LIV Golfers 'Welcome To Play' - PGA of Australia CEO

Gavin Kirkman said Australian players returning home after taking part in the Saudi-backed series will not face bans

Jediah Morgan, who has appeared in all three LIV Golf events so far, won the Australian PGA Championship in January
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Australian players signed with LIV Golf will still be welcome to take part in the country’s biggest domestic events, says the chief of the PGA of Australia.

With the country’s top player, Open champion and World No.2 Cameron Smith, reportedly ready to sign with the Saudi-backed series following the conclusion of the FedEx Playoffs, news that LIV players won’t be banned from Australian events removes a potential hurdle. The 28-year-old Brisbane native has not hidden his desire to play more events at home, and did nothing to distance himself from fresh LIV rumours ahead of the FedEx St Jude Championship.

“The players coming home to play, as long as there is no conflicting event they will be welcome to play,” PGA of Australia CEO Gavin Kirkman told Reuters. "The Australian players that come home from wherever they’re playing at the moment, if they’re members of our organisation they’ll be eligible to play and that’s been discussed with the other tours."

The Australian Open and Australian PGA Championship are co-sanctioned by the DP World Tour, which banned LIV players from taking part in three of its events - the Scottish Open, Barbasol Championship and Barracuda Championship - earlier this year. Those three events were all co-sanctioned with the PGA Tour, which has suspended all LIV players, and, according to Reuters, there will be no such action in Australia.

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It was reported earlier this week that LIV is intending to host three lucrative events as part of the International Series and the LIV Golf League next year. Kirkman told Reuters that his tour needed to look after its own business.

"Some people are going to love it and some people aren’t, but if it comes to Australia we’ve got to be in a position where we stay focused on our strategy,” Kirkman told Reuters. “Is it going to be good for the game? What I don’t want and what I don’t like to hear about and read about at the moment is people arguing what is good for the game and what is not. If (fans) get out and see some golf under a different format, that’s up to them.”

As well as apparently targeting World No.2 Smith, LIV Golf already has an all-Australian team, Punch GC. At the last LIV event at Bedminster, Punch GC’s roster was Wade Ormsby, Matt Jones, Travis Smyth and Ian Snyman. PGA Tour veteran Cam Percy told the Golf Gambling Podcast (opens in new tab) earlier this week that Smith and fellow Aussie Marc Leishman will join LIV.

Jeff Kimber
Freelance Staff Writer

Jeff graduated from Leeds University in Business Studies and Media in 1996 and did a post grad in journalism at Sheffield College in 1997. His first jobs were on Slam Dunk (basketball) and Football Monthly magazines, and he's worked for the Sunday Times, Press Association and ESPN. He has faced golfing greats Sam Torrance and Sergio Garcia, but on the poker felt rather than the golf course. Jeff's favourite course played is Sandy Lane in Barbados, which went far better than when he played Matfen Hall in Northumberland, where he crashed the buggy on the way to the 1st tee!