Who are the LIV Golf players competing at the PGA Championship?

dustin johnson watches a tee shot during liv golf's event on sunday in tulsa, okla.

Dustin Johnson, who won the LIV event last week, has six career top-10 finishes in PGA Championships.

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The last time the PGA Championship was held, in May 2022 at Southern Hills in Tulsa, Okla., LIV Golf was still a start-up league gaining momentum (notably after it lost some ground in the aftermath of Phil Mickelson’s viral comments).

One year later, LIV Golf is here, and its players are still allowed at major championships — just not on the PGA or DP world tours. In Tulsa, Dustin Johnson said he was “excited to see what happens here in a few weeks,” regarding the future of golf but stopped short of saying he was LIV-bound. A month later he was the top-ranked player in LIV Golf’s inaugural event in London.

A lot has happened between the 2022 and 2023 PGA Championships, and there’s still a lot of uncertainty in golf. One thing we do know is that four times a year, at least for now, we’ll see PGA Tour and LIV golfers tee it up together at majors.

Sixteen LIV players are in this week’s PGA Championship, which begins on Thursday at Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester, N.Y. That’s two less than we saw at the Masters, where LIV players had a strong showing at Augusta National. Three finished in the top six, which included Mickelson and Brooks Koepka, who tied for second.

Koepka was the 54-hole leader at the Masters but stumbled with a final-round 75, while Mickelson shot up the leaderboard with a Sunday 65.

Mickelson’s Masters was particularly notable, since he missed the 2022 edition when he decided to step away from the game after those aforementioned comments he made in February 2022.

Mickelson also missed the 2022 PGA a month later, where he would have been the defending champion following his 2021 victory at Kiawah Island. He headlines the field of 16 LIV players teeing it up this week. (Eighteen LIV players earned invites, but former PGA champ Martin Kaymer and Paul Casey both withdrew.)

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Mickelson and Koepka earned invites as former PGA winners, and Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau, Patrick Reed and Cameron Smith all earned spots as recent major winners.

The rest of the LIV players in the field got in through other qualifying criteria, such as by finishing in the top 15 at last year’s PGA or via their spot in the Official World Golf Ranking. Sihwan Kim earned his place via the International Federation Ranking list.

LIV Golf members at the PGA Championship

Abraham Ancer
Dean Burmester
Bryson DeChambeau
Talor Gooch
Dustin Johnson
Sihwan Kim
Brooks Koepka
Anirban Lahiri
Phil Mickelson
Joaquin Niemann
Mito Pereira
Thomas Pieters
Patrick Reed
Cameron Smith
Brendan Steele
Harold Varner III

The caveat with LIV golfers in the PGA, and all majors, is that options for some to qualify will soon run out if the OWGR doesn’t grant LIV valuable World Ranking points. LIV applied for them last year, but the OWGR still hasn’t made a ruling, meaning LIV golfers needing to qualify for majors based on their World Ranking are losing precious spots until that gets decided.

This week’s event also comes on the heels of headlines made via comments from Seth Waugh, the CEO of the PGA of America, who recently said he doesn’t believe LIV Golf has a “survivable business model.” He was asked about those comments on Tuesday at Oak Hill.

“When asked about what do you think about the viability of it, I’m going to be honest in the same way that I was at Kiawah [two] years ago to say, I’m not sure that it’s a superior product and I’m not sure that it’s a sustainable business model because nothing has changed my mind about either of those things,” he said. “When asked, I’m giving an opinion about what it is. I’m just one opinion. I don’t have any authority here.

“As I said, we assembled the best field in golf. We’re happy to have them all here. I think we were fair and balanced about how we did all that, and let’s have a great week.”

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