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Matthew Wolff signing with LIV, planning to play Portland

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Add Matthew Wolff to the list of PGA Tour defectors.  

The one-time PGA Tour winner is signing with the breakaway tour and plans to compete in the circuit’s second event next week in Portland, GolfChannel.com can confirm. The Telegraph was the first to report Wolff’s plans, which have been rumored for weeks. Wolff is set to be unveiled on Monday, after tying for 40th at the Travelers Championship.

The move caps a wild three-year run for Wolff, 23, who with his unorthodox swing and massive power was one of the most exciting prospects to leave the college ranks in recent years. His six-win sophomore season at Oklahoma State included the 2019 NCAA Championship. Upon turning pro, he won in his third Tour start, at the 2019 3M Open, where he drained a long eagle putt on the 72nd hole to defeat Collin Morikawa and Bryson DeChambeau.

Even as one of the youngest players on Tour, Wolff continued to roll in 2020, finishing in the top 5 in each of his first two major appearances, the first to accomplish that feat since 1881. He was the 54-hole leader at the 2020 U.S. Open before eventually losing to Bryson DeChambeau. A few weeks later, after another runner-up finish in Las Vegas, Wolff’s world ranking peaked at No. 12.

But there have been few highlights over the past year and a half. In early 2021, Wolff took time away from the Tour to address his mental health, and at the U.S. Open, where he factored through 54 holes, he was open about some of his inner struggles.

This year he has missed seven of 12 cuts, never finishing better than 25th, and he ranks 180th on Tour in strokes gained: tee to green. His world ranking has plummeted from 30th to 74th.

Still, Wolff’s defection will be viewed as a significant coup for the Saudi-backed rival tour, which to this point has mostly signed players whose best playing years are behind them.  

Commissioner Jay Monahan has indefinitely suspended any Tour member who competes in a LIV event, a list that already includes Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson and Sergio Garcia.

The second LIV event, featuring a 54-hole shotgun start with a $25 million purse, is scheduled to begin Thursday at Pumpkin Ridge. Along with Wolff, Bryson DeChambeau, Brooks Koepka and Abe Ancer are also expected to make their LIV debuts.