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The LIV Golf Invitational Series is gaining momentum by the month and now features an array of the top golfers in the world competing. When two-time Major winner Dustin Johnson threw his name into the mix for the opening event in the Saudi-backed LIV Tour calendar at Centurion Golf Club, he appeared to be one of the only players that has genuine star quality. The rest were either youngsters with little to lose, or older players who liked the sound of a tour with fewer events, no cuts and a nice joining fee for retirement.
However, since the inaugural event in London in June, when Charl Schwartzel took home an eye-watering £3.2m prize, there has been an abundance of stars who have quit the PGA Tour for LIV. The most notable names are Major winners: Bryson DeChambeau, Brooks Koepka, as well as the majestic Mexican Abraham Ancer and Ryder Cup stalwart Paul Casey.
The 48 players in this week’s third LIV Tour event at Trump Bedminster include four players who are ranked among the top 25 in this week’s Official World Golf Rankings. Those four are World No.17 Dustin Johnson, World No.22 Abraham Ancer, World No.23 Brooks Koepka and World No.25 Louis Oosthuizen.
It seems inevitable that the list of stars competing on the LIV Golf Invitational Series is only going to keep improving. In this article, we look at five stars who are set to join the LIV Series over the next six months:
Ranking: World No.2
Major wins: 1
Since Cameron Smith lifted the Claret Jug earlier this month in dramatic fashion, he has been linked with a £75 million switch to the LIV Tour. With the LIV Tour’s CEO being Greg Norman, the most influential and successful Australian golfers in the history of the sport, there has been a constant link for him to attract his compatriots. If he manages to land Smith, it would be a huge swoop because the 28-year-old is one of the best golfers on the planet. It is unlikely that this will be in 2022, though, because Smith will want to try and seal the FedEx Cup this season (he’s currently in second place).
Ranking: World No.15
Major wins: 1
The Japanese star, Hideki Matsuyama, has been linked with a £250m move to LIV and talks of him jumping ship to the Saudi-backed tour have grown recently after he withdrew from the 3M Open. Asia’s best player would be a great acquisition for LIV as it appears most of the players will also compete on the Asian Tour when not playing in the LIV as you can gain World Ranking Points on there.
Ranking: World No.26
Tommy Fleetwood has been linked with a switch to the LIV Golf Series. The popular, long-haired Englishman has won the Order of Merit on the DP World Tour in 2017 but he has struggled to keep this high level of consistency in recent times. Surprisingly, the 31-year-old’s last victory was in the Nedbank Golf Challenge in 2019. Perhaps a staggering pay cheque could sway his move to the LIV Tour alongside fellow compatriots Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter, Paul Casey, and Sam Horsfield.
Ranking: World No.86
Major wins: 2
Bubba Watson has been rumoured to have agreed on a move to the LIV Tour later this year. The PGA Tour veteran fits the bill at 43 years of age and largely past his prime. With two Major victories and an eye-catching persona, he would be a great acquisition for Greg Norman’s tour.
Ranking: World No.40
Major wins: 1
Similar to Cameron Smith, Adam Scott is an Australian player Greg Norman has headhunted which has a fantastic chance of switching to the LIV Tour. Scott loves to go surfing in his spare time and has often said he would prefer a less hectic schedule. Therefore, a switch to the LIV Tour would be perfect for his demands. Now at aged 42, there’s no doubt he will have his eyes on a big payday for less golf.