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Top 5 LIV Golf Players Headlining the 2024 PGA Championship

Published 05/15/2024, 6:30 AM EDT

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USA Today via Reuters

It’s going to be an engaging showdown this week at the majors. When the PGA Championship tees off at Valhalla on Thursday, it won’t be just the likes of Scottie Scheffler or Rory McIlroy aiming to snatch the cup from Brooks Koepka, but also the very idea of PGA Tour against LIV Golf. But only one person can lift the trophy and claim the honor that comes with it.

Being a major, the PGA Championship will also boast a total figure of 100 points being awarded to the champion golfer. This, no doubt, is eye-catching to the professionals who are part of the Saudi-backed league, as they hope to clinch the title right under the noses of the other athletes on the PGA Tour.

Top LIV Golf contenders for the PGA Championship

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Out of the 156 players that will tee off at the upcoming major championship, there will only be a total of 16 golfers from the PIF-funded circuit. From previous major winners to those being specially invited, the tournament will showcase a lot of talent. At any rate, the community is sure to have some favorites who have a very high chance of claiming the win.

1. Brooks KoepkaThe 34-year-old American pro is the current defending champion of the upcoming tournament. He won the event with a scintillating 9-under 271 while raking in a humongous prize purse of $3.15 million. Fresh out of a win from the LIV Golf event in Singapore, he will look to keep the momentum going in a bid to keep the Wanamaker Trophy with himself. With the recent victory, he also became the first athlete in the breakaway league to win four titles and has cemented himself at the 5th spot on the season-long rankings. Koepka is truly a golfer to look out for since he would surely be looking to join Tiger Woods as a four-time PGA Championship winner.

2. Bryson DeChambeauAlthough his best PGA Championship finishes came in 2020 and 2023 at T4, the ‘Scientist’ is a LIV golfer on whom one needs to keep an eye on. This was especially evident with his recent performance at the Masters Tournament, where he finished T6 with a score of 2-under 286. Exempted from the field for winning the 2020 U.S. Open, he has a total of four top-10 finishes in the 2024 LIV Golf season while currently placing himself at 12th on the overall leaderboard. He would surely want to win his 7th PGA Championship start as well as his 30th-ever career start in a major.

3. Jon RahmThe Spaniard is undoubtedly the most consistent player that the Saudi-backed league has witnessed in the current season. From finishing T3 at Mayakoba to a T10 in Singapore, he has cemented himself in second place in the 2024 LIV Golf rankings, all thanks to his total number of seven top-10 finishes out of seven starts (Impressive? You got that right). The 29-year-old would want to emerge victorious and best his T4 finish in 2018 at the event, and try to reclaim his old place on the OWGR with the points he would receive upon winning.

4. Talor Gooch: One of the most talked about LIV golfers who would be teeing it up at Valhalla, Gooch managed to earn a special invite into the major, courtesy of the three wins he bagged in 2023. As a result, the American claimed the title of the season-long individual champion. Coming to the current season, Gooch has finished four times in the top 10 while placing himself at T8 on the rankings. All eyes would surely be on the athlete who looks to seek his first major win of his career.

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5. Phil MickelsonHe has the most number of starts in the PGA Championship, with a tally of 30 and counting. What’s more, he also boasts two wins in the event, in 2005 and 2021, the last of which is his final major triumph, making him the oldest winner in the four prestigious tournaments at 50 years of age. The professional would, indubitably, want to emerge victorious once again and break his own record. Turning to his LIV Golf stats, the 53-year-old finished T6 at the contest held in Jeddah, placing himself at T34 on the standings. His recent performance at the competition, coupled with the fact that he was able to finish second to Rory McIlroy the last time it was held at Valhalla, makes him a worthy opponent on the greens for the PGA Tour pros as well as the other LIV golfers.

The remaining LIV Golf Pros at the 2024 PGA Championship

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While the abovementioned athletes boast the most chance of raking in a win at the event, one can’t help but mention the other professionals on the PIF-funded circuit who will be teeing it up at the PGA Championship. Out of the remaining 11 athletes, a total of six golfers, including the likes of Patrick Reed, David Puig, Joaquin Niemann, Adrian Meronk, Lucas Herbert as well as Dean Burmester, got in through special invitations.

The remaining LIV Golf Pros in the field of the PGA Championship got in through various categories, including being part of the top 15 in the 2023 PGA Championship—Tyrrell Hatton, a Masters Champ—Dustin Johnson, an Open Champion—Cameron Smith, and a past winner of the same—Martin Kaymer, not to mention being included because of finishing in the top 3 in the International Federation Ranking—Andy Ogletree. With such a powerful field in tow, the PGA Tour Pros might have a long weekend ahead of themselves if they want to win back the trophy.

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Written by

Allan Abe

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Allan Abe is a Senior Golf Writer at EssentiallySports. Armed with a Master’s Degree in English, he has covered many themes in golf as a beat writer, with in-depth coverage of instances of many golfers’ lives, like Bubba Watson and Adam Scott. Allan particularly excels at live coverage and a hole-to-hole analysis of events.
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Edited by

Tushhita Barua

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