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The LIV Golf Invitational Series had its first event last week at London’s Centurion Club. Not surprisingly, the PGA Tour, which has been firm in its disdain for the venture, responded by suspending anyone opting to join it.
While the Saudi-backed Series has a field of 48 in any given tournament, so far, only 17 are affected by the PGA Tour’s suspension – and it’s a collection of players featuring some of the game’s biggest names, its brightest talents and players who, to quote Rory McIlroy, perhaps find that their best days are behind them.
The one huge name who’s still unquestionably in his peak years is Dustin Johnson, who was World No.1 as recently as July 2021. In terms of profile, Phil Mickelson is the other big name on the list. Lefty has six Major wins, including last year’s PGA Championship, which suggests that, even in his early 50s, he still has what it takes to compete with the very best.
There are also players who have scaled great heights in the game that appear to have some good years ahead of them, despite some leaner years of late. A trio of South Africans best highlight this group. So, we have World No.22 Louis Oosthuizen and winner of the 2010 Open Championship. Then there’s Charl Schwartzel, who won the 2011 Masters and is still relatively young at 37 (Schwartzel, of course, also secured the inaugural LIV Golf Invitational series opener last week). Finally, Branden Grace is just 34 and a former World No.10 who last won a PGA Tour tournament just over a year ago (the 2021 Puerto Rico Open).
In the next group are players who retain high profiles, but whose most successful years seem to be behind them. This includes 2017 Masters winner Sergio Garcia, 2010 US Open champion Graeme McDowell, former World No.1s Martin Kaymer and Lee Westwood and former World No.5 Ian Poulter.
Others, like the experienced Kevin Na, Peter Uihlein, Talor Gooch, Matt Jones and Hudson Swafford sit alongside less seasoned pros Andy Ogletree and Turk Pettit as players whose careers have been middling to date, but with the potential to go further.
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It's not known when - or if - the suspensions will be lifted, or whether the players will remain welcomed on the DP World Tour as an alternative, but one thing is certain: the list is sure to grow in the coming weeks. Another big name, Bryson DeChambeau, has signed with LIV Golf, with Patrick Reed following suit.
Below is the list of all 17 players currently suspended by the PGA Tour.
- Sergio Garcia
- Talor Gooch
- Branden Grace
- Dustin Johnson
- Matt Jones
- Martin Kaymer
- Graeme McDowell
- Phil Mickelson
- Kevin Na
- Andy Ogletree
- Louis Oosthuizen
- Turk Pettit
- Ian Poulter
- Charl Schwartzel
- Hudson Swafford
- Peter Uihlein
- Lee Westwood
Mike has 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on sports such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the sport’s most newsworthy stories. Originally from East Yorkshire, Mike now resides in Canada, where the nearest course is less than a mile from his home. It’s there where he remains confident that, one of these days, he’ll play the 17th without finding the water. 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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