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Monday, December 05, 2022

Wolff, Ortiz among latest to join Saudi-backed LIV Golf

The Saudi-funded LIV golf chain added three more players to its roster for the second tournament in Oregon, a group that includes 23-year-old Matthew Wolff and Spain’s Eugenio Chakra of Oklahoma State.

LIV Golf was expected to announce additional players from its inaugural event outside London three weeks ago. The big surprise was Brooks Koepakwho had fully supported the PGA Tour only a week before signing on.

LIV Golf also said on Monday that Mexico’s Carlos Ortiz is joining, a week after Mexico’s Abraham Anser was signed.

The 48-person arena at Pumpkin Ridge in North Grounds, Oregon, opens Thursday for another $20 million purse, with an additional $5 million in prize money for team competition. Charl Schwartzel won the opening ceremony and its $4 million payout.

Wolfe, who also played at Oklahoma State, made an immediate impact on the PGA Tour when he turned professional at age 20 and won the 3M Open in Minnesota on his third debut. A year later, Wolfe scored 65 in the final round to finish fourth at the PGA Championship, and took a 54-hole lead in winged foot at the US Open until he scored 75 on the last day and Bryson DeChambeau. Six shots behind. ,

Since then, Wolff has struggled with happiness related to the points he was posting, and he stepped down for 10 months in 2021 to deal with mental health issues. Once ranked number 12 in the world, he is now at number 77. His only place in the top 20 this year was a sixth-place finish at the Saudi International.

Additional signings – which included DeChambeau and Patrick Reed as the London event concluded – mean that eight of the world’s top 50 at the LIV Golf Invitational will be at Pumpkin Ridge, with highest-ranked Dustin Johnson at No. 16.

Ortiz, who is number 119 in the world, won his only PGA Tour title in 2020 at the Houston Open.

The Portland event is the first of five LIV golf events scheduled for the United States, marking the first time PGA Tour members are competing on US soil in the same week as the PGA Tour event. The John Deere Classic has none of the top 50 in the world.

Players competing in LIV golf are suspended by the PGA Tour. Some of them, such as Sergio García and Johnson, have resigned from their membership.

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