Why The Next Batch Of LIV Golf Signings Could Be The Tipping Point

Rumours of more big names joining LIV Golf could force the tours to start working with the Saudi-backed circuit

LIV Golf 18th hole pictured
(Image credit: Getty Images)

LIV Golf has made impressive inroads into the men's professional game this year with some marquee names signed to the Saudi-backed series, including Bryson DeChambeau, Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson, Brooks Koepka and Sergio Garcia.

The signings keep on coming, with the likes of DeChambeau and Koepka announced after the first event as well as Abraham Ancer, Patrick Reed and Paul Casey. And there are set to more names to move over.

It's thought that additional players could make the jump to LIV after the 150th Open and then again after the FedExCup Playoffs. Golf Monthly has heard a number of players linked with the series and rumours continue to circulate across social media, with names including Henrik Stenson, Tommy Fleetwood and Hideki Matsuyama all mentioned.

Video: What is LIV Golf?

Having heard rumours involving Jordan Spieth, the Texan's agent Jay Danzi confirmed to Golf Monthly that he is staying with the PGA Tour. "Jordan is not in discussions with LIV and is fully supportive of and happy on the PGA Tour," he said.

Should the whispers of more big name LIV Golf signings turn out to be true, it could be the tipping point to force the PGA and DP World Tours to start thinking about cutting a deal with Greg Norman before the game starts to look even more fractured.

What’s more, any collaboration could potentially lead to further issues, given the strong stance taken by some existing PGA and DP World Tour members over the Saudi-backed league. But who knows if it’ll even get that far, given the DP World and PGA Tour’s anti-LIV rhetoric thus far. 

If more top names do move across, though, it seems some form of collaboration would be required in order to stop a scenario whereby the game’s top players rarely compete in the same event (if at all, depending on the Majors’ stance). If that fails to materialise, the golf fan would be the biggest loser.

Rory McIlroy, possibly the most outspoken player in terms of rejecting LIV Golf, is even starting to concede that some form of dialogue may be necessary. "That needs to happen," he replied when asked whether "peace talks" should take place between the three parties. 

"Everyone has to pivot and change and try to be better and hopefully get to that stage, but as you said, now it's messy and all the narrative isn't good; it's splitting the game instead of everyone coming together," he said. "I think everyone needs to come together a little bit more."

We've already seen Ian Poulter temporarily overturn his Scottish Open ban and return to the DP World Tour, and the Englishman is keen to continue supporting his home tour. He revealed he plans to play the Czech Masters, BMW PGA Championship and possibly one more event this summer.

The DP World Tour may need to welcome the LIV golfers back, especially if Henrik Stenson – the current European Ryder Cup captain – does make the move that has been reported and rumoured. But it could also go the other way and dish out full suspension for LIV defectors, as per the PGA Tour – a circuit it has a strategic alliance with.

One thing’s for certain, though: professional golf is as chaotic as it’s ever been, and it’ll become even more fractured if LIV Golf announces further big-name signings and the PGA and DP World Tours continue to remain firm in their stance. It remains to be seen who, if anyone, will put their best interests aside for the good of the game.

Elliott Heath
News Editor

Elliott Heath is our News Editor and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016 after graduating with a degree in Sports Journalism. He manages the Golf Monthly news, features, courses and travel sections as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. He covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as four Open Championships on-site including the 150th at St Andrews. His first Open was in 2017 at Royal Birkdale, when he walked inside the ropes with Jordan Spieth during the Texan's memorable Claret Jug triumph. He has played 35 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Western Gailes, Old Head and Turnberry. He has been obsessed with the sport since the age of 8 and currently plays at West Byfleet Golf Club in Surrey, where his handicap index floats anywhere between 2-5. His golfing highlights are making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, shooting an under-par round, playing in the Aramco Team Series on the Ladies European Tour and making his one and only hole-in-one at the age of 15 - a long time ago now!

Elliott is currently playing:

Driver: Titleist TSR4

3 wood: Titleist TSi2 HL

Irons: Mizuno MP-H4 3-iron, Mizuno MP5 4-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5

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