PGA Tour grants conditional waivers to golfers to participate in Saudi International Tournament 2022
The 2022 Saudi international will feature world-class golf course – likely including Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson and Bryson DeChambeau – after the PGA Tour cleared more than two dozen golfers to travel abroad for the event which falls the same week as the Le Tour AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, according to a memo obtained by Golfweek.
While it’s not uncommon for the Tour to air these releases, this event was on hold as apparently more players than ever requested them. There has been a lot of upheaval in the world of professional golf at the highest level since last year’s edition, won by Johnson.
Meanwhile, several leagues have emerged as potential threats to the Tour, including the Super Golf League, which is apparently under construction as LIV Golf Investments tries to lure the biggest names in golf with big bucks. LIV Golf Investments has received money from the Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund for the sake of this potential new world league as well as money for the current investment in the Asian Tour. LIV Golf Investments has committed $ 200 million to the Asian Tour over the next decade for a variety of events as it attempts to establish itself on the world stage.
At the same time, the European Tour, which has a partnership with the PGA Tour, withdrew its co-sanction from the Saudi international. This means that the Saudi event only serves as an Asian tour tournament, and most importantly, considering who is going to be involved.
PGA Tour announced in mid-2021 that he would not allow its members to travel to Saudi Arabia for the Saudi international, but he backtracked this week by advising players who requested the waivers that they would be allowed to go and play.
As part of the course change, however, waivers are accompanied by certain stipulations. Golfers who have applied for the waiver and have played in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am in the past five years will need to replay at least once in the next two years (2023 and 2024). Players who have not played in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am in the past five years will need to play it twice in the next three years (2023-25).
Many PGA Tour golfers who travel and play in Saudi International will receive substantial appearance fees for doing so. This is simply the latest brawl in what has become a fairly high-stakes global (and political) battle between an established league, an upstart disruptor and all of the best golfers on the planet. There is no end in sight to this fight, although the Tour has increased its payouts across the board.
The 2022 Saudi international will take place from February 3-6.