Fifteen of the top 100 players in the Official World Golf Ranking have signed up for the inaugural LIV Golf Invitational Series event at Centurion Golf Club outside London, set for June 9-11. The news, first reported by SI.com, has been confirmed by Golf Digest.
The deadline for PGA Tour members to apply for a conflicting-event release, which is necessary to play in any golf tournament held opposite a PGA Tour event, is Monday at 5 p.m. EDT. Only 48 players will compete in the breakaway series’ first event, which will feature a 54-hole no-cut format with shotgun starts and offer $20 million in individual prize money. A LIV Golf spokesman did not reveal any names of players but said the full field list will be released May 27.
The PGA Tour did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
LIV Golf’s Centurion event takes place the same week as the RBC Canadian Open, which is back on the PGA Tour schedule after COVID-19 issues forced the cancellation of the tournament for the last two years.
The PGA Tour granted a number of releases for players to compete in February’s Saudi International, an Asian Tour event funded by the same Saudi government-owned PIF that is backing the LIV Golf series, but did so with specific player requirements and emphasized that the decision was not precedent-setting. The PGA Tour’s handbook includes language that permits the tour to refuse conflicting-event releases for tournaments played within the United States. Four of the seven events on the series’ official schedule are set for the U.S.: Pumpkin Ridge near Portland, Ore. (July 1-3), Trump Bedminster in New Jersey (July 29-31), The International near Boston (Sept. 2-4) and Rich Harvest Farms near Chicago (Sept. 16-18). The site of the season-ending team championship (Oct. 28-20) has yet to named, but reports indicate that it will likely be held at Trump’s Doral property in Miami.
As of now, just one player, Robert Garrigus, 1,053rd in the OWGR, has confirmed that he’s requested a conflicting-event release to play in first LIV Golf event. No other players have publicly committed to playing in any of LIV Golf’s events though a number of prominent golfers have been linked to the Greg Norman-fronted project for months. Lee Westwood confirmed earlier this year that he’d signed a non-disclosure agreement that prohibited him from discussing his negotiations with the venture. On Monday, a Telegraph report pointed to Sergio Garcia, Ian Poulter, Louis Oosthuizen and Kevin Na as potential participants. Adam Scott has also said the circuit’s schedule is appealing to him.