As St. Jude champion Will Zalatoris has pulled out of the lucrative FedEx Cup PGA Championship event at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta, the sport stands on the precipice of a new chapter.

It’s been well reported that when the FedEx Cup Championship ends, seven of the tour’s best players will pack their clubs and hit the next tee in the rebel-LIV golf series.

Australian Open champion Cameron Smith headlines the seven players, but uncertainty remains over the remaining defectors. Fellow Aussies Marc Leishman and Adam Scott have also been linked to the LIV Golf Series, with the latter the only player in this week’s FedEx Cup field to survive both playoff cuts after starting outside the initial top 70.

Japanese Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama continues to be linked with a lucrative change, with membership fees estimated at $400 million, a pretty big carrot. His future on the PGA Tour will be one of the hot topics as the Japanese star shows up in Atlanta.

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Hideki Matsuyama’s future is one of the big topics as the FedEx Cup Championship approaches. Photo: Getty ImagesSource: AFP

But one household name who won’t change allegiance is Tommy Fleetwood, with the Briton confirming he will be competing in the PGA Tour’s ZOZO Championship in October.

Fleetwood missed the first two FedEx Cup playoff events after the death of her mother. But he remains a well-known figure on the DP World Tour and the PGA Tour.

He has had encouraging results in three of the four majors this year, including a tied fourth at the Open.

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Fellow PGA stars Xander Schauffele and Rickie Fowler have also entered the ZOZO Championship.

But last year’s champion will no doubt be hoping local hero Hideki Matsuyama will do the same.

“Hideki Matsuyama is believed to have reached an agreement, although he did not play in Memphis”, The temperature reports.

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English European golfer Tommy Fleetwood is a big name who will not be joining LIV Golf. Photo: AFPSource: AFP

Reports come as Rory McIlroy, who will star alongside Smith in the FedEx Cup championship opener, joins Tiger Woods in a new business venture that has clearly been designed to be a counter-attraction to the rebel series backed by the ‘Saudi Arabia.

While details are yet to be set in stone, ‘TMRW Sports’ will be the figureheads for a series of one-day events that will feature many of the world’s best players, will be stadium-based and will take place in conjunction with the established PGA. Organize events rather than confront them.

Zalatoris, meanwhile, pulled out of the $18m (A$26m) FedEx Cup final due to two herniated discs in his back.

It comes after the 26-year-old won the St. Jude Championship, which saw him climb to the top of the FedEx Cup standings before retiring in the third round of the BMW Championship last week.

He was listed to start three strokes behind competition favorite Scottie Scheffler after finishing in third place heading into the final event of the season.

The injury will also cause him to miss the Presidents Cup.

“Following Will’s withdrawal from the BMW Championship on Saturday, his medical team determined that the source of his back pain was two herniated discs,” his agent Allen Hobbs said.

“Unfortunately this means Will will not be able to play this week at the TOUR Championship. He is also very disappointed not to have the opportunity to compete in the Presidents Cup next month, where he was hoping to play for Captain Love and represent the USA Will would like to thank his fans, sponsors, the TOUR and his team for all their support and he is fully focused on his health and on the course as soon as he can.