The Northern Irishman had spent the first two seasons of LIV Golf playing for Martin Kaymer's Cleeks GC, but after a particularly disappointing second year where McDowell finished 42nd in the standings, the 2010 US Open winner did not have his contract renewed - along with Bernd Wiesberger.
The Austrian is returning to the DP World Tour after having his fines paid by the PIF-backed League, but a report from James Corrigan of The Telegraph stated McDowell's contract did not contain the same detail and he would have therefore had to stump up the money himself or face a full campaign on the Asian Tour if a path back to the 54-hole circuit did not present itself.
Fortunately for McDowell, he has found a new team and will be hoping to improve his form under the management of the five-time Major winner once the 2024 LIV Golf League schedule commences.
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“I’m not sure McDowell can believe his luck,” an 'insider' told the Telegraph.
“Obviously, all was not rosy on the Cleeks and with G-Mac and Kaymer. He thought he was out of LIV and would have to be participating on the Asian Tour next year. Playing alongside Koepka – probably the best player on LIV – is a massive result for him.”
McDowell, who has earned north of $5 million since joining LIV, will replace Brooks Koepka's younger brother Chase on Smash GC. Chase was one of the four players relegated from the LIV Golf League last year after ending the season in 48th-place, ahead of just two others.
The other two members of Smash next season are Jason Kokrak and Matthew Wolff, who has another year remaining on his contract despite plenty of controversy between the two Americans last year.
Koepka called Wolff as a "wasted talent" back in July and said he had given up on him as "one guy is not going to give any effort" for his team. Wolff later responded to the five-time Major champion's claims, saying he was "heartbroken" as he continued to deal with mental health challenges.
Away from the drama, McDowell will link up with a fellow Portrush man in Koepka's long-time caddie, Ricky Elliott. It could well have been Elliott who suggested Koepka bring McDowell to Smash.
McDowell's new club finished eighth in the LIV Golf League last season, with his former outfit two spots below in the 12-team competition.
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Jonny Leighfield is our Staff News Writer who joined Golf Monthly just in time for the 2023 Solheim Cup and Ryder Cup. He graduated from the University of Brighton with a degree in Sport Journalism in 2017 and spent almost five years as the sole sports reporter at his local newspaper. An improving golfer who still classes himself as ‘one of the worst players on the Golf Monthly team’, Jonny enjoys playing as much as he can and is hoping to reach his Handicap goal of 18 at some stage. He attended both the 150th and 151st Opens and is keen to make it an annual pilgrimage.
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