Phil Mickelson
Phil Mickelson is one of the star names on the circuit Image Credit: LIV Golf

Since LIV Golf launched in 2021, the breakaway circuit has aimed to revolutionize the sport by doing things a little differently.

From shortening tournaments to 54-holes and team competitions playing a major role to bumper prize funds and paying their marquee players a signing on fee, it’s fair to say the Saudi-back circuit has caused plenty of disruption in the golfing world.

But who has the made the move to the league since its inception? Find out below as we pick out our star names on the current LIV Golf roster.

The star attractions

Jon Rahm

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Rahm joined the circuit in December 2023 Image Credit: AP

A marquee signing for LIV Golf last December for a rumoured $500m, Jon Rahm has amassed over 20 wins on the DP World and PGA Tour, including a record-breaking three titles at the DP World Tour Championship.

The fiery Spaniard’s career defining moments came at the 2021 U.S. Open, where he birdied the final two holes to win his first Major Championship and at the 2023 Masters Tournament, when he won on what would have been the 66th birthday of the late, great Seve Ballesteros, who was the first Spaniard to win a Green Jacket.

Alongside his impressive individual record, the 29-year-old has been one of Europe’s strongest players in the last three Ryder Cups, helping lead the team to victory in 2018 and 2023.

Brooks Koepka

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Koepka has won five Majors since 2017 Image Credit: AP

The man for the big occasion over the last seven years has undoubtedly been Brooks Koepka. The American has been the player to beat at Major Championships – the game’s four biggest tournaments – where he has amassed five victories since 2017.

The first of those came at the 2017 U.S. Open at Erin Hills before becoming just the seventh player in history to successfully defend the following year at Shinnecock Hills. Two months later he would get his hands on a first PGA Championship, defeating Tiger Woods by two strokes at Bellerive Country Club.

Could he go back-to-back in a Major Championship once again? He sure could, this time beating Dustin Johnson by the same margin to become the first golfer to win consecutive titles in two Majors simultaneously.

Last year the no-nonsense 33-year-old added a third PGA Championship trophy to his collection, which helped him on his way to securing a Captain’s Pick for the 2023 Ryder Cup – the only LIV golfer present at the biennial showpiece.

Dustin Johnson

Johnson was one of the first star names to join LIV Golf Image Credit: Supplied

Another no-nonsense American, who you’d be forgiven for thinking doesn’t give a damn about the game with his laid-back approach, is the straight-talking Dustin Johnson.

The 39-year-old is a 24-time winner on the PGA Tour, with two of those Major Championship victories courtesy of his triumphs at the 2016 U.S. Open and the 2020 Masters Tournament, which was the only edition of the tournament to be played in November due to the covid pandemic.

He was the LIV Golf League’s inaugural individual season-long champion in 2022, banking a huge $18m bonus to take his season earnings well over $35m.

Johnson’s impressive career has not been without its challenges. In 2014 he missed out on the Ryder Cup and PGA Championship after seeking ‘professional help’ to improve his mental health. It was widely reported at the time that he had suspended for a failed drugs test, although the PGA Tour later denied this.

Four years prior to that, Johnson thought he was in a play-off at the PGA Championship after making bogey at the 72nd hole but was assessed a two-stroke penalty for grounding his club in the bunker that saw him miss out.

Cameron Smith

Smith won the Claret Jug in 2022 Image Credit: Supplied

Before joining LIV Golf in the summer of 2022, Cameron Smith was one of the hottest players on planet golf, with the Australian winning The Open Championship just a few weeks prior to joining the Saudi-backed circuit.

Rory McIlroy, who Smith had swept away at St Andrews in the final round thanks to a perfect putting display, called Smith shortly before joining LIV to persuade him to stay with the PGA Tour, but the rumoured $100m singing on fee was too good to turn down for the 30-year-old, who became the first top ten player to join the breakaway league.

Other notable achievements in Smith’s career include winning the prestigious Players Championship in 2022, winning the Australian PGA Championship on three occasions and becoming the first player in Masters Tournament history to record four rounds in the 60s in a single edition in 2020 when he finished runner-up to Johnson.

Joaquin Niemann

Joaquin Niemann plays his shot during the third round of the Genesis Invitational
Niemann is one of the hottest players on the planet right now Image Credit: Reuters

You might ask why Joaquin Niemann’s name is included in this section alongside a host of the game’s star names who have all won Major Championships, but this Chilean is currently one of golf’s hottest properties and Major silverware is surely on the horizon.

Between 2017-2018 he was ranked as the No.1 amateur in the world and has been on the fast-track to success ever since, racking up 12 worldwide wins in the process. Six of those came while still an amateur on the Chilean Tour, before turning professional ahead of the PGA Tour’s Valero Texas Open in 2018, where he finished in a tie for sixth.

He went on to earn Special Temporary Member Status for the remainder of the season, before securing full membership for the following season thanks to four top ten finishes, which saw him join Jordan Spieth and Rahm as players who were able to earn membership despite starting the year without any status.

He picked up a maiden PGA Tour win at the 2019 A Military Tribute at The Greenbrier and added a second title in America three years later at Tiger Woods’ Genesis Invitational. In the last four months alone, he has won three titles, two on the LIV Golf League and one on the DP World Tour, which helped him earn a special invitation into next month’s Masters Tournament.

The supporting cast

Adrian Meronk

Adrian Meronk
Meronk joined LIV Golf last month Image Credit: LIV Golf

One of LIV Golf’s most recent signings, Adrian Meronk was one of the standout stars on the DP World Tour over the last few years.

The sweet swinging 30-year-old became the first Pole to earn membership on the DP World Tour after graduating from the Challenge Tour in 2019, but that wouldn’t be the only ‘first’ in his career.

In 2021 he became the first Polish national to play in the U.S. Open after earning a place during the European Qualifying Series, before becoming the first Pole to win on the DP World Tour with victory at the 2022 Horizon Irish Open.

That was the first of four victories on the DP World Tour, with two of those during qualification for the 2023 Ryder Cup at Marco Simone Golf & Country Club, where Meronk won the 2023 DS Automobiles Italian Open.

Unbelievably, he was overlooked by selection by European Captain Luke Donald, with Meronk recently telling Gulf News he had called LIV Golf’s Richard Bland the day after the decision was made to learn more about the circuit.

Louis Oosthuizen

South Africa's Louis Oosthuizen leads the way at the halfway point of The Open
Oosthuizen has one of the smoothest swings in the game Image Credit: Reuters

Owner of one of the smoothest swings in the game, Louis Oosthuizen greatest achievement to date was winning The Open Championship at St Andrews in 2010, where he cruised to a seven-stroke triumph - the second-biggest winning margin in the tournament since 1913.

He arguably should have added to that Major haul over the years, with the South African finishing as runner-up an astonishing seven times across the game’s marquee events, Masters Tournament, PGA Championship, U.S. Open and Open Championship.

Despite not winning more Majors, he is a serial winner worldwide, bagging 11 titles on the DP World Tour, including back-to-back victories last December, 10 titles on the Sunshine Tour, three titles on the Asian Tour and one PGA Tour title.

Talor Gooch

Talor Gooch
Gooch won three LIV Golf titles in 2023 Image Credit: LIV Golf

Talor Gooch, whose first name is intentionally spelled without a 'y' thanks to a family custom on his mum's side of the family in which names are often spelled “weird”, won just once on the PGA Tour before joining the LIV Golf League in 2022.

Since then, he has become one of the game’s newest stars, with the American enjoying a breakout season in 2023, winning three events in Singapore, Adelaide and Andalucía to win the season-long Individual Championship.

His time at LIV Golf has also come with a certain amount of controversy and ridicule for his comments comparing LIV Golf events to the Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup – the game’s two biggest team competitions, played biennially, and claiming a Rory McIlroy Grand Slam victory at next month’s Masters Tournament would need an “asterisk” due the lack of LIV players included the field.

Patrick Reed

Reed possesses one of the best short games in golf Image Credit: Supplied

Patrick Reed is golf’s bad boy, simple as.

Over the years, the American has earned a reputation as the villain in golf for a number of reasons, including allegations of cheating, shushing crowds at the Ryder Cup and having a bitter rivalry with Rory McIlroy.

The latter got particularly heated at last year’s Dubai Desert Classic when the duo went head-to-head for title in the final round, just days after Reed had thrown a LIV Golf tee at McIlroy after the Northern Irishman ignored him.

McIlory later revealed that he had no time for Reed after he was “subpoenaed by his lawyer on Christmas Eve”. The lawsuit alleged an antitrust violation claiming the McIlroy, Tiger Woods, Davis Love III, the PGA Tour and others are in cahoots to destroy LIV Golf.

On the course, Reed has arguably the best short game in golf, which helped him win nine PGA Tour titles, including a memorable Masters victory in 2018.

Anthony Kim

Anthony Kim LIV Golf
Kim ended his exile from the game in Jeddah last month Image Credit: LIV Golf

Anthony Kim was a cult hero amongst fans before he seemingly disappeared off the face of the earth after withdrawing from the 2012 Wells Fargo Championship with injury.

He underwent surgery the following month to repair an injury to the Achilles tendon in his left leg, and hadn’t participated in a professional tournament since, until he made a shock return to the sport when signing with LIV Golf last month.

Before heading into exile, Kim won three PGA Tour events before the age of 25, starred in a U.S. Ryder Cup victory in 2008 and set the record for birdies in a Masters round with 11 at Augusta National in 2011. He possessed an undeniable swagger and flamboyant flair that rendered him essential viewing.

In his first professional start in 12 years, he finished dead last at LIV Golf Jeddah before finishing 50th at LIV Golf Hong Kong. He is not a member of any LIV team, just a Wild Card for the remainder of the season.

Bryson DeChambeau

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DeChambeau is one of the most uniuqe players in the game Image Credit: USA Today

One of the most interesting players to ever play the game, Bryson DeChambeau isn’t your typical professional golfer.

Often referred to as 'The Scientist' for his analytical approach to the game, DeChambeau became one of the longest drivers of the ball after putting himself through an intensive wight-gain become the longest driver on the PGA Tour thanks to an intensive weight-gain and muscle-building programme.

His bomb and gouge approach to the game approach to the game helped him secure a first Major Championship at the 2020 U.S. Open, while also entertaining fans with his incredible distance off the tee, once hitting is as far as 480 yards.

In recent years, DeChambeau has dropped his bulk-up scheme in favour of losing huge amounts of weight to combat health problems. He still drives the ball further than most and remains one of the biggest draws on LIV Golf.

Old but gold

Phil Mickeslon

Phil Mickelson
Mickelson is one of the most decorated players in the game Image Credit: LIV Golf

One of the most decorated players in the game, Phil Mickelson has been a firm fan favourite over the years, notably for going to-to-toe with Tiger Woods during his heyday.

Since winning on the PGA Tour as an amateur in 1990, the left-hander, who is right-handed, has amassed a total 45 titles on the circuit, including six Major Championships, with just a U.S. Open short of completing the Grand Slam.

The last of those Major Championship wins came in 2021 at the PGA Championship, where he became the oldest winner of a Major at the age of 50 after he saw off Brooks Koepka at Kiawah Island.

Possessing one of golf's best short games, Mickelson spent over 25 years in the top 50 of the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) between 1994 and 2019, with his streak of 1,353 consecutive weeks the longest consecutive since OWGR began in 1986.

Prior to joining LIV Golf in 2022, the 53-year-old took a three month sabbatical from the PGA Tour after he claimed he was using the Saudi-backed golf circuit as leverage against the PGA Tour and claimed he had paid lawyers to draw up the league’s operating charter.

Ian Poulter

Ian Poulter in action at the Scottish Open
Poulter remains one of the most colourful players in the game Image Credit: Reuters

Renowned as one of the most colourful players in the game for his flamboyant fashion, Ian Poulter is another firm fan favourite mainly down to his exploits in the Ryder Cup.

From his unstoppable self-confidence to his intense passion, he was a force to be reckoned with, striking fear into the hearts of his American rivals every time the biennial contest rolled around.

Known as ‘The Postman’ for always delivering, the 48-year-old’s overall record in his seven Ryder Cup outings is an impressive one – 15 wins, eight defeats and two ties in the 25 matches he has been involved in.

He also remains undefeated in singles, beating the likes of Dustin Johnson, Tony Finau and Matt Kuchar on the final day of the event.

Away from golf’s greatest contest, Poulter captured three titles on the PGA Tour and 12 on the DP World Tour.

Sergio Garcia

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Garcia is the captain of Fireballs GC Image Credit: LIV Golf

Another Ryder Cup great comes in the form of Sergio Garcia, who became the competition’s all-time leading points scorer when he reached 25.5 points after defeating Rickie Fowler 2&1 at Le Golf National in 2018.

That record came just one year after the Spaniard finally get his hands on Major silverware at the 74th time of asking when he beat Justin Rose in a play-off at the Masters Tournament on what would have been the 60th birthday of Seve Ballesteros.

His triumph at Augusta was the tenth of 11 victories on American soil, no fewer than six of them coming in play-offs. He also has 16 DP World Tour titles and was one of the circuit’s star attractions before making the move to LIV Golf.

Away from winning some of the biggest titles in the game, Garcia has a reputation for meltdowns and tantrums on the course, with one of the most high-profile cases coming at the 2019 Saudi International.

The 44-year-old was disqualified from the event on the DP World for deliberately damaging five greens by smashing clubs into them during the third round. Players in the groups immediately behind were understood to have voiced their upset after being forced to encounter this spoiled turf.

Lee Westwood

Westwood won his 25th DP World Tour title in Abu Dhabi Image Credit: AP

A DP World Tour stalwart before making the move to LIV Golf in 2022, Lee Westwood has enjoyed a successful career despite being arguably one of the greatest players not to win a Major Championship.

The Englishman wrote his name in the history books in the UAE in 2020 when joined an elite club of players including Seve Ballesteros, Sir Nick Faldo and Colin Montgomerie with 25 wins on the DP World Tour thanks to his two-stroke win at the Abu Dhabi Championship.

That triumph helped him on his way to winning a third Race to Dubai title later that year, 20 years since picking up his first. He became just the sixth man to win the Harry Vardon Trophy three or more times since 1972.

As well as being a prolific winner on the DP World Tour, Westwood also has two titles to his name on the PGA Tour and was one a Ryder Cup regular, appertaining in the content on 11 occasions – just one short of Phil Mickelson’s record of 12.

Bubba Watson

Bubba Watson
Watson has never had a professional lesson Image Credit: LIV Golf

One of the game’s most unique players, Bubba Watson possesses a wild swing and plays what he calls “Bubba golf’, a one of a kid approach to the game where he uses creativity, imagination and skill to plot his way around the course.

The American has famously never had a professional lesson, but that hasn’t stopped him from enjoying a hugely successful career, winning 14 times on the PGA Tour, including two Green Jackets at the Masters Tournament.

The first of those victories in 2012 saw him play one of the greatest shots captured on camera, with the 45-year-old somehow finding the green from the woods after playing a snap-hook from the pine straw that ran onto the green and stopped 15 feet below the hole.

To make the shot even better, it came during the second play-off hole against Louis Oosthuizen and would win him his first Green Jacket.