Which LIV Golf Players Have Qualified For The PGA Championship?
There was plenty of uncertainty over both how LIV Golf players would be received by those on rival circuits and how they would perform in the first Major of the year, The Masters at Augusta National. In the end, those concerns were largely unfounded as their appearances went by without controversy and with plenty of on-course success.
In total, 18 LIV Golf players qualified for that tournament, and an identical number will play at Oak Hill Country Club. Those that do, though, will be keen to build on the goodwill fostered in April as they bid to get their hands on the Wanamaker Trophy.
Despite most LIV Golf players slipping down the world rankings in recent months, several qualified because they are in the top 100.
The highest-ranked LIV Golf player who has qualified courtesy of that route is Joaquin Niemann. The Chilean signed for LIV Golf last August, but his world ranking has not suffered too much thanks to solid performances in the three world ranking events he has played since. As World No.26, he comfortably qualifies.
Patrick Reed is another who has needed to rely on his world ranking to qualify, but like Niemann, the World No.49 gets in comfortably enough despite plunging as low as World No.90 in January. Likewise, Belgian Thomas Pieters is in the field courtesy of his World No.52 ranking.
Talor Gooch has been in the news recently after claiming a rule change by the USGA means he now needs to qualify again for the US Open after originally rubber-stamping his eligibility after reaching last year’s Tour Championship.
However, he has no such concerns over his presence at the PGA Championship thanks to his status as current World No.63. A good performance in this tournament should also ensure he reaches the top 60 needed to play at the Los Angeles Country Club event.
World No.64 Harold Varner III is another who has not come close to dropping out of the world’s top 100 yet, despite only playing two world ranking events since signing for the circuit.
Dean Burmester is one of LIV Golf’s newer recruits and the World No.85 is another who qualifies relatively comfortably. Things were far more touch and go for Anirban Lahiri, though, who earned an invite after moving up to World No.95 after finishing runner-up in the International Series Vietnam.
For others, the scramble for a place in the top 100 wasn’t a concern where this year’s tournament is concerned. That includes three LIV Golf players who qualify after finishing in the top 15 in the 2022 event at Southern Hills. The most memorable of those finishes came from Mito Pereira, who appeared to have victory in his grasp before a double bogey on the final hole saw him finish tied for third.
Further down the leaderboard, Abraham Ancer’s tie for ninth was enough to ensure his qualification before world ranking came into the equation. One of the other players who finished in that position last year was Brendan Steele, and he also qualifies on that basis.
Other players with the luxury of knowing qualification was assured well in advance are Cameron Smith, whose Players Championship win in 2022 guaranteed his qualification for the following three tournaments. The Australian, of course, has since won The Open, meaning he now qualifies for the next five years.
Dustin Johnson’s most recent Major victory came in the 2020 Masters, ensuring he qualifies on that basis and, similarly, 2020 US Open winner Bryson DeChambeau has no concerns over qualification just yet.
Elswehere, American Sihwan Kim is also in the field thanks to winning the Asian Tour's Order of Merit last year. The player was in the top three on the International Federation Official World Golf Ranking List as of 24 April, which is enough for him to qualify.
Then there are the most secure LIV Golf players of all in the PGA Championship. Phil Mickelson has won the Major twice, in 2005 and 2021, while another with a brace of PGA Championship titles is 2018 and 2019 winner Brooks Koepka. Former World No.1 Martin Kaymer is another LIV Golf player who has won the tournament, in 2010. Those victories ensure each of the three have lifetime exemptions.
Finally, Paul Casey qualifies thanks to his tie for fourth in the 2021 tournament. Casey missed the 2022 tournament due to injury, but it appears that the PGA of America is honoring its exemption to him for that strong finish two years ago.
was a member of the 2021 Team Europe Ryder Cup team and that would ordinarily be enough to qualify provided he was in the world's top 100 a week before the tournament. He's outside it, at World No.131, but qualifies thanks to the right of the PGA of America to invite players who wouldn't otherwise be eligible.
Here is the full list of LIV Golf players in the 2023 PGA Championship at Oak Hill Country Club.
LIV Golf Players At The PGA Championship
Harold Varner III