Jason Dufner, former Ryder Cuppers enter LIV Golf promotions event
Former PGA Championship winner Jason Dufner highlights the field for LIV Golf’s promotions event.
The tournament, which will award three spots into the Saudi-backed circuit for the 2024 season, is a three-day, four-round qualifier beginning Dec. 8 in Abu Dhabi. Only the top 20 out of a field of 60 will advance to the final three rounds, but the scores will reset after Round 1. Additionally, more than a dozen players who are exempt from the first round will be added to the top 20.
Those who finish fourth through 10th will earn spots in the Asian Tour’s International Series, which is affiliated with LIV Golf.
Dufner, 46, is the most accomplished player in the field, with five career wins on the PGA Tour, including his Wanamaker triumph in 2013 at Oak Hill. In total, Dufner has made more than 430 PGA Tour starts in his career, earning $28 million with appearances on the U.S. Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup teams in 2012 and 2013, respectively. However, Dufner has not made the PGA Tour playoffs in the past five seasons and has not posted a top-10 finish in the previous four campaigns.
Also in the field are Jeff Overton and Victor Dubuisson. Overton, 40, is best known for appearing at the 2010 Ryder Cup for the U.S. He has not played a full season on the PGA Tour since 2016 after suffering a life-threatening infection. Dubuisson, 33, was a once-promising talent that was a part of the winning European 2014 Ryder Cup team, who hasn’t appeared in a major since 2016.
Other notables include two-time tour winner Kyle Stanley, Kevin Chappell, Martin Trainer, Chris Stroud, and former NCAA champ Braden Thornberry.
The 2024 season will be LIV Golf’s third, and comes as LIV’s backer, the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia, continues talks with the PGA Tour to form a new entity. It is no secret that several companies are vying to provide financial backing to the tour, calling into question if the PIF deal will ultimately come to fruition. Moreover, should a partnership between the tour and PIF happen, there is no guarantee LIV will continue. The new entity formed by the PGA Tour, DP World Tour and PIF will, however, “undertake a full and objective empirical data-driven evaluation of LIV and its prospects and potential and will make a good faith assessment of the benefits of team golf in general, and PIF, the PGA Tour and the DP World Tour will work together in an effort to determine how best to integrate team golf into PGA Tour and DP World Tour events going forward."
The framework between the tour and PIF calls for a new agreement to be completed by the end of the year, although both sides can agree to extend the deadline.