LIV Golf: Henrik Stenson and Hideki Matsuyama linked after 45-man Bedminster field announced

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Cameron Smith
Smith has reportedly been offered $90m (£74.9m) to join the offshoot golf competition

LIV Golf has announced 45 players for their next 48-man tournament – with three more top players to be named in the coming days.

It comes after reports that 2023 Ryder Cup captain Henrik Stenson and former Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama could be set to join the controversial series.

Fellow major winners Phil Mickelson, Sergio Garcia, Patrick Reed, Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson and Bryson DeChambeau have already signed up for the new Saudi Arabia-funded tour.

The third event of the series, the LIV Golf Invitational Bedminster, will run from 29-31 July at Trump National Golf Club in New Jersey.

Speaking after winning The Open on Sunday, Cameron Smith did not rule out joining LIV Golf.

LIV Golf are also reportedly tabling bids for Smith’s fellow Australian Marc Leishman and two-time Masters champion Bubba Watson.

Paul Casey, a 21-time winner as a pro and five-time European Ryder Cup team member, will make his LIV debut in a field that will showcase 10 major champions with a combined 20 majors won.

Stenson was announced in mid-March as Europe’s successor to former Ryder Cup captain Padraig Harrington, but the Swede is likely to be stripped of the captaincy if he jumps ship to the rebel LIV Series, which has found itself in conflict with the DP World Tour, formerly the European Tour.

Americans Mickelson and Johnson, Spaniard Garcia, South African Louis Oosthuizen and Englishmen Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood will make their third straight appearances since the circuit debuted last month outside London.

South Africans Charl Schwartzel and Branden Grace won the first two tournaments of the inaugural LIV season at London and Portland, respectively. Both men will be in the field in New Jersey.

Greg Norman, CEO and commissioner of LIV Golf, said: “It’s been a historic two months for LIV Golf as we’ve established a new era for the sport that delivers unique energy, camaraderie, and competition.

“In just six rounds of live action, we have created a golf environment that has captured the world’s attention and attracted young, passionate fans around the globe.

“We are excited to take another giant leap forward at the beautiful Trump National Golf Club Bedminster where our players are eager to tee off in pursuit of the third individual and team titles of the season.”

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