Monday, May 27, 2024

Who is playing LIV Golf in 2024? Updated list of PGA Tour defectors includes Jon Rahm and more | Sporting News

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LIV and learn.

Over the past few years, the PGA Tour has learned the hard way about the cost of doing business — especially when millions of dollars are being given out like candy. LIV Golf has successfully taken on the role of disruptor and has played it perfectly. 

The idea of an alternate tour initially felt like a good joke, one that would get the PGA to fork over more cash. Instead, the Saudi-backed tour gained steam and credibility as some of the PGA’s best changed teams. In the summer of 2023, a bombshell came out of nowhere that the two rivals would soon merge or become partners. 

While a concrete deal hasn’t yet come to fruition, LIV hasn’t stopped trying to grow. They secured the services of Jon Rahm in December, with many reports indicating LIV paid at least $300 million. Considering Rahm was initially a critic of LIV, the No. 3 ranked golfer in the world’s departure represented a seismic shift in the attitudes of professionals throughout the sport. 

It’s no secret that money talks, and some of golf’s best are more than willing to listen. As the two tours continue to work toward an apparent solution, there is a wedge driven between them. 

Here’s who you can catch on the LIV Golf tour in 2024:

MORE: How to watch LIV Golf in USA: TV schedule, channels, live streams for every 2024 tournament

LIV Golf players 2024

LIV Golf has continued to poach players from the PGA as the sport moves toward an apparent merge in the future.

There is plenty that is still up in the air, but Rahm became the latest big name to join the new kids on the golf block. Some of the other new arrivals include Tyrrell Hatton and Adrian Meronk.

There are 52 players that make up LIV now, with five reserve or wild card players.

Here’s the list of participants for 2024:

Player Country
Abraham Ancer Mexico
Richard Bland England
Dean Burmester South Africa
Ben Campbell* Australia
Laurie Canter** England
Paul Casey England
Eugenio Chacarra Spain
Bryson DeChambeau USA
Sergio Garcia Spain
Talor Gooch USA
Branden Grace South Africa
Tyrrell Hatton England
Lucas Herbert Australia
Sam Horsfield England
Charles Howell III USA
Dustin Johnson USA
Matt Jones Australia
Martin Kaymer Germany
Anthony Kim** USA
Brooks Koepka USA
Jason Kokrak USA
Jinichiro Kozuma Japan
Anirban Lahiri India
Danny Lee New Zealand
Marc Leishman Australia
Graeme McDowell Northern Ireland
Adrian Meronk Poland
Phil Mickelson USA
Sebastián Muñoz Colombia
Kevin Na USA
Joaquin Niemann Chile
Andy Ogletree USA
Louis Oosthuizen  South Africa
Wade Ormsby* Australia
Carlos Ortiz Mexico
Mito Pereira Chile
Pat Perez USA
Thomas Pieters Belgium
Ian Poulter England
David Puig Spain
Jon Rahm Spain
Patrick Reed USA
Kalle Samooja Finland
Charl Schwartzel South Africa
Cameron Smith Australia
Brendan Steele USA
Henrik Stenson Sweden
Caleb Surratt USA
Hudson Swafford** USA
Cameron Tringale USA
Peter Uihlein USA
Harold Varner III USA
Kieran Vincent Zimbabwe
Scott Vincent  Zimbabwe
Bubba Watson USA
Lee Westwood England
Matthew Wolff USA

* — reserve player
** — wild card player

MORE: Jon Rahm to LIV Golf: Why World No. 3 golfer is leaving PGA Tour for Saudi-backed league

LIV Golf teams 2024

Rahm’s arrival into LIV Golf comes with the captaincy of his own team — Legion XIII. The team is a new addition to the tour this year and makes up one of the 13 teams that will compete against each other all season long. 

Here’s how that breaks down:

Team Captain Players
4Aces Dustin Johnson Pat Perez
Patrick Reed
Harold Varner III
Cleeks Martin Kaymer Richard Bland
Adrian Meronk
Kalle Samooja
Crushers Bryson DeChambeau Paul Casey
Charles Howell III
Anirban Lahiri
Fireballs Sergio Garcia Abraham Ancer
Eugenio Chacarra
David Puig
HyFlyers Phil Mickelson Brendan Steele
Cameron Tringale
Andy Ogletree
Iron Heads Kevin Na Danny Lee
Scott Vincent
Jinichiro Kozuma
Legion XIII Jon Rahm Tyrrell Hatton
Kieran Vincent
Caleb Surratt
Majesticks Ian Poulter Lee Westwood
Henrik Stenson
Sam Horsfield
RangeGoats Bubba Watson Peter Uihlein
Matthew Wolff
Thomas Pieters
Ripper Cameron Smith Lucas Herbert
Matt Jones
Marc Leishman
Smash Brooks Koepka Talor Gooch
Jason Kokrak
Graeme McDowell
Stinger Louis Oosthuizen Dean Burmester
Branden Grace
Charl Schwartzel 
Torque Joaquinn Niemann Sebastián Muñoz
Mito Pereira
Carlos Ortiz

MORE: Masters Champions dinner menu 2024: How Jon Rahm’s grandma, Spanish heritage influenced recipes

Why Jon Rahm joined LIV Golf

Rahm’s apparent change of heart is notable because it came after the Spaniard won the coveted green jacket at the Masters in 2023. Thanks to that, he receives an exemption for golf’s three other majors — The Open, The US Open, and the PGA Championship. 

In addition, Rahm is also automatically eligible to play at Augusta National every year for as long as he lives. With all the leverage in his hands, Rahm was able to take a big payout without having to really sacrifice anything going forward. At its core, we can chalk this up as a classic business transaction.

Rahm discussed the timing of his move on “The Pat McAfee Show” after the news broke:

“This year we thought it was good timing, with winning a major, being exempt to the majors, having made quite a bigger name for myself with the golf I’ve played through the last few years, we thought it was good timing and that’s when they brought it up to me. The landscape of golf is ever-changing right now, especially the last few years. And after seeing LIV Golf in action and seeing what they have to offer, and being part of a team is so nice — then it became a possibility.”

The money, as expected, played a big role in the final decision. 

“Obviously the money is very very nice, I’m not gonna give you the whole spiel,” Rahm said. “I don’t play golf for money but as a father, as a husband, as a family man I do owe it to my family to set them up the best I can and luckily I have that possibility, so yeah. That was a big part of it.”

Ahead of the 2024 Masters, Rahm said he hoped his departure from the PGA would help expedite the process of healing the sport. 

“I understood my position, yes,” Rahm said Tuesday at Augusta National. “And I understood that it could be a step toward some kind of an agreement. Unfortunately, it’s not up to me.”

Even though that hasn’t become reality, Rahm said he made the right decision. 

“I still did what I thought was best for myself,” Rahm said. “I’ve had a lot of fun playing in those events. It’s been fun to be part of a team.”

Time will tell whether Rahm’s move proves to be the tipping point in the sport. If nothing else, at least the checks are cashing. 

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