Sports

LIV Golf welcomed three new full-time members for 2024 on Sunday.

Kalle Samooja of Finland, Zimbabwe’s Kieran Vincent and Jinichiro Kozuma of Japan emerged atop the leaderboard after playing 36 holes on Sunday at the LIV Golf Promotions event in Abu Dhabi and received entry into the league.

Samooja led the scoring on the day, shooting 8 under between the two rounds at Abu Dhabi Golf Club. Vincent and Kozuma each tallied 7 under over 36 holes to qualify for a three-player playoff to determine who would get the remaining two LIV spots.

Laurie Canter was the third player to reach playoff but was eliminated after the second hole. Vincent birdied the hole and Kozuma finished at par. Canter couldn’t keep pace once he found the water on the hole with his second shot.

Samooja, Vincent and Kozuma were among the 73 players who entered the field.

“I think we had the best three guys from the field to get their cards,” Samooja, 35, said.

Combined, the three players have 18 professional wins, with 13 belonging to Samooja. The 26-year-old Vincent has one, and Kozuma, 29, has four.

Vincent’s older brother, Scott, also is a LIV Golf member.

The LIV season begins Feb. 2-4 at Mayakoba, Mexico.

Players who finished in fourth through 10th place will receive a full exemption for the 2024 season of The International Series, elevated tournaments supported by LIV Golf and sanctioned by the Asian Tour.

Players earning exemptions are England’s Canter, Jaco Ahlers of South Africa, Americans Zach Bauchou and Kevin Chappell, Martin Trainer of France, and Poom Saksansin and Suradit Yongcharoenchai, both from Thailand.

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