Golf: Kiwi Danny Lee joins Saudi Arabia-backed LIV tour for 2023 season

Danny Lee has become the first Kiwi golfer to join the Saudi Arabia-backed LIV tour for the season starting next week at El Camaleón Golf Course in Mexico.

Lee has teamed up with the Iron Heads GC team, led by captain Kevin Na, as one of three new players added to the roster.

The 32-year-old joins the rebel league after previously playing on the PGA Tour, where his sole victory came at the 2015 Greenbrier Classic in West Virginia.

Lee contested the Genesis Invitational last week, but missed the cut, after being three over through two rounds.

Since breaking Tiger Woods' record as the youngest US amateur champion as an 18-year-old in 2008, Lee has struggled to live up to early projections and is currently ranked 259 in the world.

His move to the LIV tour follows a trend of golfers making the switch, with Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson and Cameron Smith already signed up.

Fellow Kiwi golfer Ryan Fox has previously confirmed he was also approached, but has no interest in joining, with LIV and the PGA currently involved in a legal battle in the US.

"It wasn't a direct offer or anything like that," Fox told Newshub. "It was just an expression of interest. 

"For me, the events I'm going to get to play next year on the PGA Tour, it was kind of a no-brainer. They're events I've dreamed of. 

"You throw the Masters and a bunch of the other Majors in there, and there's a bit of uncertainty about how LIV players are going to get treated around them. For me, I can't turn down that dream. 

"It's going to be an awesome year in that regard, next year."