After a two-year spell with LIV Golf, Bernd Wiesberger will return to the DP World Tour at the Dubai Desert Classic.
The Austrian was one of the original intake on the circuit, but he endured a largely unsuccessful period, with only one top-10 finish across his two seasons.
At the end of the 2023 season, the player, who was with Cleeks GC, stood 41st in the individual standings. That was high enough to either attempt to negotiate a new contract with team captain Martin Kaymer or, like teammate Graeme McDowell, find a new LIV Golf team. Instead he chose to draw a line under his LIV Golf experience and, in November, announced he would be returning to the DP World Tour.
Unlike several other players, Wiesberger didn't resign from the DP World Tour after it won a legal battle against LIV Golfers last April, which meant he continued to accumulate fines for playing on the circuit. However, it was then reported that LIV Golf had paid a record $1.9m fine to allow him a smooth return to a Tour where he has achieved eight wins, most recently at the 2021 Made In Himmerland.
The same year, Wiesberger represented Team Europe at the Ryder Cup, and the 38-year-old will feel he still has plenty to prove on his return.
Wiesberger could barely have picked a more high-profile tournament to launch his DP World Tour comeback. The Dubai Desert Classic is one of the biggest in the calendar and the first of five elevated Rolex Series events of 2024.
As a result, there is a $9m purse up for grabs, while he will be competing against some of the best players in the world, including Rory McIlroy, Tommy Fleetwood and Brian Harman. It will also be Wiesberger’s first appearance on the DP World Tour since last year’s event, where he finished T20.
While Wiesberger’s LIV Golf stint was lucrative, with earnings of $2.7m in 2023 alone, in other ways his career has taken a hit since joining the circuit.
Before the inaugural tournament in June 2022 he was in the top 100 of the world rankings. However, with opportunities to acquire world ranking points limited, he now finds himself at World No.563, a trend he will be keen to reverse, starting this week.
Wiesberger also failed to reach any of last year’s Majors for the first time since 2011, and he will be hoping that, with a greater chance to climb the rankings, it won’t be long until he’s back on one or more of the showpiece tournaments.