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This week’s DP World Tour event, the BMW International Open, promises to have more interest than in previous years, thanks to the inclusion of 10 LIV Golf Invitational players.
There has been growing speculation about how the organisation will respond to the Saudi-backed Series, with Golf Monthly learning that the DP World Tour and the PGA Tour are in advanced negotiations to combat its threat. In the meantime, players in the controversial Series are allowed to play in this week’s tournament in Munich. Now, the tee times have been revealed for the event at Golfclub München Eichenried, and there’s something a little unusual about them, with nine of the LIV Golf players placed together in the groups of three.
Martin Kaymer will tee it up in a group with Pablo Larrazabal and Laurie Canter. Sergio Garcia, Louis Oosthuizen and Bernd Wiesberger make up another group. Finally, Adrian Otaegui, Wade Ormsby and Oliver Bekker will play together in another group. That leaves Oliver Fisher as the odd man out – he is in a group with Jack Senior and Gonzalo Fdez-Castano, neither of whom play in the Series.
It’s highly unlikely that the groupings are the result of a coincidence. However, while it is unclear precisely why the LIV Golf players have been grouped together, it could be seen as a statement from the powers-that-be that they are not considered welcome.
Regardless of any meaning behind the decision, it certainly draws attention to the fact that there is a schism in the game that is only likely to widen in the coming weeks. Abraham Ancer is the latest player to sign up for the LIV Golf Series and follows the likes of Bryson DeChambeau and Patrick Reed. Meanwhile, Brooks Koepka is also expected to be confirmed imminently. One player who won’t be joining the Series is Collin Morikawa. He announced: "I’m here to stay" on Twitter earlier, reaffirming his loyalty to the PGA Tour.
Three of the world’s top 50 are involved in this week’s BMW International Open, of whom one, World No.23 Oosthuizen, is a LIV Golf player. The others are World No.14 Billy Horschel and World No.35 Thomas Pieters.
Mike has 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on sports such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the sport’s most newsworthy stories. Originally from East Yorkshire, Mike now resides in Canada, where the nearest course is less than a mile from his home. It’s there where he remains confident that, one of these days, he’ll play the 17th without finding the water. Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.
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