Source: Cameron Champ Not Playing Saudi International 'In Connection With LIV'

The PGA Tour pro’s appearance in the tournament apparently doesn't indicate he’s about to sign for LIV Golf

Cameron Champ at the 2023 Farmers Insurance Open
(Image credit: Getty Images)

This week’s Saudi International at Royal Greens Golf and Country Club is almost as intriguing for its field as the action that will unfold over its four days.

That’s partly because, as a tournament sponsored by Saudi Arabia’s public investment Fund, which bankrolls LIV Golf, many of the circuit’s players are appearing, including last year’s winner Harold Varner III.

There was further intrigue when it was reported that three PGA Tour players had been granted permission by the Tour to play in the controversial event. As a result, Cameron Young, Lucas Herbert and Cameron Champ will all tee it up against players from the PGA Tour’s bitter rival this week.

That had led to speculation that the three were bound for LIV Golf, with new signings ahead of its second season expected to be announced in the coming weeks. However, according to Golf Digest writer Dan Rapaport, all is not as it seems. Rapaport tweeted that the three players have been granted opposite-event releases for this week’s event and that they are all expected to play in next week’s PGA Tour event, the WM Phoenix Open.

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He then posted the words of a source close to Champ, which read: “Champ is playing a one-off in Saudi this week and will return for his schedule on the PGA Tour at the WMPO [WM Phoenix Open]. He’s been invited several times alongside other players in the past and has been keen to play. This is the year that it worked in the schedule. It shouldn’t be suggested or interpreted that is there in connection with LIV.”

Earlier, The Telegraph reported that Sebastian Munoz was set to join LIV Golf, with Mito Pereira also strongly rumoured to be joining the Greg Norman-fronted organisation. However, with just three weeks to go until the new season, even if those two signings are confirmed, it would still fall some way short of the seven Norman said he was targeting last November.

While the golf world waits to see who LIV will persuade to join its expanded 14-team tournament League, it seems more likely that Champ, Young and Herbert won’t be among them.

Mike Hall

Mike has over 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on a range of sports throughout that time, such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance staff writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the game's most newsworthy stories. 

He has written hundreds of articles on the game, from features offering insights into how members of the public can play some of the world's most revered courses, to breaking news stories affecting everything from the PGA Tour and LIV Golf to developmental Tours and the amateur game. 

Mike grew up in East Yorkshire and began his career in journalism in 1997. He then moved to London in 2003 as his career flourished, and nowadays resides in New Brunswick, Canada, where he and his wife raise their young family less than a mile from his local course. 

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.