Spain’s John Ram, defending champion, Northern Ireland, four-time Grand Slam winner Rory McIlroy, and the Latin American medley of Legion will meet starting Thursday in the US Open, the third major tournament of the season.
Superstars from LIV Golf, backed by Saudi Arabia and led by American Phil Mickelson, will also participate.
Latin America will have a big participation led by Colombian Sebastian Muñoz, Chilean Joaquin Neiman, Mito Pereira, Mexico’s Abraham Ancer and Brazil’s Fred Biondi.
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Main groups and major absences: Tiger Woods
Ram, 27, also second in the world rankings, who won his first major title last June with the US Open at Torrey Pines, will open his career in the competition alongside local James Peut, winner of last year’s US Amateur, and as well American Colin Morikawa, British Open champion and 2020 PGA Championship winner
For his part, McIlroy, third in the world rankings and winner last Sunday in the Canadian Open, will start in the first round alongside Japanese Hideki Matsuyama, who won the 2021 Masters title and American Zander Shaveli, the Tokyo Olympic champion last year.
American Scottie Scheffler, the current top seed and current Masters champion, will also do so alongside Australian Cameron Smith and compatriot Brooks Koepka, winner of four Majors.
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While, Tiger Woods, who is back after sustaining a serious leg injury in a car crash 16 months ago, has missed this tournament to better prepare for next month’s British Open in St Andrews.
Mickelson speaks again after leaving for LIV Golf
Phil Mickelson, a six-time major winner and now LIV Golf’s most visible star, will take the course alongside Louis Oosthuizen and Ireland’s Shane Lowry.
“Whether it’s directly positive or negative for me, I think it’s going to provide an incredible atmosphere,” Mickelson noted about his participation in LIV Golf.
American Dustin Johnson, another Leaf golf rebel, will also start his first round with compatriot Webb Simpson and England’s Matt Fitzpatrick.
American Patrick Reed, the former Masters champion who also joined LIV Golf last weekend, starts alongside England’s Tommy Fleetwood and South Korean player Lee Kyung-hun.
If Ram clarifies something about this tournament, it is his disagreement with the Saudi League. The 27-year-old Spaniard trained this week alongside Mickelson and Kevin Na, players who have jumped to the LIV.
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Ram, who also won the Mexican Open last month, has made it clear that he is not interested in playing the LIV series, considering that he does not like random starts or the 54-hole formats. But he is concerned that players making the substitution, including compatriot Sergio Garcia, will not be able to play in the Ryder Cup.
“The only thing that comes out of all this and what could happen is, I hope the Ryder Cup is not affected,” Ram stressed. “I think the Ryder Cup is the biggest draw that golf should attract new people.”
Ram and Garcia were part of the European team that won the Ryder Cup in 2018 in France and also last year in a loss to Whistling Straits.