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The battle between the longstanding PGA Tour and DP World Tour and the rival LIV Golf league will reach a high point in London next week when 18 golfers in the Saudi-backed circuit will play against their former Tour members but, not surprisingly, they are not exactly receiving the warmest welcome.
DP World Tour CEO Keith Pelley stated his “strong opposition” to the LIV golfers' participation in the flagship event in a memo sent to members and added that they will not be given any “disadvantage” but will not be featured on the broadcast.
“They will not be given any on course competitive disadvantage – i.e. unfavorable tee times – but they will not be required to play in the pro-am on Wednesday and will not be in TV featured groups,” the memo read, via the Golf Channel.
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The Telegraph separately reported that a memo from Wentworth asked that LIV Golf players not wear any branded apparel while on the course.
“As an FYI, you will not be required to play in the Wednesday pro-am and out of respect for our broadcasters and your fellow competitors we would kindly ask you to consider not wearing LIV-golf apparel.”
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Newly crowned FedEx Cup playoff champion Rory McIlroy has been the most outspoken about LIV Golf and just after claiming his $18 million prize, he expressed his feelings about the upcoming faceoff.
“If you believe in something I think you have to speak up, and I believe very strongly about this. I really do,’’ he said over the weekend. “I hate what it's doing to the game of golf. I hate it. I really do. Like it's going to be hard for me to stomach going to Wentworth in a couple of weeks' time and seeing 18 of them there. That just doesn't sit right with me.”
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“So yeah, I feel strongly. I believe what I'm saying are the right things, and I think when you believe that what you're saying is the right things, you're happy to stick your neck out on the line.’’
The pro-am is scheduled for next Wednesday with Round 1 beginning on Thursday.