PGA Tour and DP World Tour braced for tough week of LIV defections

Keith  Pelley  Jay  Monahan  Dp  World  Tour  Pga  Tour  Liv  Golf

The PGA and DP World tours are set for another difficult week with more high-profile players set to defect to LIV Golf.

Several stars are believed to have been waiting until after the 150th Open to announce their switch to the Saudi-backed rebel league, which is due to hold its third event later this month in New Jersey.

Ryder Cup captain Henrik Stenson’s move is expected to be confirmed in the coming days, which will be followed by an announcement that he has been stripped of the role. The Swede claimed earlier this year he had signed a contract tying him to the European circuit.

Concerningly for the R&A, whose chief executive Martin Slumbers was outspoken in his criticism of LIV ahead of the St Andrews showpiece, freshly-anointed Champion Golfer of the Year Cam Smith is also said to be making the switch.

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The new world No.2 is reported to have already penned a deal with the organisation, which is fronted by his fellow Australian Greg Norman.

Smith refused to rule out the prospect of a move to LIV when asked in his post-championship press conference.

He is rumoured to be joined by Adam Scott and Marc Leishman, who would form part of an all-Australian “super team” with Smith as captain.

And Tommy Fleetwood is also said to be on the verge of making the switch.

Meanwhile, Sergio Garcia has confirmed he plans to resign his DP World Tour membership – meaning he will play almost exclusively on the LIV Series.

The former Masters champion told Spanish reporters in St Andrews that he expects the European circuit to become “fifth in the world” and criticised its handling of the ongoing saga, which involved fining LIV players £100,000 and suspending them from co-sanctioned events with the PGA Tour.

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Such a move would also spell the end of his Ryder Cup career. Garcia is Europe’s all-time leading points scorer in the biennial clash.

Jon Rahm, one of the established tours’ most vocal allies, was critical of the sanctions imposed on his fellow Spaniard.

“Sergio knows very well that he has dedicated his life to the European Tour in his 25 years as a pro,’’ Rahm said.

“That they turn their backs on him that way doesn’t seem right to me. And it is what it is. It is not my decision and that he has to make this decision, it hurts me.”

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