LIV Golf’s successful inaugural season had everything to do with the number of elite golfers who defected from the PGA Tour to join the upstart league.
But since the season ended in October, that steady stream slowed to a trickle. A handful of players jumped to LIV during the offseason but none moved the needle. After hints that transformative golfers were making the move, Thomas Pieters and Mito Pereira were the biggest names .
Now, Greg Norman, the commissioner and CEO of the Saudi-backed tour, is promising another wave of golfers are lining up to join LIV.
“There is a massive interest of wanting to come and be on a Rippers team or be on a 4 Aces team,” Norman said this week ahead of LIV’s event in Australia. “There is an incredible amount of interest. We’re full. We have 48 of the best players in the world that we’re very, very happy with. Our goal is to build those franchise values out.
“As we look into the future, the players want to come on board with us. They want to experience the experience that these guys are talking about.”
Promises of more top players joining following last season never materialized. Names like Patrick Cantlay, Jason Day, Xander Schauffele, Cameron Young, Jon Rahm, Adam Scott … all at one point rumored to be interested in LIV but all remaining on the PGA Tour.
Undoubtedly there will be players past their prime and those who can’t cut it on the Tour very willing to cash in on some of the PIF’s wealth. LIV’s roster is full of them now. But none will make a difference in the quality of a field that even Cameron Smith admitted this month was not as good as the PGA Tour’s field.
LIV had a successful inaugural season in 2022. Norman was able to lure more prominent names than expected like Smith, Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Bryson DeChambeau, Patrick Reed. And the league got the attention of the PGA Tour, which reacted by pumping more money into its product.
“It’s incredible the amount of players who want to come on board,” Norman said this week. “It would surprise you how good those names are.”
Yet, all of those players had that chance a few months ago and none made the move. Let’s see if that changes after this season.