Robert MacIntyre landed his second DP World Tour title by beating Matt Fitzpatrick in a play-off finish to the Italian Open.

The 26-year-old, whose only previous Tour triumph came at the Cyprus Showdown in 2020, started the final round three shots behind overnight leader Fitzpatrick.

However, a remarkable 10 birdies for MacIntyre at Marco Simone Golf and Country Club saw him finish seven-under par on Sunday and 14-under overall, level with Fitzpatrick.

US Open winner Fitzpatrick, who was seeking a second title of the season, birdied the 18th hole to force a play-off in Rome.

Just one hole was required as the Englishman could only manage a par after a poor tee shot, whereas MacIntyre birdied to seal a surprise victory.

"This means everything," MacIntyre said. "I was down and out about two or three months ago – I didn't know what I was doing and didn't know where to go.

"But we spoke to the right people and I started working with Simon Shanks. I mean, I've hit two perfect golf shots into the last there. There's so much hard work gone into this."

Rory McIlroy had been expected to rival Fitzpatrick for the title, the Northern Irishman starting the day one shot behind, but he ended up finishing fourth.

He started the final round with a double-bogey on the first hole, before recovering with five birdies over the next 14 holes.

McIlroy was back within one shot of the lead at that point, but a bogey on the par-four 16th, when finding the water off the tee, effectively ended his chances.

Victor Perez capitalised to finish third at 13 under, with his final round of 66 bettered only by MacIntyre's 64.

Bryson DeChambeau insists he harbours no regrets following his decision to join the controversial LIV Golf Invitational Series.

The 2020 U.S. Open winner became one of the biggest names to join the lucrative Saudi-backed tour in June, later describing his move as "a business decision".

Despite LIV Golf players becoming the targets of hostility when playing at majors and selected events on other tours in recent weeks, DeChambeau remains content with his choice.

"This is the biggest decision, besides choosing my agent, that I've ever made in my entire life," DeChambeau said, ahead of LIV Golf Chicago. 

"I couldn't be more happy to be over here, I have no buyer's remorse. 

"I have ultimate respect for the PGA Tour and what they've done for my career, as I've said from day one. They've allowed me this opportunity." 

While the PGA Tour has reacted furiously to the founding of the new circuit, DeChambeau said in August he was "not worried" by their blanket ban on LIV Golf players, adding: "I think it will get figured out."

The 29-year-old reiterated that belief this week, saying: "I personally believe that over the course of time they will come to a resolution. There has to be, it's only in the best interests of golf down the road.

"What LIV Golf has provided is something new and unique, different. With that being said, there is going to some disruption and people aren't going to like it. 

"I respect every single person who thinks it isn't good for the game of golf, I understand it. But I hope they are open-minded enough to go, 'you know what? I'll give this a chance'. If you give it a chance, you might just see something pretty cool.

"I'm a golf fan, first and foremost. I'm going to watch golf wherever it's played with some of the best players in the world, whoever it is. I think down the road that'll change. 

"I think that this [LIV Golf] will become something special, even more special than what it is now, and moving forward in the future, I'll still watch other tournaments that I've won and done well at before."

The subject of LIV Golf players appearing at team events such as the Ryder Cup has been fiercely debated since the split, with Rory McIlroy adamant this week none of the circuit's players should be able to feature. 

But DeChambeau, who has helped the United States to two victories at the Ryder Cup (2018 and 2021) and one at the Presidents Cup (2019), believes a ban would only serve to harm the tournaments.

"I personally think that the team events are only hurting themselves by not allowing us to play," he added. "Not allowing us to qualify through some capacity, in some facet."

Shane Lowry never considered joining the LIV Golf International Series due to his belief the breakaway league is "bad for the game", suggesting the "ridiculous" prize money throughout golf will alienate fans.

Lowry edged past Jon Rahm and Rory McIlroy to win the BMW PGA Championship last week, before labelling his victory "one for the good guys" amid the presence of LIV players at Wentworth.

While the 2019 Open winner criticised the Saudi Arabia-backed circuit in the build-up to that tournament, he attracted criticism earlier this year when he defended his decision to play the Saudi International by declaring; "I'm not a politician, I'm a golfer."

Lowry admitted he was wrong to make that remark, though his main objection to the existence of LIV Golf remains its decisive impact on the sport.

"When I said the 'I'm not a politician' remark, my first thought was 'why did I say that?' It was the wrong thing to say," he told the No Laying Up podcast.

"The thing is, I played the Saudi International for the last three years. So, for me, I would have been very hypocritical if I sat here and said, 'it's about where the money is coming from'.

"Will I go back and play the Saudi International next year? No. But I just think the LIV tour is bad for the game because it is very divisive.

"I am one of the players that thinks LIV should not exist. I don't like the idea of it.

"It is a tough subject for me to talk about because I have never been outspoken. The reason I hadn't is because no one had asked me about it. Rory is outspoken because every day he is in front of the media."

Lowry also believes the huge financial incentives available on every tour could turn fans away from golf, adding: "We are very lucky the corporate world loves golf and that's why we have such great sponsors and that's why we play for a lot of money.

"But I do feel like this is causing a division in the game and it's going to p*** people off.

"People are going to stop watching it. I think the amounts of money that are being thrown around are absolutely disgusting at the minute. I feel all people talk about is money now. 

"We play for points now in the FedEx Cup, but I watched the Tour Championship and all the commentators talked about was how much money they're going to win, and I thought, 'will you just talk about the trophy or the title or how many times Tiger [Woods] has won it?'

"The general Joe Soap, the guy who works his nuts off to make 50 grand a year and has to struggle to pay his membership at his golf club and loves the game so much, this probably p***** him off more than anyone."

An emotional Shane Lowry described his victory at the BMW PGA Championship as "one for the good guys".

Lowry finished ahead of Jon Rahm and Rory McIlroy by one shot at Wentworth to win the sixth DP Tour title of his career in a tournament that had caused some controversy with the inclusion of players from the breakaway LIV Golf series.

One of those players, Patrick Reed, was the clubhouse leader after going round in 63 on Sunday to finish on 14 under overall, before an even better round from Rahm of 62 gave the Spaniard a two-shot clubhouse lead.

Lowry managed to catch Rahm on 16 under with six holes remaining, but struggled to edge ahead as he could only score par on his next five holes.

He eventually managed to add that elusive birdie on the par-five 18th to secure the win, and admitted afterwards it was a tournament he particularly wanted to succeed in.

"It means a lot," he said. "It's been a good year but I felt like I've been close a few times and I only have a few tournaments left this season and I really wanted to try and win one.

"Obviously this one is right up there at the top of the list. I love it here, I've contended in the past and even going down the back nine today… the bad shots I've hit down the years when I've been in contention actually started to creep into my head. It's amazing what this game does.

"I'm so happy, words can't [describe] how happy I am, how much this means to me, how much I love this tour, how much I love this tournament, and I'm the happiest man in the world right now."


The Irishman recalled the 2017 tournament when he had been in contention against eventual winner Alex Noren, only for the Swede to shoot 62 in his final round just as Rahm did on Sunday.

"I remember Alex Noren did that to me one year, the year he won he went out early and shot 62 and that came into my head," he added.

"I got to 16 [under] and tried to get past that but I also had to worry about Rory behind me because he could do anything down the last few holes, you know how good he is.

"I said to my coach this morning 'I need to just allow myself to play golf today, I'm playing the best golf of my life and I need to just allow myself to do that', and I did."

When asked if the circumstances around the tournament heightened his emotions when he won, Lowry conceded it had been a factor, having been among those who openly criticised the inclusion of LIV Golf members.

"I think so, yeah. I made no secrets as to how I feel about the whole thing at the start of the week and I wanted to go out and win this tournament for myself first and foremost, but I think for this tour and everyone who has stayed loyal to this tour and everyone that's done everything for this tour," he said.

"I really feel like this is one for the good guys."

Shane Lowry clinched victory at the BMW PGA Championship on the final hole at Wentworth, pipping Jon Rahm despite a historic final round from the Spaniard.

Following the suspension of play on Friday due to the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, the tournament was reduced to 54 holes.

Rahm's round of 62 on Sunday gave him the clubhouse lead on 16 under par, and it could have been even lower had he not narrowly missed some birdie attempts early on.

His total of 29 on the back nine, which included two eagles, was the lowest in the tournament's history, despite a bogey on 15.

It looked likely that Lowry would overtake him when the Irishman also reached 16 under with six holes remaining, hitting an eagle on the fourth, and birdies on the seventh, eighth, 10th and 12th.

However, Lowry – the 2019 champion at The Open Championship – went on to par the next five, leaving a nervous wait to see if he could take advantage on the par five 18th.

Lowry did just that after an excellent approach shot that left him with two putts for birdie, which he executed to seal a sixth DP Tour win of his career.

Rory McIlroy finished joint-second with Rahm after carding a final round of 67, while overnight leaders Viktor Hovland and Soren Kjeldsen both slipped to T5 after only being able to go round in 70.

Patrick Reed had set the bar early in the day with his impressive round of 63, before Rahm overtook him, and the American also finished joint-fifth alongside Thomas Detry on 14 under, with Talor Gooch able to earn outright fourth after an eagle at the 18th.

A round of 65 from Lee Westwood saw him climb to T13, where he was joined by world number 443 Matthew Southgate, who carded his second round of 67 in a row.

Soren Kjeldsen carded a superb eight-under 64 on a belated second day of the BMW PGA Championship, tying for the lead with Viktor Hovland.

Having seen play postponed on Friday following the death of Queen Elizabeth II, matters resumed at Wentworth with Kjeldsen posting one of the scores of the day.

The Dane moved to 12 under for the tournament, but that was only enough for a share of the lead after Hovland built on his own 64 with a four-under 68.

Hovland had jointly held the lead with Tommy Fleetwood and Andy Sullivan at close of play on Thursday.

Fleetwood fell away in the second round, though, with a round of one over par – including a double-bogey at the four-par sixth – leaving him five back.

Rory McIlroy, pipped to the PGA Tour Player of the Year award by Scottie Scheffler on Saturday, continued his strong form with a seven-under 65.

That effort, which included an eagle at the par-five fourth, moved McIlroy to 11 under, one shot off the lead alongside Thomas Detry and Rafa Cabrera Bello.

Meanwhile, the round of the day – and indeed the tournament so far – belonged to Australia's Min Woo Lee, who bounced back spectacularly from Thursday's 76 with a sensational 10-under 62, guided by two eagles and seven birdies.

Tommy Fleetwood impressed on his return to claim a share of the lead after round one of the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth, shooting eight-under-par to end Thursday tied with Andy Sullivan and Viktor Hovland.

Fleetwood had not played since finishing fourth in the Open at St Andrews in July, having taken an extended period of absence following his mother's death.

But he showed no signs of rustiness on Thursday as he cruised around a rainy Wentworth in 64 shots, covering his last seven holes in six under before declaring his delight at returning to the DP World Tour. 

"It's nice to be back more than anything," said Fleetwood. "Seven weeks off feels more like two years I guess. 

"When you stand on the first tee, you don't know what to expect, no matter how well you might have been practising or playing.

"It was a lovely grouping to come back to, best friends on Tour [Justin Rose was in his group]. It's always better that I played good rather than bad, but it was just nice to be back."

Sullivan recovered with a fine bunker shot at the 18th to ensure he remained level with Fleetwood, before Hovland joined the leading duo in style with an eagle on the last, sinking a fine putt from 27 feet.

Jordan Matthew finished seven-under on a good day for the home hopefuls, with Shane Lowry, Jason Scrivener, Fabrizio Zanotti and Marcus Amitage all a shot further back.

Rory McIlroy, who became the first three-time FedEX Cup winner last month, finished four-under for the day, and told Sky Sports he could have done more.

"I thought I played okay, as you said the rain was on and off all day and that made it really tricky," he said.

"I felt four-under was pretty pedestrian, I didn't do a lot right, I didn't do a lot wrong, I definitely feel that the course is going to be very gettable for the rest of the week.

"Winning gives me motivation more than anything else, you've proven to yourself that you can win, you can beat the best players in the world. I've always got this sense of excitement after a win, and it's about resetting goals to strive for other things."

Rory McIlroy says his relationships with several former Ryder Cup team-mates have strained by their decisions to join the LIV Golf series.

Five members of Europe's team for the 2021 tournament, at which they were well beaten by the United States at Whistling Straits, have joined the controversial Saudi Arabia-backed circuit.

Four of those five – Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood, Sergio Garcia and Bernd Wiesberger – are part of the field for this week's BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth.

The presence of LIV golfers at the DP World Tour's flagship event has been criticised by some players, with former world number one Jon Rahm and defending BMW PGA champion Billy Horschel both hitting out at their participation. 

McIlroy has been a fierce defender of the PGA Tour amid the divide with LIV Golf, and admits he has grown distant with many of his counterparts on the breakaway circuit. 

"I wouldn't say I've got much of a relationship with them at the minute," McIlroy said of his former Ryder Cup team-mates.

"But, like, I haven't done anything different. They are the ones that have made that decision. I can sit here and keep my head held high and say I haven't done anything differently."

Having declared last month that it would be "hard to stomach" LIV players joining the field at Wentworth, McIlroy was more diplomatic this time around, adding: "They are here. They are playing the golf tournament. 

"My opinion is they shouldn't be here, but again that's just my opinion.

"But we are all going to tee it up on the first tee tomorrow and we are all going to go play 72 holes, which is a novelty for them at this point, and then we'll go from there.

"If you're just talking about Ryder Cup, that's not the future of the Ryder Cup team. They've played in probably a combined 25, 30 Ryder Cups, whatever it is.

"The Hojgaards [brothers Rasmus and Nicolai], Bobby Mac [Robert MacIntyre], whoever else is coming up, they are the future of the Ryder Cup team. That's what we should be thinking about and talking about."

Meanwhile, the DP World Tour's chief executive Keith Pelley has hit out at comments from Westwood and Garcia after the two men claimed the DP World Tour is nothing more than a feeder circuit for the PGA.

Garcia, Europe's record points scorer in the Ryder Cup, recently declared the DP World Tour to be just the fifth best circuit in world golf.

"It's unbelievable," Pelley said. "Let's look at the facts. If the metric determining the top tours in the world is just money, then the number one tour is the PGA Tour, always has been. You could argue that the LIV Invitational Series is number two.

"But The Asian Tour, $22.5m; Korn Ferry Tour; $20m; Japan, $28m; Australia, $5.8m; Sunshine Tour, $7.4m. Totalling all their prize funds together comes to just half of our tour. So even if the only metric is money, how possibly could we ever become number five?

"Is this week a tournament that is on a feeder tour? A tournament that has sold-out crowds, television coverage around the world in 150 countries, five of the top 15 players in the world? A tournament with 150 accredited media?

"Our first co-sanctioned event with the PGA Tour in Scotland, where 14 of the top 15 players played, would that appear on a feeder tour? I could go on and on."

Pelley also defended his decision to remain aligned with the PGA Tour, adding: "LIV Golf and the PGA Tour are involved in a power struggle for our sport.

"It is corporate America versus a sovereign state and a conflict fought out with eye-watering sums of money. I often get the question, why can't we work with both the PGA Tour and the Saudis. We tried.

"But the Saudis remain determined to set up a new series outside of the current ecosystem. That decision has created the conflict we see today, and we chose to partner with the leading tour in the game.

"Some people might not agree with that decision. But it's a decision we feel is the right thing to do for all our members."

Former world number one Jon Rahm has hit out at the prospect of LIV Golf players featuring at the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth later this week.

The field for the DP World Tour event, which begins on Thursday, includes 17 players who have made an appearance on the controversial Saudi-backed circuit. 

The likes of Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter and Sergio Garcia are all among that group, as the bitter divide between the LIV series and the PGA and European Tours shows no sign of healing.

Quizzed on their presence at the event, former U.S. Open champion Rahm expressed his frustration at big-name LIV golfers taking the places of those who have stayed loyal to the European Tour, claiming they are only appearing to pick up world ranking points.

"What I don't understand is some players that have never shown any interest in the European Tour, that have never shown any interest in playing this event, are being given an opportunity, just because they can get world ranking points, and hopefully make majors next year," the Spaniard said.

Citing the case of close friend Alfredo Garcia-Heredia, who has missed out on the field, Rahm added: "It doesn't hurt me, but it does bug me that somebody who has played over – I looked it up – 20 DP World events this year cannot be given the opportunity to play a flagship event.

"Because some people that earned it, to an extent, are being given an opportunity when they couldn't care any less about the event.

"They don't know. They don't care. They don't know the history of this event.

"They are only here because they are trying to get world ranking points and trying to finish in the top 50, and that's clear as day."

But Rahm believes there could yet be a way back for those who have signed for the breakaway tour, adding: "There's only one problem in life that doesn't have a solution, and that's death. 

"Everything else has a solution. If the European Tour really want them to play and as a team we [Ryder Cup Europe] want them to play, I think a solution can be reached."

Defending BMW PGA Championship champion Billy Horschel was similarly scathing of the LIV rebels, declaring: "Even though Westwood and Poulter have been stalwarts for the European Tour, I don't think those guys really should be here."

Taking aim at those who have missed the event in the past, he added: "You've never played this tournament, you've never supported the DP World Tour.

"Why are you here? You are here for one reason only, and that's to try to get world ranking points because you don't have it [on the LIV Tour].

"It's hypocritical because some of these guys said they wanted to play less golf. It's pretty hypocritical to come over here and play outside LIV when your big thing was to spend more time with family and want to play less golf."

An emotional Oliver Wilson fought back tears after securing a one-stroke Made in Denmark victory to secure his second DP World Tour title eight years after his first.

The 41-year-old finished on 21 under to edge out Scotsman Ewen Ferguson and finally add to his Alfred Dunhill Links Championship triumph in 2014.

Wilson carded a closing 67 in Farso on Sunday to keep his rivals at bay in a tense finale.

He holed a brilliant long putts at the 13th and 17th holes to take a one-shot advantage to the final hole and was emotional after finishing off the job.

"I knew I could get the job done," he stated. "Everything I've done to this point to rebuild my game, I knew I could do it. I was so in control, and I said I wasn't going to cry!

"I was so calm there. I almost enjoyed the last hole. It's pretty special. I'm so proud of myself. I feel like there's a lot ahead of me and I'm so pleased to get win number two.

"I love this place. I've done well here before. I guess 18 years' experience gets you to hang in there. And to get over the line, it feels good. It feels so good."

Ferguson was runner-up following a final round of 66, while Norway's Kristian Krogh Johannessen was third on 18 under.

Paul McGinley says it "breaks my heart" to see a number of his close friends and former Ryder Cup team-mates join the controversial LIV Golf Invitational Series.

Golf has been divided over the past six months by the arrival of the Saudi-backed breakaway, which has seen a number of high-profile names defect from the PGA Tour.

Six more players were announced by LIV Golf this week, including reigning Open champion Cameron Smith, ahead of the series' latest big-money event in Boston.

The PGA Tour has banned those competing in LIV Golf from taking part in any of their competitions, though that is subject to another legal challenge.

The DP World Tour was unsuccessful in doing so, meanwhile, and 18 LIV players will compete in the PGA Championship at Wentworth next week.

That includes the likes of Lee Westwood, Sergio Garcia, Graeme McDowell and Ian Poulter, each of whom McGinley has previously teamed up with for Ryder Cup duty.

McGinley finds the rift difficult to accept and claims that no player on the DP World Tour wants the LIV golfers involved at Wentworth.

"It breaks my heart because I have an emotional connection with every one of those players," he told The Sunday Times.

"I will see Poulter and I'll shake his hand at Wentworth, the same with Westwood and all of those guys that I shared team rooms with. That bond will never be broken.

"But we're definitely on different sides now. And it's really sad that it has come to this. Every one of those players knew the consequences when they signed with LIV. 

"They also knew there was the potential for the Ryder Cup to be collateral damage in all of this. They still think they can play in the Ryder Cup. 

"Who knows what's going to happen in six months' time? I think, at this stage, it's highly unlikely that any of them will be involved in the Ryder Cup again.

"If this is how it pans out, it won't be because of [DP World Tour chief executive] Keith Pelley or the board say so.

"It's because our members, the players who have remained loyal to our tour, don't want the LIV guys anywhere near the Ryder Cup. 

"The feeling is that you cannot play [for] both sides. Mo Salah doesn't get to play for Liverpool one week and Real Madrid the next. LIV is a rival tour."

Sergio Garcia is adamant LIV Golf "is the future" for the sport as the PGA Tour fights to keep its stars out of the clutches of the lucrative Saudi-backed circuit.

It remains to be seen whether players signed up to the new series are kissing goodbye to playing the majors, which would be diminished by the absence of stars such as Garcia, Bryson DeChambeau, Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka and new defector Cameron Smith.

The PGA Tour has banned those players from its events for now, though they are still allowed to participate on the DP World Tour – previously known as the European Tour – whose sanctions have been put on hold until a hearing is heard early next year.

Ahead of this weekend's Boston leg of LIV Golf, Garcia told Stats Perform he had no regrets about committing to the controversial series, with the 42-year-old having been one of the first to sign up.

"Yeah, I love it. I think it's great. I think it's getting more and more momentum," the Spaniard said.

"I think that everyone is really enjoying the format and the way we're playing. We all believe that is the future of golf, keeping it fresher, even quicker and all the things that people are asking for. We're very excited about it."

There is a team element as well as individual honours at stake, while each event has so far been contested over 54 holes, rather than 72 as has long been the custom in the men's game. Players are joining on huge signing-on fees, while the level of tournament prize money is also proving appealing.

Saudi Arabia's often-criticised human rights record has led to accusations that LIV Golf is an attempt at 'sportswashing', looking to improve the reputation of a country by investing heavily in a glitzy event featuring widely admired international stars.

Garcia, the 2017 Masters champion, insists he has no problem with where the money behind the series originates.

"I think that a lot of people make business with Saudi Arabia and the government is fine. So there's nothing to do there," Garcia said.

"LIV Golf is international  Even this year, with just eight tournaments, we're playing some abroad. Next year coming up, there's going to be a lot more tournaments worldwide. So it definitely is [international]."

Paul Casey, an Englishman who won three PGA Tour titles and added 15 tournament wins on the European Tour, is another who has accepted a big cheque to join LIV Golf.

"I saw the first two events before my first event at Bedminster," Casey said.

He told Stats Perform he was impressed by "the energy", "the youngness of the crowd" and the "passion and excitement for everybody involved".

"This is like a start-up. This is something different," Casey said.

The likes of Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods have insisted they will not be swayed by the huge sums on offer by LIV Golf, standing steadfastly by the PGA Tour and insisting it is that established circuit that is committed to golf's best interests.

McIlroy, who has played on Ryder Cup teams with Garcia and Casey, spoke recently of his opposition to LIV Golf, saying: "I hate what it's doing to the game of golf."

LIV is pumping enormous funds into the Asian Tour, too, with a host of LIV Golf players set to take part in that circuit's International Series.

Casey said: "A lot is always talked about growth of the game and stuff, and that is still an area where there is massive potential. There's been great growth in the game all over, but there's massive potential on the international front and I think the guys who are out here understand that and they're embracing it, and we'll see.

"I mean, I've always enjoyed playing international golf and enjoy playing golf certainly in Asia. And I'm looking forward to being in Bangkok, in Jeddah.

"There's rumours about maybe Australia or something like that as well coming back for us. So that's going to be pretty cool."

Cameron Smith said he retains hope of featuring at the majors despite joining LIV Golf, as he labelled the lack of world ranking points on offer on the breakaway tour "unfair".

Smith, the current world number two, became the highest-ranked player to join the controversial Saudi Arabia-backed circuit on Tuesday, when he was announced as one of six new players ahead of this week's event in Boston.

The Australian, who clinched his first major title when winning the Open at St Andrews in July, joined compatriot Marc Leishman, as well as Joaquin Niemann, Cameron Tringale, Harold Varner III and Anirban Lahiri in signing up to the Greg Norman-headed tour.

Having reportedly agreed a deal worth over $100million to sign for the LIV Series, a decision which will earn him an indefinite suspension from the PGA Tour, Smith believes barring the circuit's players from majors is unfair on fans. 

"I hope that these world ranking points will sort themselves out before my exemption is up. I think to the fans of major championship golf, it may be a little bit unfair on them," Smith said.

"I think, you know, majors are about having the best guys in the best field on the best golf courses and hopefully we can sort that out.

"I haven't resigned my membership on the PGA Tour. I think my life has definitely changed over the last couple of months after the Open, I've had a few phone calls with players. 

"It has been a little bit different, but this, for me, was the right decision. I think this is the future of golf. I think it's been the same for a very, very long time and needs to be stirred up a little bit."

Aged 29 and ranked second in the world, the signing of Smith arguably represents one of the greatest coups managed by LIV to date, and he is hopeful the new circuit will soon be able to award rankings points.

"I think it's really a shame that we're not getting world ranking points out here," he added.

"I think, you know, to have 48 of the best guys around the world playing and not to get world ranking points, I think is perhaps a little bit unfair."

Meanwhile, Smith admitted upon joining LIV that the circuit had made him "an offer I couldn't ignore", but says being able to enjoy more time at home and play in his own country were also key motivations.

"Yes, it was a business decision as well. But you know, there's so many positives to come out of this thing," Smith said.

"For me, I haven't been back in Australia for three years. To spend more time at home, you know, not miss it out on friends' and family's weddings and you know, a couple of my friends have had kids over the last four or five years that I still haven't met. So that's going to be a part of my life that I can't wait to get back."

Asked whether there was anything the PGA Tour could have done to prevent his switch, Smith added: "Not particularly, to be honest. I think for me the biggest attraction was spending more time at home, getting that part of my life back. 

"It's something that I've really missed. I think obviously the pandemic that we've had over the last couple of years didn't really help out."

Rory McIlroy will get some early Ryder Cup preparation when he makes his Italian Open debut next month.

Just under a year before Europe attempt to wrestle the Ryder Cup back off the United States, McIlroy will get a first look at the Marco Simone Golf and Country Club venue where the biennial event will be staged.

McIlroy is riding on the crest of a wave after becoming the first player to win the FedExCup three times in dramatic fashion at East Lake.

The four-time major champion trailed Scottie Scheffler by six shots during his final round of the Tour Championship on Sunday, but a closing 66 sealed a hat-trick of FedExCup victories – and a whopping $18million in prize money.

DP World Tour Rankings leader McIlroy will be on his way to the outskirts of Rome eyeing another title in a tournament that starts on September 15.

The Northern Irishman said: "Not only is the city of Rome steeped in history but so too is their national open, so I am really looking forward to the Italian Open this year.

"It's the first time I have played in Italy, and I've heard the Italian fans are very passionate, so I'm excited to get out there and experience a new challenge."

McIlroy is third in the world rankings behind Scheffler and Cameron Smith.

Thriston Lawrence claimed his second DP World Tour title at the European Masters after edging out Matt Wallace in a play-off at Crans-sur-Sierre.

The 25-year-old climbed into the world's top 100 for the first time as he held his nerve to earn a maiden European Tour success over four rounds.

Lawrence, who triumphed at the 36-hole Joburg Open last November, also became the first South African winner of the title since Ernie Els in 2003.

Following a stunning 67 on Saturday, the world number 129 held a three-shot lead over Wallace heading into the final round of his first European Masters appearance.

He appeared to pick up from where he left off with a magnificent 32-foot birdie on the third hole. However, a double-bogey on the fifth enabled Wallace to close the gap.

The Englishman carded an impressive 66 as he sought a first European Tour victory in nearly four years, while Lawrence's bogey on the 16th culminated in the sixth play-off in 10 editions of this event.

As both players returned to the 18th, Wallace was aiming to maintain his perfect play-off record, having prevailed at the Hero Indian Open and Made in Denmark in 2018.

But there was to be no joy for the 32-year-old this time around. Indeed, a sloppy approach culminated in him pulling a tricky five-foot par putt to tie, handing Lawrence the title.

"It's a privilege to be able to take this victory," the South African said. "There's so much history going around this event and all the past champions, so I can't wait to get my hands on this trophy.

"I was actually quite fine [with going to a play-off]. It's a tricky golf course; you can lose a few shots, especially around [holes] 14 and 15. On the par-fives, you can make a silly mistake and another guy can make birdies.

"I'm just happy with my patience around this weekend; I'm just so pleased to be able to win this.

"Growing up, you always want to be in the top 100 in the world, and to achieve it is quite emotional."

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