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Paul Casey was handed a special invite to play in the PGA Championship because he is “good for our event”.
So says the PGA of America’s chief exec.
The Englishman is one of 18 LIV golfers heading to Oak Hill in Rochester, New York to tee it up in the second major of the year next week.
Casey has fallen outside the world’s top 100 since his switch to LIV last year and did not meet the qualifying criteria to make the 156-man field for the tournament.
Players from the most recent Ryder Cup currently inside the top 100 received an invite, but Casey was the only LIV player who fell short of that mark to get a spot in the field, with Lee Westwood, Sergio Garcia and Ian Poulter missing out.
His discretionary reprieve from the PGA of America comes following two top-five finishes in the 2021 and 2020 editions of the major.
The 45-year-old missed the 2022 Southern Hills tournament due to a recurring back injury and did not qualify for this year’s Masters, but now has another chance to compete for his maiden major title.
And Seth Waugh, the PGA of America’s chief executive, says Casey was deserving of his place for his strong performances in the PGA Championship and his overall contribution to the sport.
“He has been hurt a bit, but he has performed really well in majors when healthy and he is a former Ryder Cupper and someone who we think has done a lot for the game,” Waugh told The Times.
“We think he adds to the field. I would put the criterion as ‘good for our event’ because he’s someone who has contributed to the game in a positive way.”
The PGA of America’s entry requirements holds the right to “invite additional players not included” in the 13 categories that determines its 156-player field.
Before heading to Oak Hill for his 20th PGA Championship appearance, Casey is part of the 48-man field in this weekend’s LIV Golf event in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
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