GOLF

Matthew Wolff, Ortiz among the latest to join Saudi-backed LIV Golf

Jun 27, 2022, 6:31 PM
Matthew Wolff reacts after a shot on the 11th hole during the second round of the Travelers Champio...

Matthew Wolff reacts after a shot on the 11th hole during the second round of the Travelers Championship golf tournament at TPC River Highlands, Friday, June 24, 2022, in Cromwell, Conn. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

(AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

The Saudi-funded LIV Golf series added three more players to its roster for the second tournament in Oregon, a group that includes 23-year-old Matthew Wolff and Oklahoma State’s Eugenio Chacarra of Spain.

LIV Golf had been expected to announce additional players from its inaugural event outside London three weeks ago. The big surprise was Brooks Koepka, who only a week before he signed on had been in full support of the PGA Tour.

LIV Golf also said Monday that Carlos Ortiz of Mexico is joining, one week after Abraham Ancer of Mexico signed on.

The 48-man field at Pumpkin Ridge in North Plains, Oregon, starts Thursday for another $20 million purse, with an additional $5 million prize fund for a team competition. Charl Schwartzel won the inaugural event and its $4 million payoff.

Wolff, who also played at Oklahoma State, made an instant impact on the PGA Tour when he turned pro at age 20 and won the 3M Open in Minnesota in his third start. A year later, Wolff shot 65 in the final round to tie for fourth in the PGA Championship, and he had the 54-hole lead at Winged Foot in the U.S. Open until he shot 75 on the last day and finished six shots behind Bryson DeChambeau.

Since then, Wolff has struggled with relating happiness with the scores he was posting, and he stepped away in 2021 for 10 months to cope with mental health issues. Once as high as No. 12 in the world, he now is No. 77. His lone finish in the top 20 this year was a tie for sixth in the Saudi International.

The additional signings — which include DeChambeau and Patrick Reed as the London event was concluding — means the LIV Golf Invitational will have eight of the top 50 in the world at Pumpkin Ridge, with the highest-ranked Dustin Johnson at No. 16.

Ortiz, who is No. 119 in the world, won his only PGA Tour title in the Houston Open in 2020.

The Portland event is the first of five LIV Golf events scheduled for the United States, the first time PGA Tour members are competing on U.S. soil the same week as a PGA Tour event. The John Deere Classic does not have any of the top 50 in the world.

Players who compete in LIV Golf are suspended by the PGA Tour. Some of them, such as Sergio Garcia and Johnson, have resigned their membership.

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Matthew Wolff, Ortiz among the latest to join Saudi-backed LIV Golf