Tyrrell Hatton is the latest European Ryder Cup player to join LIV Golf, after the world no.16 was widely reported to have accepted a £50m fee to join the Saudi-backed breakaway circuit.
Hatton, who had been approached a number of times to join LIV, will make his LIV debut at the El Camaleon Golf Club in Mexico on Friday, where he will be joined by three other new recruits, Poland’s Adrian Meronk, a four-time winner on the DP World Tour, Australia’s Lucas Herbert and Caleb Surratt, a 20-year-old amateur who played for Team USA in last year’s Walker Cup.
Speculation about Hatton’s move to LIV has been rumbling on since the Dubai Desert Classic two weeks ago, where the 32-year-old’s answers as to his future were somewhat vague, while his withdrawal from this week’s AT&T Championship at Pebble Beach provided the necessary confirmation that he was turning his back on the PGA Tour.
It is understood that Hatton, like new signing Jon Rahm, is hoping to maintain his DP World Tour membership, although the fine and bans that come with playing for LIV may jeopardise his chances of meeting the qualifying criteria for the Ryder Cup.
Which LIV Golf team will Hatton join?
Hatton and Surratt will now join Rahm’s new team ‘Legion XIII’ for the 2024 LIV Golf League season, which will feature 13 teams – up from 12 – and 54 players. Meronk is joining Martin Kaymer’s Cleeks team, while 28-year-old Herbert, who has four pro wins to his name will be joining captain Cameron Smith in the all-Australian Ripper team.
There are also three new players coming in from the Asian Tour – Keiran Vincent (Legion XIII), Kalle Samooja (Cleeks) and Jinchiro Kozuma (Ironheads), although two as yet unnamed players will have to play as individuals, as there aren’t enough players to create 14 teams.
Hatton, like Rahm and many of the other leading LIV players, will be banking on a merger of some sort being agreed between the PGA Tour and DP World Tour with the Public Investment Fund – the £700 billion Saudi sovereign treasure trove that bankrolls LIV. A deal would involve a route back to the establish tours for LIV golfers.