According to multiple reports, two PGA Tour winners have become the latest stars to jump ship to the Saudi-backed tour. Wolff has joined the event, who will depart for the upstart series, which stages its second event starting Thursday in Portland, Oregon.
Wolff, who won his only US PGA title at the 2019 3M Open in suburban Minneapolis in just his third tour start, was the 2020 US Open runner-up and shared fourth in the 2020 PGA Championship, each result coming in his event debut.
Wolff was a runner-up in last October’s Shriner’s Children’s Open at Las Vegas and shared 40th on Sunday at the PGA Travelers Championship.
Eugenio Chacarra, the No. 2 player in the men’s World Amateur Golf Ranking, also announced over the weekend on social media that he plans to join the LIV Golf Portland field.
LIV Golf announced 45 players in the field Wednesday, which included recent PGA Tour defector Brooks Koepka, the No. 19 player in the world. No. 17 Dustin Johnson, No. 21 Louis Oosthuizen, No. 22 Abraham Ancer, No. 31 Bryson DeChambeau and No. 33 Kevin Na are among the other top players in the field for the 54-hole tournament.
DeChambeau, Johnson, Koepka, Na, Oosthuizen, Phil Mickelson, Sergio Garcia, Lee Westwood, Hideto Tanihara, Martin Kaymer, Wade Ormsby and Graeme McDowell will captain the 12 LIV Golf teams this week.
The tournament’s teams will be decided Tuesday at a draft, with each captain selecting three players. The player with the best individual score through three rounds will earn a $4 million first-place prize. The team with the best score also will split a $3 million first-place prize.
The LIV series, which is bankrolled by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, has plunged the golf world into turmoil since its emergence.
It has drawn stinging criticism from human rights groups, which say the circuit is an attempt to boost the kingdom’s image through sport.
Mexican player Ortiz, 31, played his debut season on the Tour in 2019, registering his maiden win the following year at the Houston Open. Having previously reached 44th in the world rankings, he has seemingly regressed in the past two years and is yet to finish higher than 55th in a major championship.
A star player at Oklahoma State, Wolff turned pro in June 2019 and won less than a month later while playing on a sponsor’s exemption at the 3M Open. Wolff made a 26-foot eagle putt from off the green to defeat Bryson DeChambeau and Collin Morikawa on the 72nd hole. He tied for fourth at the 2020 PGA Championship, his first start in a major, and was second at the 2020 US Open at Winged Foot.
But Wolff has struggled over much of the past two seasons. He took two months off from golf in 2021 to focus on his mental health. He returned at the US Open, in which he tied for 15th. He has missed the cut in seven of his past 12 starts this season and hasn’t finished inside the top 25. He is ranked 74th in the Official World Golf Ranking.