Golf’s Top Players Get Their Wish

Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau, Phil Mickelson, and Xander Schauffele are among the PGA Tour players who have committed to play in the Saudi International tournament, an European Tour event that coincides with the PGA's AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. The tournament has been controversial since it was established as a European Tour event in 2019. The tournament is hosted by the government of Saudi Arabia, which has come under international scrutiny for its human rights record.

This will be welcome news for golf enthusiasts around the world, and more information on bet365 in Canada will come in handy for fans there who want to keep up to date with the latest developments.

Another controversy arose when the Saudi government's public investment fund this fall created LIV Golf Investments, named Greg Norman as its CEO and announced it would inject $200 million into the Asian circuit with the idea of establishing a future series of events that could challenge the PGA Tour's status at the pinnacle of professional golf.

The PGA Tour announced its decision in a memo released on Monday, outlining the circuit's policy on controversial events and explaining why, in this case, it recognized the press releases. Under PGA Tour rules, players may not play in any other golf tournament or event on a day when a player is eligible to participate in that week's PGA Tour event.

However, there are some limited exceptions: an event in a foreign player's "home territory," major championships/Olympics/team events, and when the player has received a prior written waiver.

More than a dozen Tour players have applied for these waivers, which are limited to three per season per player. But, as the memo reads, "the commissioner may deny any individual request if the commissioner finds that such a waiver would cause the PGA Tour to breach a contractual commitment to the tournament sponsor ... or would cause substantial and unreasonable harm to the PGA Tour and its affiliates."

There was speculation that the Tour might use that last clause to deny such requests, instead, the tour opted to essentially shock some of its biggest stars. "As stated above, [the PGA Tour Handbook] fully supports the rejection of these requests. However, in order to give these members the opportunity to play in one of the only sanctioned tournaments outside of North America on a recognized tour, we have decided to approve all of these releases."

However, there are conditions. If a player has played at Pebble Beach at least once in the last two years, they must play in the 2023 or 2024 event. Those who have not played a tournament in the last five years must play in two of the next three AT&T tournaments.

The note also states that the tour does not consider the decision to grant exemptions to set "a precedent." "We will evaluate all future waiver requests (for this and other events) on an individual basis, and decisions will be based on the facts and circumstances in accordance with the regulations."

"I think we are independent businessmen and we should be able to play wherever we want," PGA Tour Player Advisory Council chairman Rory McIlroy said earlier this month at the Hero World Challenge. "That's why I think the tour should grant exemptions. It's an Asian Tour event, it's an event that has an official world golf ranking.

"I can see the reasons why exemptions are not granted," McIlroy continued. "But I think if they're trying to do what's best for their members, and their members come off the PGA Tour and they can make money, I mean, we're independent contractors, and I feel like we should be able to do that if that's our personal choice. My personal choice is not to do it, but obviously a lot of players do it, and I think it's only fair that they do it."

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