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Koepka brothers, Reed-Gooch-Johnson to team up at LIV Golf Portland

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Koepka brothers, Reed-Gooch-Johnson to team up at LIV Golf Portland
Brooks Koepka will make his LIV Golf debut this week in North Plains, Ore. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

June 29 (UPI) -- Brothers Brooks Koepka and Chase Koepka and Dustin Johnson, Patrick Reed and Talor Gooch are among the players grouped together for LIV Golf Invitational Series Portland, which will start Thursday in North Plains, Ore.

The 54-hole tournament will run through Saturday at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club. Tournament coverage will air on LIVGolf.com and on the league's Facebook page and YouTube channel.

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"To come out here and get a fresh start will be fun and exciting," Brooks Koepka told reporters Tuesday at a news conference.

"We will be ready to go."

RELATED Wolff, No. 2 amateur Chacarra to join LIV Golf Portland field

The dozen teams for the three-day tournament were announced Tuesday. The Saudi-backed golf tour previously announced plans to hold drafts before each event, with captains selecting three players apiece.

A LIV Golf spokesman told UPI on Wednesday that a draft was not held for LIV Portland and format plans are "fluid" for future tournaments.

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"The team format will continue to be a fluid process in our first year as LIV and the players work together to figure out what works well and what can be improved," the spokesman said.

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LIV Golf released full team rosters for the 48-player field Tuesday on its official website. The winner of the individual competition will receive $4 million. The winning team will split a $3 million prize four ways.

Koepka, the No. 19 player in the Official World Golf Ranking, will make his LIV Golf debut. The four-time major champion's defection from the PGA Tour was reported last week.

He said he did not decide to join the PGA Tour rival league until after the 2022 U.S. Open, where he criticized reporters for asking about LIV Golf.

RELATED PGA Tour's Brooks Koepka to join LIV Golf

"My opinion changed," Koepka said, "That was it. You guys will never believe me, but we didn't have the conversation until everything was done at the U.S. Open and figured it out and just said I was going to go one way or another. Here I am."

Koepka will team up with No. 71 Richard Bland and No. 172 Adrian Otaegui, in addition to his 1,638th-ranked brother. The 17th- ranked Johnson is on one of the strongest teams with No. 38 Gooch, No. 39 Reed and No. 170 Pat Perez.

No. 31 Bryson DeChambeau will make his LIV Golf debut. He is grouped with No. 79 Shaun Norris, No. 116 Justin Harding and No. 334 Peter Uihlein.

"Having this opportunity to be a captain and have a team has been extremely intriguing to me," DeChambeau said. "It's unique and different and something I've always been about. This is what I wanted to be a part of: something unique, cool, different and fun."

Garcia, ranked No. 63, will be on the Fireballs with No. 22 Abraham Ancer, No. 119 Carlos Ortiz and former No. 2 Amatuer Eugenio Chacarra.

No. 84 Phil Mickelson is on the HY Flyers with No. 77 Matthew Wolff, No. 102 Bernd Wiesberger and No. 615 Itthipat Buranatanyarat.

No. 125 Charl Schwartzel, who won the first LIV Golf tournament earlier this month near London, will tee off alongside No. 21 Louis Oosthuizen, No. 128 Brandon Grace and No. 135 Hennie Du Plessis.

No. 33 Kevin Na, No. 87 Lee Westwood, No. 188 Hideto Tanihara, No. 231 Martin Kaymer, No. 294 Wade Ormsby and No. 379 Graeme McDowell will captain the other four-man teams.

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Johnson is the favorite to win the individual event. Oosthuizen, Ancer, Koepka and Gooch also are among the Top 5 expected contenders. DeChambeau, Garcia, Reed, Na, No. 81 Sam Hosfield and Perez are within the Top 10 favorites.

LIV Golf Portland coverage will start at 4 p.m. EDT Thursday on LIVGolf.com, YouTube and Facebook.

The PGA Tour also will host a tournament this weekend. The John Deere Classic will run from Thursday through Sunday at TPC Deere Run in Silvis, Ill.

The LIV Golf Invitational Series schedule will continue with LIV Golf Invitational Bedminster from July 29 through 31 at Trump National Golf Club Bedminster in New Jersey.

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