As the Free Agency stage of the LIV Golf transfer window continues, many of the circuit’s 12 teams have will have continuity heading into 2024 with the same line-ups as last season.
However, while Crushers GC, Majesticks GC, Range Goats GC, Stinger GC and 4 Aces GC have already answered questions over their personnel heading into the 2024 season, which begins on 2 February at El Camaleon at Mayakoba, for others there is still uncertainty.
One team likely to have a significantly different line-up to the 2023 League season is Martin Kaymer’s Cleeks GC. At least one new face is guaranteed after Bernd Wiesberger’s LIV Golf departure. The Austrian finished 41st in the 2023 individual standings, well short of the top 24 needed to guarantee the offer of a contract extension from his team.
Wiesberger could have gone through LIV Golf’s Free Agency process of either hoping for a new Cleeks GC contract or looking for another team. Failing that, he could have also played at the LIV Golf Promotions event taking place in Abu Dhabi between 8 and 10 December, which will hand the top three finishers LIV Golf contracts for next season.
Instead, though, the 38-year-old is returning to the DP World Tour, leaving Kaymer looking for a replacement.
Another Cleeks GC player who may be departing is Graeme McDowell. Like Wiesberger, the 2010 US Open champion had a disappointing season, and finished 42nd in the individual standings. However, he has yet to re-sign for Cleeks GC and could well be seeking pastures new.
McDowell’s contract expired at the end of the season, but even as early as September, he was realistic about his chances of remaining not just with the team, but with LIV Golf in general. He told Sports Illustrated: “Being logical about it, I have to look at the list of guys and know I have to be vulnerable. I feel like I’ve been a good spokesman for the league and a good ambassador for the tour and hopefully there is a captain who wants me on his team.”
Another of five LIV golfers out of contract at the end of the season was Pat Perez, but his contract has been renewed with Dustin Johnson's 4 Aces GC, leaving only Ripper GC’s Matt Jones and Torque GC’s David Puig from that list, with Carlos Ortiz also searching for a new team after turning down a contract extension from Sergio Garcia’s Fireballs GC.
Other options available to Kaymer could arise after the Abu Dhabi tournament with the LIV Golf Draft, which will see the top three from the event and International Series Order of Merit winner Andy Ogletree placed with the remaining teams with open slots on their rosters.
One player who will line-up alongside Kaymer next season is Richard Bland, who is staying with Cleeks GC after his finish of 20th in the individual standings warranted a new contract.
Whoever completes the line-up, Kaymer will be hoping for an improvement on 2023, when Cleeks GC came 10th in the team standings.
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Mike has over 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on a range of sports throughout that time, such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance staff writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the game's most newsworthy stories.
He has written hundreds of articles on the game, from features offering insights into how members of the public can play some of the world's most revered courses, to breaking news stories affecting everything from the PGA Tour and LIV Golf to developmental Tours and the amateur game.
Mike grew up in East Yorkshire and began his career in journalism in 1997. He then moved to London in 2003 as his career flourished, and nowadays resides in New Brunswick, Canada, where he and his wife raise their young family less than a mile from his local course.
Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.
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