Chase Koepka, Dustin Johnson on list to play in first Saudi-backed LIV Golf event

Tom D'Angelo
Palm Beach Post
Chase Koepka tees off during the second round of the 2021 Valspar Championship in Palm Harbor. Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Chase Koepka, the brother of four-time PGA major winner Brooks Koepka, is among the players in the inaugural LIV Golf Invitational Series scheduled for next week at London's Centurion Club.

Jupiter's Dustin Johnson, No. 13 in the World Golf Rankings, is the headliner for the controversial series backed by the Saudis and led by commissioner and CEO Greg Norman.

Jupiter's Brooks Koepka has stated several times he would not be tempted by LIV Golf, and while talking about PGA Tour players said: "They'll get their guys. Somebody will sell out and go to it."

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Johnson is one of 13 players with PGA Tour membership in the field, including two in the top 20 with No. 20 Louis Oosthuizen. It includes 16 of the top 100 in the world. Also listed are No. 54 Sergio Garcia and Palm Beach Gardens' Charl Schwartzel, the 2011 Masters champion.

Those opting to play are subject to fines and possible suspension after PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan denied conflicting-event releases to the tournament.

Brooks Koepka, left, and Chase Koepka speak to reporters on Feb. 23 ahead of the 2022 Honda Classic at PGA National Resort in Palm Beach Gardens.

The younger Koepka, who lives in West Palm Beach, has been unable to get his playing privileges for the PGA Tour. He has played in 12 PGA Tour events since turning pro in 2016, with one top 10 finish — a tie for fifth in the 2017 Zurich Classic in New Orleans. He has $306,396 in PGA Tour career earnings.

Chase Koepka's world ranking is 1,543.

The LIV series includes four 12-man teams playing eight events. Each is 54 holes with no cut. The final event is Oct. 27-30 at Trump National Doral in Miami.

Each event has a $25 million purse, with $20 million going to individuals and $5 million paid out to a team portion. The winner receives $4 million and last place gets $120,000. 

Even if Koepka finishes last, it would be more money than he earned in any year since turning pro except 2016-17 when he won $140,225.

The first list includes 42 names, leaving room for six more. Among those not on the list is Phil Mickelson, who has not played since his controversial comments about the PGA Tour and the Saudi regime. Mickelson, 51, skipped the Masters and PGA Championship, where he was the defending champion, this season.

Tom D'Angelo is a journalist at the Palm Beach Post, part of the USA Today Florida Network. You can reach him at tdangelo@pbpost.comHelp support our journalism. Subscribe today.