Four Aussies named for Norman tournament

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Australians Matt Jones, Wade Ormsby, Blake Windred and Jed Morgan have been named as confirmed players for the debut tournament of Greg Norman-run LIV Golf Invitational Series next week.

The quartet join some big names in former world No.1 Dustin Johnson and fellow major winners Sergio Garcia, Louis Oosthuizen, Martin Kaymer, Charl Schwartzel and Graeme McDowell along with Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter, Branden Grace, Kevin Na and Talor Gooch.

They were among 42 players named by LIV Golf for what is to be a 48-man field for the $US25 million ($A35m) event, with the remaining six to be announced later.

Phil Mickelson, who stepped away from the game in February amid fallout from comments he made regarding the Saudi-backed league, was not listed in the field for the June 9-11 event at Centurion Club outside London.

The US PGA Tour and DP World Tours have said they will refuse to grant releases for players to take part in the event, with LIV Golf seen as a rival to the world's two biggest tours with its enormous budget.

It remains to be seen what that would mean for the likes of Jones, Ormsby plus the other established names who are on the PGA Tour or DP World Tour.

Young guns Windred and Morgan were able to get the spots offered to the top two finishers on the PGA Tour of Australasia Order of Merit.

However the event has attracted none of the world's current top-10 players.

Norman has come in for strong criticism as CEO of LIV Golf, with critics slamming the mega-rich series as a means of "sports washing" for Saudi Arabia's human rights record.

But Norman preferred to couch it differently.

"Free agency has finally come to golf," Norman said in a statement.

"This is an opportunity to start a movement that will change the course of history by bringing new and open competition to the sport we all love.

"The desire shown by the players to participate in LIV Golf demonstrates their emphatic belief in our model and confidence in what we're building for the future."

The PGA Tour and DP World Tour did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

World No.13 Johnson, a two-time major champion, is the highest-ranked player in a field that currently includes 26 of the top 150 in the world.

Johnson, who in February said he was "fully committed" to the PGA Tour, ultimately decided the opportunity was too good to pass up.

"Dustin's been contemplating this for the past two years and decided it was in his and his family's best interest to pursue it," his agent David Winkle told Golf Channel.

"He's never had any issue with the PGA Tour and is grateful for all it's given him but in the end felt this was too compelling to pass up."

The field for London also includes three amateurs - 15-year-old Ratchanon "TK" Chantananuwat of Thailand, Spain's David Puig and 2021 US Amateur champion James Piot - along with Brooks Koepka's brother, Chase Koepka.

With AP.

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