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Jordan Smith expects the proposed return of LIV golfers to boost the DP World Tour – but knows the rebels will be not be welcomed back with open arms to his circuit.

Smith, a two-time DP World Tour winner, told that he snubbed the Saudi-backed series last year amidst the threat of being blacklisted from the main tours.

But a tour ban will no longer be enacted for LIV players under the “framework agreement” that has seen the PGA and DP World Tours join forces with the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia.

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In uniting with the kingdom funding LIV Golf, the main tours have agreed to “establish a fair and objective process” for players who are keen to reapply for membership.

That means the likes of Sergio Garcia, Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter and Henrik Stenson all have a possible route back to the circuit from which they only recently resigned.

But uncertainty still reigns in men’s professional golf after the ambiguous, hastily arranged statement declaring the extraordinary truce last month.

There is resentment not only from blindsided tour loyalists but also the LIV players who were fined and suspended by their old circuit.

Smith, however, ultimately believes the reintroduction of the former Ryder Cup stars would make his tour more appealing.

“There’s a few players that have p***** off a lot of people here,” Smith admitted. 

“Only a handful of events they’ve lost a few players. A few of the LIV players used to go and play the event in Hamburg [European Open] and at Wentworth so there’s only two or three tournaments where those guys turned up.

“Obviously, it would be great to see those guys back playing here. It would draw in crowds and they’re big names stars so it would help the tournaments. 

“But a few guys will be a bit annoyed with a select few that would be coming back. It hasn’t affected the tour massively but when those few guys do come back it will hopefully boost the tournaments and crowds.”

Smith also has his own thoughts on why LIV’s PIF backers are so keen to push through the so-called merger.

“I don’t think anyone expected it to happen that soon,” he said. “It was a shock. But I think LIV had probably seen that their business idea wasn’t quite working. 

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“They had a lot of money going out and they didn’t really have a TV deal and the crowds they were getting were nowhere near what they were expecting.”

Smith, meanwhile, is now very much an outside contender for the European Ryder Cup team ahead of the showdown in Rome this September.

The 30-year-old recently had his best ever major finish, a tie for 20th at the US Open in Los Angeles, but he currently sits 13th on the European points list in the Ryder Cup race with only two top-ten finishes this season.

He knows he must do something special to force his way into the blue-and-gold conversation as the biennial battle at Marco Simone Golf Club nears.

“I’m not thinking about it as much as I was at the start of the year but it’s something I want to achieve,” he said.

“It was the ultimate goal this year but I need a good couple of months. A couple of really good weeks and you never know.”

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Ben Parsons joined bunkered as a Content Producer in 2023 and is the man to come to for all of the latest news, across both the professional and amateur games. Formerly of The Mirror and Press Association, he is a member at Halifax Golf Club and is a long-suffering fan of both Manchester United and the Wales rugby team.

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