LIV Golf adds another former European Ryder Cup star as Thomas Pieters joins Saudi-backed league
LIV Golf has confirmed the 48 players who will be competing in its first season as a team-based league, with Thomas Pieters among the new signings.
After an eight-leg invitational series in its debut season last year, the Saudi-backed big-money circuit returns this week in Mayakoba, Mexico, which will host the first stop on an expended 14-tournament calendar.
Each event will feature 12 permanent teams captained by players including Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson, Sergio Garcia and Cameron Smith battling for a purse of at least $25m.
The season is due to conclude in November with a team championship in Saudi Arabia.
European Ryder Cup star Pieters will be part of Bubba Watson’s RangeGoats team, which also includes Americans Talor Gooch and Harold Varner III.
A legal battle over whether European players who have joined the LIV Tour, such as Pieters, Ian Poulter, Garcia and Paul Casey, will be eligible for this year’s Ryder Cup remains unresolved.
“In less than a year, LIV Golf has reinvigorated the professional game and laid the foundation for the sport’s future. In 2023, the LIV Golf League comes to life,” said Greg Norman, LIV Golf CEO and Commissioner.
“The most popular sports in the world are team sports, and our league format has already begun to build connections with new audiences around the globe.
“Major champions, current and future Hall of Famers, and up-and-coming stars are all committed to creating this new platform for world-class competition as the sport evolves for the next generation.”
Pieters is the current world No35, although that ranking is set to drop as players currently do not accrue points from LIV Golf events, which are played over 54 holes and don’t have cuts.
The Belgian is the biggest name to join the circuit for 2023. Other captains include Martin Kaymer, Henrik Stenson, Bryson DeChambeau, Kevin Na, Brooks Koepka, Joaquin Niemann and Louis Oosthuizen.