LIV Series: Despite claims that Cameron Smith has already decided to join the breakaway circuit, Australian golfers who sign up with the Saudi-backed LIV Series will still be allowed to compete in domestic tournaments.
The DP World Tour, which decided to bar some players from its tournaments in June after they played a LIV event, co-sanctions the Australian Open and Australian PGA Championship, two of the major events on the PGA Tour of Australasia calendar.
After two challenging years that were disrupted by COVID-19, Australia believes its top talents can return home to give the local tour a boost.
“The players coming home to play, as long as there is no conflicting event they will be welcome to play,” PGA of Australia CEO Gavin Kirkman told reporters.
“The Australian players that come home from wherever they’re playing at the moment, if they’re members of our organisation they’ll be eligible to play and that’s been discussed with the other tours.”
Several obscure Australian golfers, including world No. 82 Matt Jones, have registered with LIV.
Outside the top 400 players, Australian Travis Smyth finished second in the team competition at the LIV launch outside of London in June, earning him a $1.5 million prize that he split with three other competitors.
In a significant victory for the breakaway series, The Telegraph newspaper stated that Australia’s top player and No. 2 in the world Smith has signed a contract worth more than $100 million to join LIV.
In response to the allegations, LIV and Smith, who is taking part in the FedEx St Jude Championship in Memphis, have declined to comment.
Smith stated that he was eager to travel back to Australia for a few events after winning The Open.
Australian golf media said the series, led by CEO Greg Norman, might host three tournaments there in 2023 after LIV announced it will expand there the following year.
That may bring a lot of well-known athletes to Australia, which has frequently had difficulty luring them to competitions because of the distance and the paltry prize money on offer.
Kirkman asserted that LIV needed to handle its own affairs and that his tour had no control over how it conducted itself in the nation.
“Some people are going to love it and some people aren’t, but if it comes to Australia we’ve got to be in a position where we stay focused on our strategy,” he said.
“Is it going to be good for the game? What I don’t want and what I don’t like to hear about and read about at the moment is people arguing what is good for the game and what is not.
“If (fans) get out and see some golf under a different format, that’s up to them.”
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