(Reuters) - The second phase of LIV Golf's transfer window has begun and there are 10 openings across the 12 teams for the 2024 season, the Saudi Arabia-backed circuit said on Thursday.
Phase One is now complete, where players in the Top 24 whose contracts expire at the end of 2023 were offered a minimum one-year contract extension by their existing team, and a player who decided not to accept the offer becomes a free agent.
Phase Two, or Free Agency, involves those TOP 24 players who opted to become free agents and those who finished 25th to 44th whose contracts have expired. They can be re-signed by their previous team or negotiate with a team with an open roster spot.
Four teams retain their full squad of four players; the defending champions Crushers GC, Bubba Watson's RangeGoats GC, Majesticks GC co-captained by Ian Poulter, Henrik Stenson and Lee Westwood, and South Africa's Stinger GC.
Cleeks GC have two open roster spots with both Bernd Wiesberger and Graeme McDowell finishing outside the Top 24, and Ripper GC also have two spots with Jediah Morgan relegated, although they have the option to re-sign Matt Jones.
Fireballs GC, captained by Sergio Garcia, have one open spot as Carlos Ortiz declined a contract extension and opted for free agency, and Phil Mickelson's HyFlyers GC have an open spot after James Piot's relegation.
Iron Heads GC are in the same position as Mickelson's team after Sihwan Kim was relegated, while Smash GC also need to look for a new player after captain Brooks Koepka's brother Chase ended the season in the relegation zone.
4Aces GC, 2022 champions, have one spot open after Pat Perez finished 28th, and captain Dustin Johnson now needs to decide whether to re-sign Perez or look for a new player, and Torque GC also have one roster spot with David Puig a free agent.
Phase Two will finish when four roster spots remain, which are reserved for the winner of the International Series 2023 rankings, Andy Ogletree, and the top three at LIV Golf Promotions in Abu Dhabi in December.
(Reporting by Trevor Stynes; Editing by Toby Davis)