LIV Golf announced overnight that Charles Howell III, Jason Kokrak [pictured] and Henrik Stenson have filled the three remaining spots in its upcoming event at Trump Bedminster.

Kokrak and Stenson are far from surprises. Kokrak has been a Golf Saudi ambassador and a past participant in the Saudi International, and told Golf Digest’s Dan Rapaport earlier this year at Riviera he was in talks with the circuit. According to Kokrak, his primary goal is to make as much money as possible in order to retire in his mid-40s.

“You know, I grew up… I had what I needed but I didn’t have extra stuff. I don’t know how the other players grew up, that’s their business. We’re all independent contractors,” Kokrak said. “I’ve had a goal in my mind when I turned pro and that was to retire when I was 44, to be a father and be at home. Being out here, the PGA Tour has too many events.”

Kokrak, 37, has three wins in 276 career starts on the PGA Tour. He is ranked 36th in the Official World Golf Ranking.

Stenson, when named head of the 2023 European Ryder Cup team in March, made multiple assurances in his introductory press conference that he would not jump leagues. Nevertheless over the past month Stenson had been rumored to be reconsidering LIV Golf’s offer, one that ultimately led to the European Ryder Cup team stripping him of his captaincy.

“As many of you will have already seen, unfortunately my decision to play in LIV events has triggered Ryder Cup Europe to communicate that it is not possible for me to continue in my role as Ryder Cup captain,” Stenson wrote on social media on Wednesday. “This is despite me making specific arrangements with LIV Golf, who has been supportive of my role as captain, to ensure I could fulfill the obligations of the captaincy. While I disagree with this decision for now it is a decision that I accept.”

Stenson, 46, captured the 2016 Open Championship and has 21 career global wins. He is 171st in the OWGR.

Unlike the other two, Howell’s name has not been widely linked to the fledgling league until yesterday, when No Laying Up reported he would be one of the final three named to the next LIV event. Howell, 43, has made 609 career starts on the PGA Tour, racking up three wins and $US42 million in career earnings. He entered the week 173rd in the OWGR.

The next LIV Golf event starts on July 29 at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey. Upon beginning the competition, Howell, Stenson and Kokrak will be suspended from the PGA Tour.

PHOTO: Cliff Hawkins