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Yasir Al-Rumayyan, the governor of the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund bankrolling LIV Golf, will play at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship under a pseudonym.

The Scotsman reports that the sovereign wealth fund’s governor, also the chairman of Newcastle United, will tee it up here in Scotland this week after an invite from Dunhill chief Johann Rupert.

South African Rupert, who chairs Dunhill’s parent company Richemont, has invited Al-Rumayyan to play in the pro-am across the three iconic courses – Carnoustie, Kingsbarns and St Andrews.

“Sport is supposed to unite people, not divide,” Rupert said. “We need to get peace.

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“It was suggested to me a while ago that I should extend an invitation to His Excellency, but I only got confirmation last week to say he would be playing.

“And, if I am asked by anyone what we will discuss, I will be saying it will be support for amateur golf worldwide.

“What is happening in golf just now is not growing the golf. It’s only making the top 100 players a lot wealthier. We have just launched the African Amateur Championship, for example, and we need support to expand the credibility of that.”

Al-Rumayyan, who has led Saudi’s venture into golf, first with the Saudi International and then the LIV series, will play alongside R&A CEO Martin Slumbers in the $5million tournament on Thursday. He is listed in the official draw as “Andrew Waterman” and will team up with LIV golfer Peter Uhlein.

Uhlein is one of four LIV golfers in the field this week, alongside Louis Oosthuizen, Talor Gooch and Hudson Swafford. The quartet are eligible to compete on sponsor’s invites because they have never been a DP World Tour member, or because they gave up that privilege before playing in any LIV events.

Laurie Canter, who has represented LIV’s Majesticks team this year, will also play after paying his outstanding fines and serving a tour suspension.

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But Al-Rumayann’s participation in the event alongside Slumbers will be sure to raise eyebrows the most after he was the man deemed responsible for instigating peace talks between PIF, the PGA Tour and DP World Tour.

The LIV Golf chief and his associate Amanda Staveley spoke with Slumbers at The Open at Royal Liverpool in July, but it was claimed the secret meeting was more “symbolic than substantive.”

“If I’m very open, we are and do and continue to talk to various potential sponsors,’’ Slumbers said at Hoylake when asked about the possibility of Saudi investment into the R&A.

“We have a number of large corporate partners that help us make this thing happen. I think the world has changed in the last year. It’s not just golf. You’re seeing it in football. You’re seeing it in F1. You’re seeing it in cricket. I’m sure tennis won’t be that far behind.

“The world of sport has changed dramatically in the last 12 months, and it is not feasible for the R&A or golf to just ignore what is a societal change on a global basis. We will be considering within all the parameters that we look at all the options that we have.’’


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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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