Bryson DeChambeau has made a huge impact in his first six years on tour. After two wins in the 20-21 season, including his first major, the U.S. Open, he finished the season ranked 7th. He was the first to have two victories, and only one of six people to do it all season. 2022 has started slow, but nine top-10 finishes last season helped to keep him very high on the list. Eight tour victories in only 134 events played, with 35 top-10 finishes is an incredible feat. The career total for earnings is 26 million, but he's now primed to win a whole lot more.
DeChambeau, who was adamant he’d stick with the PGA Tour even 10 days before the announcement he’d be joining LIV Golf Invitational, has been guaranteed more than $100 million to join. And for him, the switch from the PGA Tour to the LIV Golf series is nothing personal; in fact, he even says it was a difficult decision for him. At a practice round at The Country Club in June 13, DeChambeau said, "It's been weighing on everyone out here for the last couple of years…At the end of the day, it's a business decision for my family's future."
Koepka is one player who, at first, was out to defend the PGA Tour, saying, "I'm here at the U.S. Open...I'm ready to play the U.S. Open, and I think it kind of sucks, too, you are all throwing this black cloud over the U.S. Open. It's one of my favorite events. I don't know why you guys keep doing that. The more legs you give it, the more you keep talking about it." However, in a sudden turn of events, Koepka is now set to leave the PGA Tour to join the LIV Golf Invitational...When asked why he had seemingly decided to stay with the PGA Tour before, he said, "There’s been no other option to this point, so where else are you going to go?"
Brooks Koepka’s track record on the course speaks for itself. He’s had 15 professional wins in his career, including back-to-back victories at the 2017 and 2018 U.S. Open. However, are his best days behind him? Koepka hasn’t been seen much in 2022 at any of the major competitions. A recent marriage to his fiance Jena Sims could be a factor, but if you don’t show up every once and a while to defend your legacy, you might not have a legacy to defend for long!
An excellent ball-striker, John Rahm is currently ranked first in hitting greens in regulation. While he has only one major win, the U.S. Open in 2021, he has placed in the Top-10 on the leaderboard several times, continuing to add more important points to his total. He is consistently on the hunt for wins, and a very fierce competitor. Placing in the Top 10 half of the time has led to six PGA wins, 31 million dollars, and the distinction of being the top-ranked golfer in the world. Rahm is staying away from LIV currently.
Jon Rahm is one player who will be staying in the PGA Tour, because for him, it's not all about money. Rahm said, "Truth be told, I could retire right now with what I've made and I'd live a very happy life and not play golf again. So I've never really played the game of golf for monetary reasons. I play for the love of the game, and I want to play against the best in the world. I've always been interested in history and legacy, and right now the PGA Tour has that."
Dustin has had his share of trouble, both on and off the course. But after two major wins, including the 2020 Masters win with -20 under par, he has become a force to reckon with. While this season has started dismally, everyone knows Johnson is capable of multiple wins. Johnson has a Masters win, a U.S. Open win, 24 PGA wins total, and 74 million dollars and earnings. Like I said before, he is not hot every year, but when he is, barely any course can contain the excitement.
Dustin Johnson is among the headliners at the LIV Golf Invitational in London. For the event, he's been offered $125 million—but that amount may increase up to $150 million. Like DeChambeau, the decision to play the LIV Golf series was about the financial opportunity and flexibility it affords for the sake of his family. Johnson stated, "I’m very thankful for the PGA Tour and everything it’s done for me. I’ve done pretty well out there for the last 15 years. But this is something that was best for me and my family. It’s something exciting and something new.”
Born and raised (partially) in San Diego, California, Phil Mickelson has been playing golf since childhood when he hit the green with his grandfather. After attending Arizona State University in Tempe on a golf scholarship, he participated in three individual NCAA championships, sharing a record for the most individual NCAA championships along with Ben Crenshaw. Thus far, he has a record of 45 PGA Tour wins and has the distinguishment of being the oldest major PGA Tour champion.
Phil Mickelson will be joining the LIV Golf series and was reportedly offered over $200 million to play. In regard to joining LIV Golf, Mickelson had this to say:
“After 32 years, this new path is a fresh start, one that is exciting for me at this stage of my career and is clearly transformative, not just for myself, but ideally for the game and my peers. I also love the progressive format and think it will be exciting for fans. Just as importantly, it will provide balance, allowing me to focus on a healthier approach to life on and off the course. I am incredibly grateful for what this game and the PGA Tour has given me. I would like to think that I have given back as well but now I am excited about this new opportunity.”
Born in Borriol, Castellón, Spain, Garcia is a professional Spanish golfer who has remained one of the top 10 golfers in the world, according to the Official World Golf Ranking, for most of his career. His career earnings have amounted to more than $43 million, and he has 11 PGA Tour wins on his belt.
Sergio Garcia recently resigned from the PGA Tour—just ahead of the LIV Golf Open. He is said to be earning around $125 million for joining the LIV Golf Invitational. Recently, in a released video, Garcia was on record as saying, “I can’t wait to leave this tour. I can’t wait to get out of here…couple of more weeks and I won’t have to deal with you anymore.” Although LIV Golf was not mentioned at all.
Spieth has earned more than 49 million dollars in 221 events played, with 74 Top 10 finishes. His 12 PGA wins include the 2015 Masters, the 2017 Open Championship, and the 2015 U. S. Open. The only other major, the PGA Championship has eluded him with a second-place finish in 2015.
Jordan has only been on tour for about 10 years and is still under the age of 30. He played in the President’s Cup as a rookie and has gone on to win major tournaments, including the Masters and the Open. A tie for second place in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am in 2021, along with excellent play over the last few years, keeps him consistently in the top of the world rankings. For now, Spieth is staying with the PGA Tour.
Born in San Antonio, Texas, Patrick Reed’s first big win happened at University High School in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. It was there he won the 2006 Junior Open Championship. Thereafter, he played in college, and in 2011, started his professional career. Thus far, he has nine PGA Tour wins.
Patrick Reed is someone who has certainly made enough money from the PGA Tour, having won as much as $37 million in a decade—but could the Saudi Arabian LIV Golf offer be too much to decline? It looks that way, as he too has jumped ship. And he’s excited about the tour, saying “It's refreshing to see team golf again. It takes me back to college and Ryder Cup days.” Reed will be appearing at the second event of the series later in June.
Will Zalatoris is no stranger to the top of the leaderboards. Pretty much every time he plays you can expect him to rise above (most) of the competition. A second-place ranking at the 2021 Masters is nothing to scoff at, but he’s still got room to rise. If there’s one thing that Zalatoris needs to get under control to become the best of the best, it’s his putting. Other than that, he seems unstoppable, and we expect to see him hanging around the top of the rankings for a long time to come.
Zalatoris has been outspoken in his support of the PGA Tour, praising the benefits off the course, offered by the PGA Tour. At a press conference, he indicated that he supported the PGA Tours' response as they denied player waivers into the first LIV Golf Invitational Series event. At the same time, he indicated that nobody was stopping them from playing.
McIlroy turned professional in 2007 and was born in Ireland. He won majors, including The Open Championship and the PGA Championship in 2014. He has also been the FedEx Champion twice and started this season with a win at The C J Cup @ Summit. Rory is such a phenomenal player that in the 181 cuts that he has made, he’s finished in the Top 10 97 times—over 50%. That type of performance has won him almost $60 million dollars.
Rory McIlroy has had a lot to say about players moving to LIV Golf, but for now it's clear that he's sticking with the PGA Tour. McIlroy said, “Those crowds on Sunday in Canada, LIV is never going to have that. It’s never going to have that sense of, I don’t know what the word is…but last week meant something. What they are doing over there doesn’t really mean anything apart from just collecting a ton of money.” And in response to those banned from the PGA Tour, he had this to say:
"My dad said to me a long time ago, once you make your bed, you lie in it, and they’ve made their bed. That’s their decision, and they have to live with that.”
Hideki Matsuyama is staying but was recently disqualified from the Memorial Tournament for having illegal markings on his three-wood club during an event in early June. Japanese golfer Matsuyama won The Masters in 2021, making him the first Japanese men’s player to win a major tournament. A fierce competitor who will possibly easily crack the Top 10 this year.
He also won the Sony Open in Hawaii and the ZOZO Championship on the way to eight PGA victories and eight International victories. He has more than 38 million dollars in earnings, with 19 Top-10 finishes in the last three years.
Cantlay is known as a very quiet and thoughtful player. His putting is phenomenal, and his focus seems unshakeable. His four Top-10 finishes this year and a win at the Memorial have helped him achieve the Top-5 ranking. He remains loyal to the PGA Tour—for now—but has said, "I'm as curious as you are to see how the tournaments will go and what the presentation will be like, if it will be similar to golf tournaments that we're used to seeing on TV, or if it will be something totally different, and only time will tell."
Six PGA victories, all of them recent, brought his shy nature a lot of publicity. It probably doesn’t hurt his feelings too much; he has earned 24 million dollars along the way. Patrick seems to be adjusting to the limelight, and major victories cannot be too far away.
Louis Oosthuizen will be quitting the PGA tour to play the LIV Golf Invitation, although the amount offered has not yet been disclosed. As players are getting banned from the PGA Tour for joining LIV golf, the question on everyone's mind is whether LIV Golf and the PGA Tour can peacefully co-exist. Oosthuizen expressed his own sentiments on the subject, saying “I don’t see why not. I mean, I made my decision where I want to play and, you know, I’m grateful for everything that the PGA Tour did for me and meant for my career."
Additionally, he said “I honestly don’t see what everyone is on about. At the end of the day, this is a great championship that we all work hard to be and play here and we’re going to be focused on that this week."
Born in South Africa, Oosthuizen has been listed as a professional for 20 years. Oosthuizen won The Open Championship on the Old Course in Scotland in 2010 with a seven-stroke lead. Currently ranked as 7th in greens hit in regulation, he has the possibility to lower his scores dramatically. With 13 International victories and the major victory in 2010, 28 million dollars has been won with making the cut in 161 tournaments.
Justin Thomas has spoken out in favor of the PGA Tour, tweeting "What a week. That’s why we play, and that’s why we play on the @PGATOUR. Got to battle against one of the best today and got out dueled, but not without a fight. Congrats to @McIlroyRory on his 21st (??) win and an amazing finish. Can’t wait for @usopengolf!"
Four Top-10 finishes this year has helped catapult Thomas into the Top-10 of world rankings. A major winner in the PGA championship in 2017 and a reputation as a great ball-striker keeps him ahead of the pack. Fourteen wins, 65 Top-10 finishes, and more than 45 million dollars won would be a great career for anyone. However, Justin Thomas is far from done, and his current ranking proves it.
Ian Poulter is said to be earning between $20 to $30 million for playing in the LIV Golf series. Upon playing the first event at the Centurion Club, Poulter was among 17 players banned from the PGA Tour – among them also being Phil Mickelson and Sergio Garcia. But Poulter is seeking to appeal the decision, insisting that he has done nothing wrong, telling reporters, "I've played a lot of tournaments all around the world, this event is no different. It's a shame if they view this as something different.”
Ian Poulter was born in Hitchin, England but raised in Stevenage. He’s been playing golf since the age of four. By 1996, Poulter turned professional and got his first win at the 1999 Open de Côte d'Ivoire. Thus far, he has earned three PGA Tour wins and 12 European Tour wins.
Kevin Na, who is a five-time PGA Tour winner has also elected to resign from the tour to participate in the LIV Golf tour, and too, faces the threat of getting banned. In his resignation statement, Kevin Na said:
“I would like the freedom to play wherever I want and exercising my right as a free agent gives me that opportunity. However, to remain a PGA Tour player, I must give up my right to make these choices about my career. If I exercise my right to choose where and when I play golf, then I cannot remain a PGA Tour player without facing disciplinary proceedings and legal action from the PGA Tour.”
Born in Seoul, South Korea, Kevin Na was a member of the PGA Tour from 2004 to 2022, having won 5 PGA tours in that time. After emigrating to the United States when he was eight years old, he dropped out of high school to play professional golf at the age of 17. He is now a naturalized citizen of the United States and lives in Las Vegas.
Scottie Scheffler seems to be staying with the PGA Tour, and if his new record is any indication, it's easy to see why. Scottie Scheffler now has the PGA Tour record for the most money earned in a single season. His total earnings have amounted to a near $13 million. In response to those leaving for LIV Golf, he's said “I haven’t really noticed anyone missing this week. Maybe outside of DJ.”
Another product of the University of Texas, Sceffler turned pro in 2018. Tall, athletic, and loves pickup basketball. However, this Ryder Cup winner has already won two tournaments this season, both in less than 30 days. The WM Phoenix Open, and the Arnold Palmer Invitational are his first two PGA victories and have helped him earn more than 12 million dollars. This pace could make him #1 in the very near future.
Viktor Hovland was quoted as saying, "I have no plans to play the LIV series." Originally from Norway, Hovland attended college at Oklahoma State University. Only active since 2019, he has a tour win this season at the World Wide Technology Championship at Mayakoba and a few other Top-10 finishes that have pushed his point average into the Top-3 overall currently.
Three victories on tour with a lowest round score of 62, Viktor is sneaking into the top world ranking this year. He’s only won 10 million dollars so far in his career, but it looks extremely promising that he’ll win a lot more. Viktor Hovland currently has decided to not go LIV, but that could change.
Seamus Power has a name for professional wrestling, but he’s got the skills for the golf course. With six professional wins (the most recent coming in 2021), Power hasn’t done bad, but he’s going to have to up his game to really rise through the rankings. Seamus Power seems to be happy on the PGA Tour, as he recently tweeted, "First @PGAChampionship in the books, tough but enjoyable week on a great course. Not the Sunday I wanted but plenty to build on. As always thanks to @PingTour @FootJoy @TRAVISMATHEW @PowerHRG @thekclub @Foregolfcustom Week off this week and then back at it in Ohio next week!"
In 2022, he’s finished T27 at the Masters and T9 at the PGA Championship. Those numbers are nothing to be ashamed of, but he’s still got a ways to go before Power finds himself at the top of the pack. Seamus Power is pretty comfortable not joining LIV for now.
Thus far, there's been no indication that Daniel Berger will nor plans to leave the PGA Tour. However, 2022 has not been a kind year to Daniel Berger. His T50 ranking at the Masters was probably a big disappointment to the pro golfer, but at least he placed then! Getting cut entirely from the PGA tour probably stung even more.
In his performances leading up to the 2022 US Open, things have been better for Berger, but don’t expect anything big from him. It will probably be a victory for him there if he ranks at all.
Xander Schauffele was rumored to be interested in switching to LIV Golf but it turns out those rumors are untrue according to a recent tweet from Dylan Dethier, who quoted Schauffele as saying, "I want to play against the best players in the world, and they’re on the PGA Tour. Nobody that has left has moved the needle for me."
Born in La Jolla, CA, his mother is from Chinese Taipei but grew up in Japan, and his father is half-French and half-German. He competed in the Olympics and hasn’t won a major event yet but has been in several playoffs to try to secure a victory. Schauffele has four tour victories, one international win, and has earned 24 million dollars. Of the 103 cuts in tournaments that he has made, he has had 10 second place finishes.
Keegan Bradley recently made a return to the top 50 of the global golf rankings but how long he stays there is entirely up to his performance in the coming days and weeks. He’s had an impressive 10 wins during his professional career, but the most recent of those came in 2018. Bradley also seems quite happy where he is. As he prepares for the final round of the US Open, he smashed it at The Country Club, a moment in his career he was tremendously proud of. “Honestly, it was one of the most amazing moments of my entire life,’’ an emotional Bradley said afterward. “I got to feel what it feels like to play in Fenway, to play in the Garden, to play in Gillette Stadium. I felt like a Boston player there. That was a moment I’ll never forget the rest of my life, and I appreciate the fans giving me that, and I hope to have them cheer again [Sunday].’
He’s still got a way to go before he’s considered the best of the best, but with his track record, it seems possible that he could rise even further. Whether he can actually do that remains to be seen, but it’s definitely within the realm of possibility.
Corey Conners knows how to compete on the PGA tour, with performances that frequently place him in the top 25, and, less frequently, the top 10. However, he only has one professional win, and that came all the way back in 2019. That said, he's not likely to be leaving the PGA Tour any time soon.
While he’s done fine at the Masters, the US Open is a different story. He’s never made the cut, despite three attempts. Could 2022 be the year he finally breaks through? Probably not, but stranger things have happened on the course!
Matt Fitzpatrick has been raising eyebrows since his 2013 win of the US Amateur Championship. He didn’t stay amateur for long, though, and now, he’s poised to do well for himself at the 2022 US Open. After being asked about his rise to prominence, Fitzpatrick was quoted as saying "I think there is a little bit to do with guys that have jumped ship and gone to LIV, and I think at the same time I have played a little bit better, as well. I think it's a bit of both." But so far, Fitzpatrick has not indicated he'd like to make the move.
Fitzpatrick may still be pretty young by golf standards, but he’s already made a name for himself as a hard worker, and, more importantly, a winner. With seven professional wins (including the British Masters), he’s one to watch as he rises through the rankings.
A win at the 2022 US Open is probably not in the cards this time for Cameron Young, but winning the PGA Rookie of the Year is a much more likely win for this up-and-coming pro golfer. He’s got a ways to go before he’s at the top, but anyone who has seen him play knows he’s got what it takes.
With two wins during the 2021 Korn Ferry Tour, Young isn’t doing half bad in the world of professional golf. With a few more years under his belt, expect to see this golfer closer to the number one spot.
Davis Riley is still a young buck in the world of professional golf, only officially going pro in 2020 after a Panama Championship win as part of the Korn Ferry Tour. However, it’s clear that he’s got what it takes to become the next big thing in golf.
He’s got lots of potential, but he’s going to need to prove himself more before he sees some serious movement in his global ranking. Two professional wins is nothing to be ashamed of, but we’re now two years out from both of those and waiting to see what Riley will do next.
Shane Lowry may not currently be the king of the greens right now, but it’s clear that’s where he’s headed if he continues to improve his game. He is another one of the players sick of hearing about and being asked about LIV Golf. He has said, bluntly, "Every player that's not signed up to it has absolutely had it up to here with talking about it."
Shane Lowry may be from Ireland, but he’s definitely a competitor on the global stage. Lowry made his debut on the pro circuits in May of 2009, and, since then, he’s been racking up wins and accolades. His most recent big win came at the 2019 Open Championship in Ireland.
So far, Sam Burns is sticking to the PGA Tour. Sam Burns had a great 2021, with wins at both the Valspar Championship and the Sanderson Farms Championship. And 2022 was even better for the up-and-coming golfer, with a second Valspar win as well as a win (beating Scottie Scheffler) at the Charles Schwab Challenge.
With four PGA tour wins, Burns could become a real thorn in the side of professional golfers everywhere. However his so-so rankings, like his T-20 at the PGA, need to rise a bit for others to really feel threatened by him.
Joaquin Niemann has turned down LIV Golf as well. When asked about it by Golf.com, he spoke out in support of the PGA Tour, replying “Nothing to tell from me. I want to do my best to beat all these [top-ranking players]...They’re still here and as long as they’re here, I’m not going anywhere. No chance.”
Joaquin Niemann has had a great year on the courses, with his most noticeable recent win coming during a PGA game at Riveria, where he bested other golf greats like Collin Morikawa and Cameron Young. Things are currently looking good for the young golfer. Considering that he’s made consistent and notable improvements to his game over the last few years, it wouldn’t be surprising to see this star continue to rise in the coming weeks and years. He’s still got a ways to go, but it’s clear he’s on the right path.
Billy Horschel is not joining the LIV Golf series but at the same time does not shame other players for doing so. He said, “I can understand how some guys will take it personal. When you look at it, it hurts. It hurts any Tour player...There are players who are angry about it. They are pissed off by it. Is it a personal thing? I don’t know. It’s tough to say it’s personal. I just think guys are hurt by it. But are guys really attacking you?”
Horschel went to school at the University of Florida and turned professional in 2009. While he has only had a few victories since then, a tie for second place in the Arnold Palmer Invitational shot him up in the world rankings to land in the Top 15. He has won six PGA tour events and one International event, while earning more than 30 million dollars in winnings. Currently, he is the defending champion of the 2021 BMW PGA Championship.
Tyrrell Hatton has recently garnered a reputation for airing complaints about courses he doesn’t like. With that said, Hatton may be another player moving to the LIV Golf series, having expressed his disappointment with tournaments like the PGA Tour. Hatton has said, "I think the PGA and USGA seem to be in a bit of a fight about who’s got the longest golf course and who’s got the longest par-3. It would be nice if they were a bit more creative with course setup rather than just trying to make it hard through length all the time. PGA seems to just be getting longer each time we come back and play."
But, despite all the whining, Hatton actually seems to know what he’s doing. His 10 professional wins speak for themselves. However, more recently, things haven’t been looking as great for Hatton. In 2022, he placed 52 at the Masters and T13 at the PGA Championship. Neither one of those rankings are anything to write home about, but there’s still time in the year to turn things around. So far, it looks like Tyrrell Hatton is staying PGA.
Australian-born Smith has been on tour since 2013. After winning the Sentry Tournament of Champions in January, he has also placed in the Top 10 in three of the six tournaments he has played. Ranking 2nd in birdies this season has helped his ranking tremendously. Cameron finished second—behind Dustin Johnson—in the 2020 Masters and has currently won over 19 million dollars.
His game has improved, and his world ranking is steadily climbing. Thus far, Cameron Smith has not yet decided whether the LIV Golf tour is right for him. He told Australian Golf Digest, "it’s too early to decide whether (LIV) is a good product or not."
Collin Morikawa is tired of hearing about the LIV Golf series and wants to focus on the US Open. He's said "I know when the tournament happened for LIV, and I wake up Thursday morning, and I'm interested to see what's going to go on. Yeah, it is a distraction, and I think I read something or I saw what Brooks said earlier today. I think he is on to something. We're here at Major championship, and we're here to win the US Open, and we're here to play and beat everyone else in this field, in this great field. That's what it's about.”
Another pro from the class of 2019, Morikawa has been at the top since he was an amateur a few years ago. Ranked the No. 1 amateur in the World Amateur Golf Ranking, he turned pro and added four Top-10 finishes so far this year, earning him the No. 2 spot in the world. Collin won the PGA Championship in 2020 and the Open Championship in 2021, and has only played in 59 golf tournaments. Earning 16 million dollars and two majors in less than four years is Hall of Fame stats.
Max Homa has not been particularly outspoken about what's happening with the LIV Golf series and the players moving there, but he certainly has an opinion. In response to a tweet from Tom Brooks that reads, "Where does pga drama rank on the overarching list of sports dramas? In your eyes, of course," Homa replied, "Our drama (and gifs) remain in house, typically."
Max Homa didn’t have the best track record when he first entered the world of pro golf, but things have definitely gotten better for the California native as the years have gone by. Whether he can make the cut at the 2022 US Open, though, remains to be seen. Homa has managed to rack up six professional wins, including four on the PGA tour, and he’s infamous for making difficult courses look like a cakewalk. As long as he keeps his eye on the prize, Homa has nowhere to go but up.
Will Mito Pereira continue to rise through the rankings or is he due a fall? It really depends on what parts of his history you look at. With eight professional wins during 2020 and 2021, it seems like Pereira is a solid player. Mito Pereira had previously taken off two years from golf, telling Golfweek, “I got tired off it,...I quit and just played other sports for a while – dirt bike, soccer and tennis. One day, I wanted to play golf again and I came back. It’s that simple."
And while he hasn't indicated a need for a change now, that may change soon enough.
However, more recently, we’ve seen him choke on the course. During the 2022 PGA Championship, Pereira started strong at the top of the pack, only to blow it with a double bogey on the 18th hole. Hopefully, this won’t become a pattern for the pro golfer.