Mickelson requests PGA Tour release to play in Saudi-backed event

US reports say 15 of the top 100 players in the world have signed up for London competition

Fifteen of top 100 players in the world rankings have signed up for Saudi-backed LIV Golf Series event in London, according to reports.

It comes as Phil Mickelson’s agent has confirmed that the six-time Major champion has requested a release from the PGA Tour to play in the first event in June, at Centurion Club in England.

Mickelson’s agent Steve Loy said, however, that his player had “no concrete plans on when and where he will play” but was “keeping all options open”.

Apart from Robert Garrigus, who is well outside the top 100 in the world rankings, no player has publicly committed to playing on the Greg Norman’s new $255m tour, and due to player confidentiality agreements the names of the players are not being released.


A report in the Daily Telegraph suggested Sergio Garcia, Ian Poulter, Louis Oosthuizen and Kevin Na as potential participants. Adam Scott has previously spoken about being interested in the tour, while Lee Westwood said he had signed a non-disclosure agreement that prohibited him from discussing negotiations with the series.

The tournament series of eight events, which comprise a team element, is due to begin in England from June 9th-11th, a week prior to the US Open. There will be four US-based events from July to September, including one at former US president Donald Trump’s course in New Jersey, Trump National Golf Club Bedminster.

October will see two events in Asia, including one in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The final event, called the Team Championship, is yet to have a venue decided, but will take place on October 28th-30th.

The total prize money for the first event is $25 million, comprised of $20 million in individual prizes - all players in the field earn a share - and $5 million for the top three teams.

The tournaments have no cut and will have a shotgun start with all competitors starting their rounds simultaneously.

Because the PGA Tour and DP World Tour have previously threatened lifetime bans on players who play in a breakaway league, details of who will participate so far are limited.

The Tour must decide on applications 30 days before the event begins, or by May 10th.

PGA Tour stars Bryson DeChambeau and Dustin Johnson had been linked to the tour but have since distanced themselves from it. Rory McIlroy dismissed the tour in February, saying it was “dead in the water”.

“I can’t see why anyone would go… I mean Greg Norman would have to tee it up to fill the field. Like, I mean seriously? Who else is going to do it? I don’t think they could get 48 guys.”

PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan confirmed his players would not be allowed to play both the Tour and LIV Golf events. “I’m confident in our rules and regulations, my ability to administer them, and that’s my position on the matter,” Monahan said. “We’re confident in our position.”

The European Tour’s CEO Keith Pelley sent a memo to member this week pushing for their loyalty.

“Conflicting events, regardless of how attractive they might appear to you personally, potentially compromise our efforts in these areas and could significantly hurt your tour in both the short and long term,” Pelley wrote. “Please continue to bear this bigger picture in mind.”

The Irish Open is due to be played on the same week as the second LIV Golf Series event, in Pumpkin Ridge GC in Portland