Top 5 LIV Golf Pros and Their Family Members Who Can Headline the PNC Championship in 2024

Published 12/15/2023, 5:05 AM EST

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The PNC Championship is unlike any other tournament. By bringing the golfers together with their families, the event gives them a chance to create memories of a lifetime. First played in 1995 as the father-son challenge, the tournament has evolved with time. The event was adapted to include female golfers as well, adding to its prestige and value. And perhaps now the inclusion of LIV golfers too can add to it further?

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Till now, only the PGAT and LPGA players have enjoyed playing in the tournament, but with the impending merger finalizing, chances are that players from the Saudi-backed side too could also participate from next year onward!

LIV golfers who could pair up with family for the PNC Championship next year

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When LIV was formed, it took a fair share of talented players away with them. Due to their defector status, many players in the Saudi league cannot play in any events that are part of the official and unofficial list of the PGA Tour—the parent-child event being one such example.

However, if the merger is finalized, some big names from the other side could also feature at the PNC Championship next year, given, of course, that they meet the criteria of having won a major or the PLAYERS Championship and their family members don’t hold a Tour card. A few are listed below:

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Phil Mickelson: With six major wins already under his belt, Mickelson could easily be a part of the PNC along with his 20-year-old son, Evan Mickelson. If the lefty takes to the greens of the event, then he will become a direct competitor of his old nemesis Tiger Woods. The Woods boys already have tough competitors in the Daly family who have beaten them in the past. And the inclusion of Mickelson will only make it more interesting.

Ian Poulter: A lot would have to align for Poulter to compete at the PNC Championship in 2024. For starters, he would have to qualify for a major (through qualification rounds at the US Open and Open Championship) and then go on to win it, a feat he has often come close to in the past but is yet to attain. If, however, he does manage the feat in 2024, the LIV star could be seen on the greens with one of his two sons, Joshua and Luke, both of whom are following in his footsteps and have taken a liking to the sport. Luke, in fact, made his college golf debut in September at the Fighting Illini Invitational. So maybe, just maybe, the Polter boys could be seen making their PNC debut next year.

Patrick Reed: The one-time major winner, has been blessed with two children. His daughter, Windsor Wells Reed, was born in 2014, and his son, Barrett Benjamin Reed, was born in 2017. Now, while his son is too young to participate, by this time next year, Windsor will turn 10 and a half and could accompany her father in the tournament, given that, of course, she likes twirling a club around like her dad.

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Cameron Smith: The Australian golfer has found success in both the tours and with his 2022 Open Championship win, and he would be a great addition to the PNC Championship. While Smith does not have any children, he could still pair up with either of his parents for the event. His pick, of course, would likelier be his father, who is the person who in fact taught him golf at a local country club at a young age. Sharing the same course with his parents would indeed be a dream come true for the one-time major winner.

Henrik Stenson: The Swedish golfer bagged his maiden major win at the Open Championship in 2016, thus making him eligible for the parent-child event if all goes well. Stenson is blessed with three beautiful children: a daughter, Lisa, born in 2007, a son, Karl, born in 2010, and another daughter, Alice, born in 2014. The golf pro could easily participate in the tournament with any of them.

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It’s clear that if the merger between the PGAT and LIV Golf is successful, the PNC Championship could see many new changes. Whether or not they will, though, remains to be seen!

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Written by:

Shafaque Taha

745Articles

One take at a time

I am Shafaque Taha, a senior golf writer at EssentiallySports, and here I am living my dream as a storyteller. Combining the knowledge from my master's degree in English literature, which was driven purely out of my passion for reading and writing, with my interest in the serendipity that I believe golf brings, I look to bring words to life for readers with my niche golf coverage. My love for the sport stems from the calming greens and the rush of adrenaline one feels when on them, and I especially enjoy watching LPGA Tour professionals in action.
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Edited by:

Sheldon Pereira

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