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Graeme McDowell is one of the most recognisable names and faces in the field for the LIV Golf Invitational Series curtain raiser at Centurion Club this week and like so many of those that are taking part, is doing so despite being denied release from the PGA and DP World Tour and therefore risking sanction.
Speaking ahead of the inaugural event and the possibility of repercussion, the Northern Irishman said: "What are the consequences going to be and are they healthy for the sport of golf? I haven't resigned my membership from the PGA Tour as of yet and I don't really feel like I need to.
"I also don't want to get involved in a legal situation with the PGA Tour. They've given me phenomenal opportunities over the last 20 years and it's just like, why as a player would I want to get involved in some sort of legal situation with one of the greatest Tours in the world?"
McDowell has been a long-standing representative of the European Ryder Cup team having made four playing appearances and acted as Assistant Captain to Thomas Bjorn in 2018. He is also fancied by many to lead the team himself when Adare Manor in Ireland plays host in 2027.
The former US Open champion acknowledged that his involvement in the Saudi-backed Series could jeopardise his Ryder Cup participation in future: "It's something I weighed up long and hard before I made the decision to come out here," he said.
"I hope it doesn't affect that. When you look at the Europeans and the players that are here this week, they've done a huge amount for the Ryder Cup product. It would be a shame to see those guys kind of be, not invited back if you like."
McDowell joins the likes of Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter at the Centurion Club for the $25m LIV Golf Invitational Series opener. It was earlier revealed that McDowell has been appointed Captain for Team Niblicks this week.
James joined Golf Monthly having previously written for other digital outlets. He is obsessed with all areas of the game – from tournament golf, to history, equipment, technique and travel. He is also an avid collector of memorabilia; with items from the likes of Bobby Jones, Tiger Woods, Francis Ouimet, Arnold Palmer, Lee Trevino, Adam Scott and Ernie Els. As well as writing for Golf Monthly, James’ golfing highlight is fist bumping Phil Mickelson on his way to winning the Open Championship at Muirfield in 2013. James grew up on the east coast of England and is the third generation of his golfing family. He now resides in Leeds and is a member of Cobble Hall Golf Club with a handicap index of 1.7. His favourite films are The Legend of Bagger Vance and Tin Cup.
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