Shane Lowry and Graeme McDowell commit to Saudi International

Tournament no longer part of European Tour and players must get waiver from PGA Tour

Shane Lowry will play in the Saudi International in February. Photo: Ali Haider/EPA

Shane Lowry will play in the Saudi International in February. Photo: Ali Haider/EPA

 

Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry are among a large number of high profile players who have committed to playing in the Saudi International tournament on the Asian Tour next February, an event which was previously part of the European Tour (from 2019).

Among others to put pen to paper in accepting lucrative appearance fees to play in the tournament - which in the past has been seen as part of the Saudi government’s “sportswashing” to deflect from human rights issues in the country - are Dustin Johnson, Olympic gold medalist Xander Schaufelle, Phil Mickelson, Bryson DeChambeau, Sergio Garcia, Henrik Stenson and Paul Casey.

Those with membership of the PGA Tour must seek a waiver in order to compete, which must be issued 30 days prior to the start of the tournament. Players who play without securing a waiver will only face a penalty of a financial fine.

The tournament will be played on February 3rd-6th, clashing with the Kas al Khaimak Championship in the UAE on the DP World Tour and with the Pebble Beach pro-am on the PGA Tour.

On Monday the PGA Tour said in a statement: “We have not granted any conflicting-event releases for the Saudi International tournament.

“Per PGA Tour regulations, a decision on conflicting-event releases can be made up until 30 days before the event’s first round.”

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