Are LIV golfers considering Asian Tour events?

Paul Casey has admitted that LIV Golf members are considering entering the Asian Tour in a bid to maintain their world rankings and qualify for future major tournaments.

The lack of World Ranking Points currently on offer on the Greg Norman-led tour means players risk dropping down the rankings quickly, jeopardizing potential eligibility to play in the majors in the future for those who do not hold already an exemption.

Paul Casey will make his LIV Golf Invitational Series debut later this month

© Associated Press
Paul Casey will make his LIV Golf Invitational Series debut later this month

Players who joined the Saudi-backed tour are suspended indefinitely by the PGA Tour, while the DP World Tour has imposed £100,000 fines on those taking part in the inaugural season-opening event , leaving limited playing opportunities for LIV Golf members outside of their own events.

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“We’re talking about guys who sort of play a couple [of Asian Tour events]”, Casey said after his last round at the Open. “I don’t even know the schedule. I’m sorry, whether they’re going to play something before Bangkok to prepare, or the break in August.

“Next is Bedminster. Then I think there’s a break before it’s Boston or Chicago – I’m mixing up my dates. Will they play to be a bit more specific? There’s a lot of talk, lots of whatsapp chat group streams I’m not part of most of them.

“I think the discussion was if the guys showed up en masse, that would increase the world ranking points. So if they’re going to play an Asian circuit, they’re all going together.”

Casey is at risk of slipping down the world rankings after missing four months of the season through injury, shortly before announcing his move to the LIV Golf Tour, with the 44-year-old happy to take the risk now. regarding its possible major future. .

“I was fully aware of what could be, the possibility of not playing the majors,” Casey said. “It’s an interesting question for younger people. Myself, I mean, I cling to the world rankings.

“I don’t know what the guys are going to do. I think there’s the possibility of playing some Asian Tour events. We’ll see what happens with the DP World Tour. But I wasn’t getting any delusion that my ranking could slip and be taken out in such a long time, regardless of the time frame.

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“It was more of an incentive to play well this week and try to get points. I did my due diligence, in other words.”

Both Casey and Ian Poulter have admitted their Open appearances this week could be their last at St Andrews, given both their age and the hostility within the major golf tours, with fellow golfer LIV Sergio Garcia also expecting it to be difficult to stay exempt in the future.

“Probably tough, and the way everyone reacts to us, probably even tougher,” Garcia said of a future major at St Andrews. “That’s what it is – things come to an end. That’s how it is.

“Obviously a bit of a disappointment [never to win] because I was close and I really like this championship and this audience. Sometimes you don’t get what you want or want.”

Former world number 1 Lee Westwood has played in every edition of The Open since making his debut at St Andrews in 1995, and the 49-year-old still hopes to feature in future editions.

“I think it’s a shame we’re not focusing on, well, for me, the biggest event of the year,” Westwood said. “The Open Championship deserves to be center stage this week and at St Andrews.

“I’ve been trying to take it all in for six or seven years. I’ll be 50 next April. All these big leagues and big events are a bonus, really, when you get to my age. It’s quite a big tournament that I I would try to qualify, that’s for sure.”

What future for the LIV Golf Invitational Series?

Trump National Golf Club Bedminster is hosting the next event July 29-31 and another tournament will take place in Boston September 2-4, the week after the PGA Tour season-ending championship.

Rich Harvest Farms in Chicago is the venue for the fifth event, which runs from September 16-18, while Stonehill Golf Club in Bangkok is the venue for October 7-9 and Royal Greens Golf Club – the site of the International Saudi in recent years. – hosts the following week.

The Season Ending Tag Team Championship will be held at Trump National Doral Miami from October 27-30. LIV Golf then plans to have 10 events in its 2023 schedule before expanding to 14 tournaments from 2024, although dates and locations for these have yet to be confirmed.

Maria R. Newman