Players on the LIV Golf roster will be allowed to compete in the DP World Tour's Scottish Open after their bans for featuring in the Saudi-backed league were temporarily stayed as their appeals are considered.

Both the PGA Tour and DP World Tour had refused to grant waivers for players to participate in LIV Golf's lucrative tournaments, with the first two events being held in London and Portland over the past month.

Ian Poulter has been leading the chorus of dissent from the European LIV Golf players, as the biggest names in the sport descended on Ireland's Adare Manor this week for the JP McManus Pro-Am.

He told the media he was going to fight any restrictions that tried to keep him away from a tour he feels he has dedicated a large chunk of his life to.

"My commitment to the European Tour has been there since day one," he said. "And it's still there today. 

"I'm proud of playing so often, when it was to the detriment of world ranking points and FedEx Cup points I could have earned playing more in America.

"I feel disappointed and offended that I've been suspended from playing golf on a Tour that I've played for 24 years."

Chief executive of the DP World Tour, Keith Pelley, said the ruling does not mean players from the Saudi-funded tour will be granted full access to the European tour, but the field for the Scottish Open will be expanded to fit the LIV Golf players.

"I will simply say we are disappointed by the outcome of today's hearing, but will abide by the decision," he said.

"It is important to remember, however, this is only a stay of the sanctions imposed, pending the hearing of the players' appeal as to whether those sanctions were appropriate.

"The make-up of the field for the Scottish Open will be advised in due course, but based on this decision the field size will increase beyond 156. 

"We will make further comment on this in due course, but not during our time at Adare Manor."

England’s Paul Casey, ranked 26th in the world, has become the latest player to join the Saudi Arabia-funded LIV Golf Invitational.

Casey has won 21 times as a professional, including three times on the PGA Tour and another 15 on the European Tour. He also represented Team Europe five times in the Ryder Cup.

A back injury has kept Casey sidelined since he took part in the WGC Match Play Championship in March. He played two holes of his opening match when he conceded due to back spasms, before withdrawing from the Masters, PGA Championship and U.S. Open.

He plans to make his LIV debut later this month at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey.

Casey joins a growing list of players to accept PGA Tour bans and join the breakaway series, fronted by CEO Greg Norman and funded by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund.

Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka and Phil Mickelson are some of the marquee names that have come on board with the promise of big signing bonuses, hefty prize purses and an eased schedule.

Branden Grace posted a seven-under 65 in the final round on Saturday, leapfrogging Dustin Johnson and Carlos Ortiz to win LIV Golf Portland.

Two shots behind the co-leaders at the start of the third round, Grace reeled off four birdies in the final six holes, including three consecutive birdies between 15 and 17, to take out the tournament.

With the victory, the South African follows up compatriot Charl Schwartel's win in London at LIV Golf's inaugural event in June.

The South African quartet that makes up Stinger GC - Grace, Schwartzel, Louis Oosthuizen and Hennie du Plessis – could only manage second in the team standings, though, with Johnson's 4 Aces GC taking out first.

"What a day. It's been like this the whole day, the crowd came out and I played flawless golf," Grace said afterwards. "I played, really, really well when I needed to do something special. It came up and I managed to pull it off, but what a great day.

"I knew the back nine, I had to kind of dig deep. Carlos was playing great golf, DJ was coming back and I think, one of the big things for me today was the birdie on 13.

"Then I thought, 'Now, I'm in with it.' Obviously, the finish was just amazing."  

Amid the news former Ryder Cup player Paul Casey defected from the PGA Tour to the Saudi-backed breakaway competition, Grace finished the tournament on 13-under, two strokes ahead of Ortiz who posted a three-under 69 on Saturday.

They were followed by 2020 Masters winner Johnson and another recent defector in Patrick Reed, who finished on nine-under after 54 holes.

Six-time major champion Phil Mickelson finished tied for 40th this week with a 54-hole score of 10-over. Through two LIV Golf events, Mickelson is a combined 20-over par.

Dustin Johnson and Carlos Ortiz are tied for the lead at LIV Golf Portland after two rounds of play, heading into the final day at eight under, two strokes clear of the chasing field.

Ortiz was the outright leader after his first-round 67, following it up with a three-under 69. Johnson was outright second after Thursday, posting a 68, and he proceeded to shoot another 68 in his second trip around Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club.

Arguably the biggest star on the LIV Golf roster after Phil Mickelson, Johnson had six birdies and one bogey on the front-nine, with three bogeys and two birdies on the back-nine keeping him from running away with a lead.

In outright third place is Branden Grace at six under, while Justin Harding is alone at five under, with the group of Brooks Koepka, Louis Oosthuizen, Jinchiro Kozuma, Patrick Reed and Sihwan Kim rounding out the top-10 in a tie for fifth.

With Johnson and Reed both near the top of the leaderboard, it puts their team – 4 Aces GC, along with Pat Perez and Talor Gooch – atop the teams leaderboard at 15 under, four strokes clear of the South African team Stinger GC, consisting of Grace, Oosthuizen, Hennie du Plessis and Charl Schwartzel.

After an even par opening round, Bryson DeChambeau put himself back into contention with a three-under Friday, giving him a share of 10th with Sam Horsfield.

4 Aces partners Gooch and Perez are both at two under, tied for 12th, while Martin Kaymer, Matthew Wolff and Kevin Na are the last of the players under par.

Abraham Ancer is at even par, Sergio Garcia is at two over, and Mickelson shot his second consecutive 75 to finish play at six over.

DP World Tour chief executive Keith Pelley has hit back at LIV Golf rebels and says sanctions imposed on players were "proportionate and fair".

Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter were among 16 DP World Tour members who were last week fined £100,000 and banned from playing in three events – the first being the Scottish Open next week.

They were sanctioned by the DP World Tour for playing in the inaugural LIV Golf Invitational Series event at Centurion Club without permission last month.

In an open letter, which was addressed to Pelley, published by The Telegraph, the 16 players threatened to take legal action against the DP World Tour if the fines and suspensions were not rescinded.

They also claimed that the DP World Tour is playing "second fiddle" to the PGA Tour in an extended relationship between the two.

Pelley provided a strong response as he refused to back down on Friday.

He said in a statement: "There has been a leak to the media of a letter we received on behalf of a number of LIV Golf players which contains so many inaccuracies that it cannot remain unchallenged.

"Before joining LIV Golf, players knew there would be consequences if they chose money over competition. Many of them at the time understood and accepted that. Indeed, as one player named in the letter said in a media interview earlier this year; 'If they ban me, they ban me.' It is not credible that some are now surprised with the actions we have taken.

"The letter claims that these players 'care deeply' for the DP World Tour. An analysis of the past participation statistics on our Tour in recent years of several of the leading players named suggests otherwise

"One player in particular named in the note has only played six Rolex Series events in the past five years. Another one, only four. I wish many of them had been as keen to play on our Tour then as they seem to be now, based on the fact they have either resigned their membership of the PGA Tour or, if they are still in membership, have been suspended indefinitely.

"Furthermore, given how deeply these players say they care about the DP World Tour, perhaps some of them could have played in Ireland this week in support of our new title sponsor, in particular one player who gave us a signed commitment to play at Mount Juliet.

"With that player currently in action at Pumpkin Ridge, you can imagine the allegation in the letter that we are in the wrong, is hard to accept.

"We also take great exception to an allegation made near the end of the letter which states we are somehow playing 'second fiddle' to the PGA Tour. Nothing could be further from the truth.

"We held a player meeting in Ireland on Tuesday where we outlined in great detail all the many benefits of our expanded relationship with the PGA Tour.

"One of those is an unprecedented ten cards on offer to the PGA Tour, cards that many of the players named in this letter desperately wanted to attain in the early stages of their careers. Why now be critical of those trying to do the same?

"The letter also expresses supposed concern about the future of the DP World Tour. Rest assured no-one should have any worries on that score.

"The DP World Tour is a vibrant, independent and global Tour with increasing and guaranteed prize fund growth over the next five years. We have fantastic tournaments across the year including a host of wonderful national Opens, all played in front of huge crowds, illustrated perfectly by this week's Irish Open.

"Finally, it would not be appropriate for me to comment on any potential legal matters.

"I will simply reiterate that our Members' Regulations which have been in force for more than 30 years, have been accepted by all the players, are there to protect all of our members, and we will use them to take all necessary steps to protect their interests.

"The sanctions for those members who knowingly broke our rules by playing at the Centurion Club without a release are proportionate, fair and, I believe, considered necessary by the majority of our members."

Mexico's Carlos Ortiz is the outright leader after the first round at LIV Golf Portland, finishing five under after his first trip around Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club.

He was on track for a bigger lead than the one stroke buffer he holds, with three birdies from his first four holes after beginning his shotgun start on the ninth tee, before back-to-back bogeys brought him back to the field.

Ortiz finished his round with three birdies on his final five holes, re-taking the lead in the final stages of play.

Dustin Johnson is just one stroke back in outright second place at four under, bogeying his first hole of the day as he started on the 18th, but it would be his only blemish, collecting five birdies and 12 pars the rest of the way.

Rounding out the top-five is Pat Perez, Hideto Tanihara, Wade Ormsby and Branden Grace in a tie for third at three under.

Playing in his first LIV Golf event, Brooks Koepka put in a good showing as one of 13 players to finish under par, tied for seventh along with Hennie du Plessis after their two-under 70s.

Louis Oosthuizen, Martin Kaymer, Scott Vincent and Yuki Inamori are tied for ninth at one under, while big names Patrick Reed and Bryson DeChambeau headline the group at even par.

Koepka's brother Chase Koepka is at one over along with Mexico's Abraham Ancer, winner of LIV Golf's debut event Charl Schwartzel is at two over with Ian Poulter, and Phil Mickelson finished at three over with Sergio Garcia and Kevin Na.

There will be some high-profile debutants when the first LIV Golf Invitational Series event to be staged in the United States starts on Thursday.

Three weeks after the inaugural LIV competition at the Centurion Club, near London, took place, 48 players have headed to Portland to tee off at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club.

A trio of major champions will appear in the controversial Saudi-backed breakaway league for the first time in Oregon.

Stats Perform takes a look at the standout new faces who have turned their back on the PGA Tour to make their bows in a three-day LIV Golf Invitational Portland tournament that consists of 12 teams.

 

BROOKS KOEPKA

Brooks Koepka is the biggest name to have signed up since his fellow Americans Dustin Johnson and Phil Mickelson played in the opening event in England.

The four-time major winner will captain a SMASH GC side that includes his brother, Chase, this week.

Koepka had tried to fend off questions about whether he would jump ship from the PGA Tour to commit to LIV Golf ahead of the recent U.S. Open.

"I haven't given it that much thought," he said when asked if he could sign up for a lucrative deal to play on the new tour. "I don't understand. I'm trying to focus on the U.S. Open, man. I legitimately don't get it. You can’t drive a car looking in the rearview mirror, can you?"

Just a fortnight on, the former world number one said in a tense press conference two days before his LIV bow: "My opinion changed. That was it.

"You guys will never believe me, but we didn't have the conversation 'til everything was done at the U.S. Open and figured it out. Here I am."

He added: "Look, what I've had to go through the last two years on my knees, the pain, the rehab, all this stuff, you realise, you know, I need a little bit more time off. I'll be the first one to say it, it's not been an easy last couple of years, and I think having a little more breaks, a little more time at home to make sure I'm 100 per cent before I go play in an event and don't feel like I'm forced to play right away - that was a big thing for me."

 

BRYSON DECHAMBEAU

Bryson DeChambeau is another major champion who has defected from the PGA Tour.

DeChambeau starts a new chapter of his career on the back of finishing tied for 56th in the U.S. Open, two years after winning it. 

The 28-year-old will also have captaincy duties, leading the CRUSHERS GC team.

DeChambeau has not registered a victory since his Arnold Palmer Invitational win last year and will be hoping a change of tour will enable him to experience that winning feeling again.

He said of his decision to join LIV Golf: "I understand people's decisions on their comments and whatnot. As it relates to me, I've personally made that as my own decision and I won't say anymore on that, there's no need. We're golfers at the end of the day.

"I think that I respect everyone's opinion. That's the most important thing people can hopefully understand out of me, that I do respect it. But golf is a force for good, and I think as time goes on, hopefully people will see the good that they're [LIV Golf] doing and what they're trying to accomplish, rather than look at the bad that's happened before. 

"I think moving on from that is important, and going, continuing to move forward in a positive light is something that can be a force for good for the future of the game."

PATRICK REED

The 2018 Masters champion Patrick Reed will also get his first experience of the LIV Golf Invitational Series this week.

Another United States Ryder Cup player, Reed will be on a 4 ACES GC team captained by Johnson.

Reed's last victory came at the Farmers Insurance Open in 2021 and he was down in a share of 49th in the U.S Open.

The 31-year-old took aim at the PGA Tour this week, saying he is looking forward to having a reduced workload.

"Listen to the players for once," he said. "We actually have an off-season where not only can we get healthy, work on our bodies, but we're basically allowing ourselves throughout the year to, you know, try to peak at the right times is when you're playing rather than feeling like you have to play every single week.

"And on top of it, just the quality of life for us as players now, having less events, being able to spend more time at home with the family, if you have kids, being able to spend time with your children, and not sitting there and having to play three, four weeks in a row, then have a week off, and during that week off you're preparing trying to get ready for the next week."

Brooks Koepka has no issue with Rory McIlroy's criticism of his decision to join the LIV Golf Invitational Series, a move he said was taken to allow more flexibility over his schedule.

Former world number one Koepka had previously stated his allegiance to the PGA Tour and commented in February that "somebody will sell out and go for it".

Koepka was not involved in the first event at Centurion Club earlier this month and was critical of reporters for casting a "black cloud" over the U.S. Open when players were probed about the controversial Saudi-backed series, which has been accused of sportswashing.

However, the four-time major winner has now signed up for the breakaway series and will tee off in Portland this week, joining the likes of Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau and Phil Mickelson in doing so.

When asked about Koepka's decision last week, McIlroy said: "Am I surprised? Yes, because of what he [Koepka] said previously. That's why I'm surprised at a lot of these guys, because they say one thing and then they do another. It's pretty duplicitous on their part to say one thing and then do another thing."

Asked about McIlroy's comments, Koepka replied: "Look, I've got respect for Rory as a player. He's good. He's phenomenal. 

"I'll be honest with you, I didn't see it. I didn't hear about it until basically like a day ago. So, look, he's entitled to his opinion. He can think whatever he wants. He's going to do what's best for him and his family, I'm going to do what's best for me and my family, and I can't hate on anybody for that."

Koepka insists he had not made a decision until after the U.S. Open. Asked what had changed since, he said: "Just my opinion, man. My opinion changed. That was it. 

"You guys will never believe me, but we didn't have the conversation 'til everything was done at the U.S. Open and figured it out and just said I was going to go one way or another. Here I am."

Koepka has slid down to world number 19 after contending with a series of injuries to his hip, knee and wrist.

The 32-year-old believes signing up to the LIV series will allow him more time to recover physically.

"What I've had to go through the last two years on my knees, the pain, the rehab, all this stuff, you realise, you know, I need a little bit more time off," Koepka said. 

"I'll be the first one to say it, it's not been an easy last couple of years, and I think having a little more breaks, a little more time at home to make sure I'm 100 per cent before I go play in an event and don't feel like I'm forced to play right away [is good]."

Asked about accusations of sportswashing levelled against the series, Koepka replied: "You know, we've heard it. I think everybody has. It's been brought up.

"But, look, like we said, our only job is to go play golf, and that's all we're trying to do. We're trying to grow the game, do all this other stuff. And we're trying the best we can."

While several players have resigned their PGA Tour membership, including fellow defector Patrick Reed, Koepka has not done so as yet.

It remains to be seen long term what decisions will be taken by the major championships over the participation of players who have jumped ship to LIV Golf.

Koepka insists he is comfortable with whatever outcome occurs.

"You play anywhere around the world, you'll be just fine. You'll get into them. I made a decision. I'm happy with it, and whatever comes of it, I'll live with it," he said.

Scottie Scheffler has admitted it was "definitely a surprise" to see Brooks Koepka join the breakaway Saudi-backed LIV Golf series as he reaffirmed his commitment to the PGA Tour.

Koepka became the latest big name to join the controversial LIV series this week, following the likes of Bryson DeChambeau, Patrick Reed and Abraham Ancer to join after its maiden event in London earlier this month.

Those moving have faced significant backlash for their decisions, with Rory McIlroy questioning the approach of the players on Wednesday, and while Scheffler was surprised, he stopped short of direct criticism.

"It was definitely a surprise for me. I was at a function with him last week and that definitely wasn't what we had in mind," he told a news conference.

"We were focused on building the PGA Tour and getting the guys that are staying here together and kind of just having talks and figuring out how we can help benefit the Tour, so to see Brooks leave was definitely a surprise for us.

"With that being said, he's made his decision, I'm not going to knock him for doing that."

The world number one also reaffirmed his own commitment to the PGA Tour and rebuffed any chances of him following in Koepka's footsteps.

"For me, it's not where I see myself heading anytime soon. I grew up wanting to be on the PGA Tour.

"I grew up dreaming of playing in these events, I didn't grow up dreaming of playing the Centurion Club in London or whatever it is. 

"I grew up wanting to play in the Masters, in Austin, at Colonial, the Byron Nelson.

"I wouldn't trade those memories for anything at this moment in time. Those memories to me are invaluable. 

"I would never risk going and losing the opportunity to go back to Augusta every year. 

"There's nothing I would want to do right now that would risk having any sort of effect on the way my life is now."

The PGA Tour has announced schedule changes and prize money increases in order to stem the flow of big-name players joining the rival LIV Golf International Series.

Brooks Koepka became the ninth major champion to sign up to the controversial Saudi Arabia-backed league, rocking the PGA Tour on Wednesday.

The American joined Sergio Garcia, Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson, Martin Kaymer, Graeme McDowell, Louis Oosthuizen, Charl Schwartzel and Bryson DeChambeau in the breakaway competition.

Defecting players were indefinitely suspended from PGA Tour events, but were allowed to play at last week's U.S. Open and participate in next month's 150th Open at St Andrews.

The PGA had been rumoured to be mulling over a switch to a calendar-year schedule, alongside increased purses and the creation of new no-cut international events featuring the Tour's top 50 players.

Commissioner Jay Monahan confirmed those alterations at a press conference ahead of the Travelers Championship, stressing the PGA's need to innovate to remain golf's leading competition.

"I want to talk about where the PGA Tour is headed. We don't expect to overcome this current challenge by relying on our legacy and track record alone," he said.

"We've been on a path for a number of years to strengthen and evolve our product for the benefit of our fans and players alike, those plans are obviously accelerated in light of the current environment.

"We have some exciting developments coming out of yesterday's policy board meeting that will further secure our status as the pre-eminent golf tour in the world.

"This includes moving forward with our future product model for the 2022-23 season and beyond, a return to a calendar-year schedule beginning in 2024, with the FedEx Cup contested from January to August, culminating with the FedEx Cup play-offs and followed by the fall events.

"[The Tour will also add] revised field sizes for the FedEx Cup play-offs in 2023 and beyond, [and] the creation of a series of up to three international events, to be played after the conclusion of the fall schedule, which will include the top 50 players from the FedEx Cup points list.

"Alongside these changes, the policy board also amended the resource allocation plan, to increase purse sizes at eight events during the 2022-23 season, with an average purse at $20million. 

"There is more work to be done, and details to confirm, but implementing substantial changes to our schedule gives us the best opportunity to not only drive earnings to our players, but also improve our product and create a platform for continued growth in the future."

Rory McIlroy, a vocal opponent of LIV Golf, had earlier stated he supported the changes, saying to Sky Sports: "I think having the FedExCup season go to a calendar year, that would be a pretty good idea.

"So then it gives guys the opportunity to play if they want to play in the fall, or if they don't want to play in the fall they don't have to, they're not forced to.

"You're trying to give playing opportunities and create prize funds for the lower half of the membership, but also trying to accommodate what the upper half of the membership want as well with an off-season, time away from the FedExCup schedule. So it's a balance."

Monahan added the PGA could not wish to compete financially with the rival tour, headed by two-time major champion Greg Norman, which he described as "irrational".

"I am not naive," Monahan said. "If this is an arms race and if the only weapons are dollar bills, the PGA Tour can't compete with a foreign monarchy that is spending billions of dollars in an attempt to buy the game of golf.

"We welcome good healthy competition, the LIV series is not that. It's an irrational threat, one not concerned with the return on investment or true growth of the game. 

"Currently no one organisation owns or dominates the game of golf, instead the various entities work together to meet our own respective priorities but with the best interests of the game at heart.

"When someone attempts to buy the sport and dismantle the institutions that are intrinsically invested in growth and focus only on a personal priority, that partnership evaporates. 

"Instead we end up with one person, one entity, using endless amounts of money to direct employees towards their personal goals, which may or may not change tomorrow or the next day.

"I doubt that's the vision any of us have for the game."

Rory McIlroy labelled breakaway players joining the LIV Golf International Series as "duplicitous" before Brooks Koepka became the latest high-profile name to leave the PGA Tour.

McIlroy has been a critic of LIV Golf, the controversial Saudi-backed competition, with opponents accusing the breakaway league of sportswashing.

However, that has not stopped the likes of Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson, Bryson DeChambeau and Sergio Garcia leaving the PGA Tour, who have indefinitely banned the defectors from returning.

Koepka was confirmed on Wednesday as the next big name to join and is the ninth major winner to sign for LIV Golf, with world number 20 Abraham Ancer also being linked with the tournament.

Four-time major winner Koepka refused to discuss LIV Golf at last week's U.S. Open, where he said he was "tired of conversations" and debates were "throwing a black cloud" over the third major of 2022.

Koepka subsequently withdrew from the Travelers Championship, which is the next PGA Tour event on Thursday, and will feature at the second LIV Golf event in Portland.

That has led to more debate around the breakaway league, and McIlroy feels his fellow golfers are not staying true to their word.

"Am I surprised?" McIlroy told reporters in Connecticut before Koepka's switch was confirmed. "Yes, because of what he said previously.

"I think that's why I'm surprised at a lot of these guys because they say one thing and then they do another, and I don't understand that and I don't know if that's for legal reasons or if they can't – I have no idea.

"But it's pretty duplicitous on their part to say one thing and then do another thing…the whole way through, in public and private, all of it."

McIlroy has enjoyed an upturn in fortunes over the last month, triumphing at the Canadian Open before finishing in a tie for fifth at the U.S. Open.

The 33-year-old admitted that tiredness is becoming a factor as he prepares for his fourth tournament in as many weeks, but remains excited to compete at the Travelers Championship.

"I got a night in my own bed down in Florida on Monday night, which was really nice," he added.

"But, yes, I came back up here yesterday and played the pro-am today and going to get an early night tonight. I've got an early start again tomorrow.

"But excited to get going and especially continuing the run of form I'm on. I'm playing some really good golf and I want to continue trying to do that.

"I think the three weeks that I've played, like Memorial's a very demanding golf course. Canada wasn't so demanding but when you get yourself in contention and you play a weekend like that, then that takes quite a lot out of you. And then you follow that up with a US Open. So I think it's a combination of everything.

"Mentally I'm totally fine, but it will be nice to sort of rest up this afternoon and get another good night's sleep and get ready to play tomorrow.

"But four weeks in a row is pretty rare for me these days. I haven't played four in a row in a while and you start to remember why!"

Brooks Koepka has become the latest high-profile player to trade the PGA Tour for the LIV Golf Invitational Series.

The likes of Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson and Sergio Garcia were among the early joiners of the Saudi Arabia-backed breakaway competition, which started earlier in June in London.

Bryson DeChambeau and Patrick Reed followed suit as they announced their intention to play in LIV Golf tournaments, with all participants aware they would be indefinitely suspended from the PGA Tour.

The breakaway golfers were still allowed to participate at the U.S. Open, where Koepka said he was "tired of conversations" about the new circuit and asserted LIV Golf debates were "throwing a black cloud" over the third major of 2022.

Four-time major winner Koepka, who finished 55th at Brookline, then removed all references to the PGA Tour from his social media profiles as expectations grew that he would trade allegiances.

The world number 19's move was subsequently confirmed on Wednesday and he will feature in the second event at Pumpkin Ridge in Portland, Oregon, which starts on July 3.

"There's no understating the impact that Brooks Koepka has had on the game of golf in the last five years," LIV Golf chief executive Greg Norman said.

"He carries a championship pedigree and record of success as one of the most elite players in the world

"The addition of Brooks is yet another example of the incredible fields LIV Golf is assembling as we build momentum in our first season and look towards the future."

Six further tournaments will follow for LIV Golf this season, with the total prize fund for the eight competitions £200million, with Charl Schwartzel collecting £3.9m when he won the opening 54-hole competition.

Uncertainty remains as to what the breakaway league means for further participation at the majors, with USGA chief executive Mike Whan admitting he could foresee a day where players may be banned.

Koepka becomes the ninth major champion to defect to LIV Golf, along with Garcia, Johnson, Mickelson, Martin Kaymer, Graeme McDowell, Louis Oosthuizen, Schwartzel and DeChambeau.

World ranking points remain unavailable for LIV Golf events, but Norman – himself a two-time major champion – has said an application for that to change has been submitted.

Patrick Cantlay has expressed his concerns for the future of golf after more breakaways to join the controversial Saudi-backed LIV Golf Invitational Series.

Brooks Koepka is widely reported to be set to leave the PGA Tour and, while there's yet to be official confirmation, it was announced he had withdrawn from the Travelers Championship.

Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, Sergio Garcia, Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter are among those to have signed up to the series, with further additions expected in the near future.

This has resulted in a lot of uncertainty around the future of golf and Cantlay has admitted he is concerned.

"Everyone wants to play against the best players in the world and a lot of us are hyper-competitive. That's maybe what drove us to be as good as we are," he told a news conference.

"Anytime there's a potential fracture in the sport, I don't think that's good. You don't see it in any other major sports, where all the talent is in one tour or league. It's definitely a real concern. 

"Right now, there's a competition for talent that is going on, you've seen it in lots of businesses, you've seen it in other professional sports from time to time and part of the concern is not knowing what the future will be like.

"It's an uncertain time for golf. If you think about it in the larger business landscape, it's a competition for talent.

"If the PGA Tour wants to remain as the pre-eminent tour for professional golfers, it has to be the best place to play for the best players in the world."

Patrick Cantley has expressed his concerns for the future of golf after more breakaways to join the controversial Saudi-backed LIV Golf Invitational Series.

Brooks Koepka is widely reported to be set to leave the PGA Tour and, while there's yet to be official confirmation, it was announced he had withdrawn from the Travelers Championship.

Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, Sergio Garcia, Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter are among those to have signed up to the series, with further additions expected in the near future.

This has resulted in a lot of uncertainty around the future of golf and Cantley has admitted he is concerned.

"Everyone wants to play against the best players in the world and a lot of us are hyper-competitive. That's maybe what drove us to be as good as we are," he told a news conference.

"Anytime there's a potential fracture in the sport, I don't think that's good. You don't see it in any other major sports, where all the talent is in one tour or league. It's definitely a real concern. 

"Right now, there's a competition for talent that is going on, you've seen it in lots of businesses, you've seen it in other professional sports from time to time and part of the concern is not knowing what the future will be like.

"It's an uncertain time for golf. If you think about it in the larger business landscape, it's a competition for talent.

"If the PGA Tour wants to remain as the pre-eminent tour for professional golfers, it has to be the best place to play for the best players in the world."

Collin Morikawa has flatly dismissed talk that he could join the exodus from the PGA Tour to the LIV Golf Invitational Series.

The Open champion and former US PGA winner had been linked in some reports as a player that might switch allegiance, but the 25-year-old American said that simply is not true.

Morikawa, who finished tied for fifth place at the U.S. Open last week, issued his denial on Twitter.

He wrote: "Last week at my press conference, I said the media loves creating drama. Sure enough, I woke up this morning to everyone thinking I'm next. Not to say I told you so but…I told you so.

"To state for the record, once again, you all are absolutely wrong. I've said it since February at Riviera that I'm here to stay on the @PGATOUR and nothing has changed. Now if you'll excuse me, I've got some cereal to pour in my milk."

The Saudi Arabia-backed breakaway competition, which started earlier in June in London, has already drawn major-winning big names including Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson and Sergio Garcia.

Bryson DeChambeau and Patrick Reed followed suit to play in LIV Golf tournaments, with all participants aware they would be indefinitely suspended from the PGA Tour.

The 'rebel' players were still allowed to play the U.S. Open, where four-time major winner Brooks Koepka said he was "tired of conversations", arguing LIV Golf debates were "throwing a black cloud" over the third major of 2022.

Now Koepka is said to have agreed a switch to LIV Golf, where players have been richly rewarded for agreeing to join the series, although he has yet to confirm the move.

Widespread reports have said Koepka will play the 54-hole tournament in Portland, Oregon, that runs from June 30 to July 2.

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