Ryder Cup star Tyrrell Hatton switches from PGA Tour to LIV Golf League and will make his debut for Jon Rahm's Legion XIII team in Mexico on Friday; Kieran Vincent and Caleb Surratt complete line-up for LIV Golf's newest team; DP World Tour player of the year Adrian Meronk has also joined
Wednesday 31 January 2024 14:22, UK
Tyrrell Hatton will join forces with Ryder Cup team-mate Jon Rahm in the LIV Golf League after becoming the latest high-profile name to join the Saudi-backed circuit.
The 32-year-old - who is ranked 16th in the world and a past winner on both the PGA Tour and DP World Tour - will be part of Rahm's 'Legion XIII' side for the 2024 season, beginning in Mexico on Friday.
Rahm and Hatton formed a formidable partnership at the Ryder Cup in Rome last September, winning both their foursomes matches together and finishing unbeaten during the week as Team Europe regained the trophy with a 16.5-11.5 victory over the United States.
The Englishman becomes the latest player to switch to LIV and is its first big-name capture since Rahm, the reigning Masters champion who signed what was understood to be a deal worth up to £450m at the start of December.
Sky Sports News reported last month Hatton was Rahm's No 1 target to recruit for his team, with the Spaniard getting his man after he joined for a rumoured fee of $60m (£47.3m). Both have retained their DP World Tour membership for now, making them - as things stand - still eligible for next year's Ryder Cup in New York.
"I'm really excited for this next chapter, to link up with Jon Rahm and Legion XIII, and to get started this week in Mexico," Hatton said.
Legion XIII confirmed the signing via their social media accounts on Tuesday, just three days before the start of the season, where LIV Golf's newest team also confirmed the other two names to complete their line-up.
Rahm and Hatton will be joined in their team by Kieran Vincent - who came through the LIV Golf Promotions event in December - and American Caleb Surratt, who was part of Team USA's winning Walker Cup team last year, with 13 teams now part of an expanded LIV Golf League for the forthcoming season.
"We've come a long way in a short period of time and are extremely proud of the team and brand we are building," Rahm said. "Tyrrell is a fierce competitor, proven champion, and of course my Ryder Cup team-mate.
"Caleb is one of the brightest next-gen stars of the game. And Kieran is a steady, talented ball striker who earned his promotion to LIV and is elevating his game every day."
Hatton started the year with back-to-back top-15 finishes on the PGA Tour before claiming a share of 31st at the Hero Dubai Desert Classic, with the three-time Ryder Cup player initially scheduled to appear at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am this week before announcing his switch to the LIV Golf League.
The recent moves come amid the ongoing talks between the PGA Tour and Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF) on the 'framework agreement' aimed at striking a peace deal in golf, with the discussions having been extended beyond an initial end-of-December deadline.
DP World Tour player of the year Adrian Meronk withdrew from the PGA Tour's Farmers Insurance Open last week and was announced as a LIV Golf player on Wednesday.
Meronk has won four times over the past 18 months and narrowly missed out on a place in Europe's Ryder Cup team. The Polish player has joined the Cleeks GC team captained by Martin Kaymer.
"I'm really looking forward to the new challenge and next chapter of my career as I team up with Martin and the Cleeks," Meronk said. "While I appreciate this decision didn't come easy, joining LIV Golf is a very special moment for my career.
"The 2023 season made me feel that despite all of my successes, 287 days a year which I spent away from home is too many. The LIV schedule gives me more time with my loved ones and more space to work on every aspect of my game.
"While on LIV, I will remain passionately dedicated to supporting the next generation of golf in Poland."
Australia's Lucas Herbert's inclusion was confirmed along with Meronk's. He has not teed it up since back-to-back DP World Tour starts last month on home soil, with the former Irish Open champion joining the all-Australian Ripper GC, captained by compatriot Cameron Smith.
Kalle Samooja and Jinichiro Kozuma took the other two spots on offer from the LIV Golf Promotions event last month, a 72-hole qualifying event in Abu Dhabi, while Andy Ogletree earned his spot by topping the Asian Tour's International Series Order of Merit and will play for Mickelson's HyFlyers GC.
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