Australian golf’s worst-kept secret has all but been confirmed with News Corp publishing a photo of Lucas Herbert wearing Ripper GC colours alongside team captain Cameron Smith in Mexico this week.

Despite LIV Golf’s 2024 season teeing off at Mayakoba this Friday, the Saudi-backed league is yet to unveil its final four-man teams after the high-profile signing of Jon Rahm before Christmas.

Herbert, rumoured to have been sold on a mega-money switch by Smith while playing together during the recent Aussie summer of golf, has enjoyed a fruitful period in his young career, collecting three DP World Tour victories since 2020 and a breakthrough win on the PGA Tour (2021 Butterfield Bermuda Championship) – rising as high as 40th in the official world golf ranking for his efforts.

When contacted by News Corp for comment, a LIV spokesperson said: “While we don’t comment on player speculation, stay tuned as new roster announcements are forthcoming.”

Eagle-eyed viewers may also have spotted a key detail in the leaked photo. Herbert, a known Adidas ambassador during his time on tour, is wearing a Ripper GC-branded polo made by Original Penguin. Who is Original Penguin’s marquee golf ambassador? None other than Ripper skipper Cameron Smith.

It’s not yet known whether the American apparel brand, famous for having roots in the 1950s and ’60s, has a team endorsement in place with Ripper GC, or just individual deals with Smith and now Herbert. Either way, it appears to be a season of change for the boy from Bendigo.

An official announcement from LIV Golf regarding its teams is expected on Wednesday, just 48 hours before its season begins.