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Earlier this week, it was reported that “a few” PGA Tour players had requested – and been granted – releases to play in next month’s Saudi International on the Asian Tour.
Now, we know the identities of three of them.
Golfweek’s Eamon Lynch is reporting that the current PGA Tour ‘Rookie of the Year’ Cameron Young has been given permission to play in the tournament, along with Cameron Champ and Lucas Herbert.
This is significant news because of the Saudi International and Asian Tour’s close links to the LIV Golf League, which has done a successful job of recruiting top players away from the PGA Tour in the year.
Whilst there’s no suggestion that any of these three players are planning to jump for the new Greg Norman-fronted enterprise, it is nonetheless interesting that they are keen to play in Saudi.
The tournament is also being staged opposite the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, one of the most popular – and oldest – stops on the PGA Tour.
Young, 25, has yet to win on the PGA Tour but had a standout rookie season in 2022, finishing second in The 150th Open and third at the US PGA Championship. He was also runner-up at the Genesis Invitational and featured in the USA’s Presidents Cup victory at Quail Hollow.
He was heavily linked with LIV throughout most of last summer but, speaking ahead of the Tour Championship, revealed that he had decided to stay with the PGA Tour.
Champ, 27, has won three times on the PGA Tour, most recently the 3M Open in 2021. Currently ranked 157th on the OWGR, he finished 144th on the FedEx Cup standings last year.
Herbert, meantime, claimed his maiden PGA Tour event in October 2021 at the Butterfield Bermuda Championship. A two-time winner on the DP World Tour, the current world No.60 is the fourth highest-ranked Aussie on the OWGR behind Cam Smith, Adam Scott and Min Woo Lee.
The Saudi International takes place from February 2-5 at at Royal Greens Golf & Country Club.
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