Lucas Herbert is to join Cameron Smith’s team on the LIV Golf Tour as Greg Norman’s lucrative Saudi-run circuit celebrated the signing of another top Australian player.
And as the Victorian Herbert declared his move to be an “incredible opportunity”, Poland’s Adrian Meronk, voted by his peers as the European tour player of the year, was also announced on Wednesday as being snapped up by LIV
Herbert’s move has been an open secret in the game for the past few weeks, but the announcement was confirmed 48 hours before he tees it up in Smith’s ‘Ripper’ team in LIV’s opening event of the season in Mayakoba, Mexico on Friday.
“I’m very excited to team up with Cam on the all-Aussie Ripper GC squad this season. This is an incredible opportunity, and I can’t wait to begin this part of my career,” Herbert said on Wednesday.
The sixth-ranked player in Australia behind Jason Day, Smith, Min Woo Lee, Cam Davis and Adam Scott, the 28-year-old from Bendigo has won three times on the European circuit and once on the PGA tour.
He’s played in 14 major championships, with his best finish being tied for 13th at the 2022 PGA. In his most recent outings at the end of last year, Herbert earned top-10 finishes at his home Open and PGA Championships.
“I’m looking forward to teeing it up this week in Mayakoba and, of course, playing in front of our home country crowd in Adelaide in a few months,” added world No.82 Herbert, who wil play alongside former British Open champion Smith, Marc Leishman and Matt Jones in the ‘Ripper’ team.
Meronk, who won the 2023 Seve Ballesteros Award as the European Tour’s players’ player of the year, will join Martin Kaymer’s Cleeks GC.
Meronk, the world No.40, won three times on the DP World Tour last year and finished fourth on the Race to Dubai, although he was crestfallen when missing out on a Ryder Cup wildcard.
“While I appreciate this decision didn’t come easy, joining LIV Golf is a very special moment for my career. The 2023 season made me feel that despite all of my successes, 287 days a year which I spent away from home is too many.
“The LIV schedule gives me more time with my loved ones and more space to work on every aspect of my game. While on LIV, I will remain passionately dedicated to supporting the next generation of golf in Poland.”
LIV hs also decided to add two wildcard spots for its third season, with Englishman Laurie Canter, for the first two tournaments, and American three-time PGA Tour winner Hudson Swafford, for the whole season, competing in the individual events but not as part of the team competition.