one of the top players who would join a potential Saudi Arabia-back Super Golf League that would pay enormous amounts of guaranteed money, siphon off some of the game’s biggest names and be a direct rival with the PGA Tour.
Speculation of Johnson joining the league has been fueled in part by his playing in the Saudi International the past four years; he won in 2019 and 2021.
“Over the past several months, there has been a great deal of speculation about an alternative tour; much of which seems to have included me and my future in professional golf,” Johnson’s statement said. “I feel it is now time to put such speculation to rest. I am fully committed to the PGA Tour. I am grateful for the opportunity to play the best tour in the world and for all it has provided me and my family.”
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LIV Golf has 10 events planned for next year and 14 events slated for 2024 and 2025 in the Asia Pacific, the Middle East, Europe and North America. Official dates and locations were not announced.
“We have a long-term vision and we’re here to stay,” said Norman, the CEO and commissioner of LIV Golf, via a release. “We’re going to grow the game, give more opportunities to players, and create a more entertaining product for fans. We believe in adding new experiences and energy to golf, and that includes building out our future schedule in more global markets.
“We’re creating an entertaining product that will increase golf participation and attract new fans across a broader global footprint. We realize it won’t happen overnight, and we’re excited for the opportunities LIV Golf will add to the game as we continue to grow.”