Tyrrell Hatton has become the latest European Ryder Cup player to join LIV Golf after the world no.16 accepted a reported £50m fee to join the Saudi-backed breakaway circuit.
Hatton will make his LIV debut at the El Camaleon Golf Club in Mexico on Friday, where he will be joined by three other new recruits, Poland’s Adrian Meronk, who is a four-time winner on the DP World Tour, Australia’s Lucas Herbert, and Caleb Surratt, a 20-year-old who played for USA in last year’s Walker Cup.
Speculation about Hatton’s move to LIV has been growing since the Dubai Desert Classic two weeks ago, where the 32-year-old’s answers as to his future were somewhat vague, while his withdrawal from this week’s AT&T Championship at Pebble Beach provided the necessary confirmation that he would be the latest high profile player to turn his back on the PGA Tour.
It is understood that Hatton, like new LIV signing Jon Rahm, is hoping to maintain his DP World Tour membership, although the fines and bans that come with playing for LIV may jeopardise his chances of meeting the qualifying criteria for the European Ryder Cup team.
NEW 13TH TEAM
LIV Golf has also announced the creation of the first new team since its launch in 2022, with the arrival of Legion XIII, which will be captained by reigning Masters champion Jon Rahm, and will also include Hatton, Surratt and Asian Tour promotion player Kieran Vincent from Zimbabwe.
“We’ve come a long way in a short period of time and are extremely proud of the team and brand we are building,” said Rahm. “As we were developing the team’s brand it became clear that I wanted to fight alongside a group of guys who aligned perfectly with what the team stands for. Tyrrell is a fierce competitor, proven champion, and, of course, my Ryder Cup teammate. Caleb is one of the brightest next gen stars of the game. And Kieran is a steady, talented ball striker who earned his promotion to LIV and is elevating his game every day.”
LIV Golf Commissioner and CEO Greg Norman said: “The introduction of Legion XIII is a testament to LIV Golf’s continued growth as our league builds for the long-term. Jon Rahm is one of the top competitors in the world and his team will make an immediate impact on the league both on and off the golf course.
“I’m thrilled to welcome his new teammates, Ryder Cup star Tyrrell Hatton and young gun Caleb Surratt, along with LIV Golf Promotions standout Kieran Vincent, who will undoubtedly be great additions to the league. This is another exciting moment in the natural evolution of LIV Golf and the future for the sport.”
Hatton said: “I’m really excited for this next chapter, to link up with Jon Rahm and Legion XIII, and to get started this week in Mexico.”
Surratt is a surprise signing for LIV Golf, as he is the first player to transfer directly from the amateur game to LIV Golf without ever joining the PGA Tour. Part of the 2023 Walker Cup winning US squad, where he won three of a possible four points in St Andrews. the North Carolina native enjoyed a standout college career, becoming the first University of Tennessee player to receive first-team All-America honors while also winning the 2023 SEC Championship individual title – the first freshman to do so since Justin Thomas in 2012.
“The opportunity to turn pro and be a part of Jon Rahm’s team is truly a special opportunity that is a great fit for me. I’m excited about the chance to compete and begin my professional career in Mayakoba,” said Surratt.
Speaking about the name and branding for his new team, Rahm said: “I wanted to go down the warrior spirit mythology side for the team’s name. The term ‘loyalty’ is very important for me – I think it embodies the warrior spirit through its decisiveness and ready-for-battle mindset. During the Roman Empire, there was the iconic Legion XIII Gemina in Caesar’s army. They believed in the credo of faithful loyalty.
“The XIII portion of the name was appealing early in the process as it fit the structure of captain (X) and the three players in the line up,” added Rahm. “Plus, we are the 13th team in the league. As for the logo, that was something I was also very passionate about. The soccer team I grew up following (Athletic Bilbao) is called the Lions. It’s just a fierce animal that everybody respects and fears at the same time.”
LIV Golf Creative Director Will Newell added: “Our first expansion team had to offer something new for fans to get involved with. Legion XIII is all about bringing people together as a force to be reckoned with. Jon’s no-nonsense attitude fuels Legion XIII – all-heart, no half-measures and never afraid to be exactly who you are.”
CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE LEGION XIII BRAND UNVEILING VIDEO