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Lee Westwood has confirmed long-standing rumours he plans to play in the LIV Golf Invitational Series.

For several months the former world No.1 had remained tight-lipped despite reports he had committed to playing in the Saudi-backed breakaway venture.

Now, however, he has confirmed he has requested permission to play in the inaugural event next month.

• Richard Bland signs up for LIV Series opener

• G4D Tour opener praised by winner

And speaking ahead of the British Masters at the Belfry, Westwood admitted he does not understand the fuss over the controversial league.

“People always have a problem with change and are sceptical,” he said.

“Change and competition are good in any walk of life.

“I don’t think sport and politics should mix. The European Tour has been happy to play events in Saudi Arabia. The PGA Tour released players for that. 

“It’s like Wimbledon banning Russian players. For what it’s worth I don’t agree with that, either.”

• Rory McIlroy extends TaylorMade deal

• Norman reveals impact of Phil Mickelson comments

Westwood’s announcement came shortly after Richard Bland revealed he had also asked for releases to play.

It takes the total number of players to publicly confirm their plans to three, alongside Phil Mickelson, although several others are understood to be intending to play.

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