PGA won't allow stars to play in controversial Saudi tournament: report

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By , Audacy Sports

The PGA Tour is reportedly stepping up its simmering clash with the government of Saudi Arabia over the future of professional golf.

The tour will reportedly deny waivers to players who request them for the purpose of playing in next year's Saudi International tournament, according to Eamon Lynch of Golfweek.

Several players from the PGA and European tours in recent years have requested and been granted the waivers, which allow them to appear in non-tour events, for the Saudi tournament, first launched in 2019.

But that practice will end in 2022, the report said, in part because of the Saudi monarchy's apparent attempts to create a global Golf Super League that would compete with the existing tours, and potentially lure away premier talent with the promise of richer purses.

Past installments of the Saudi International, which is held in King Abdullah Economic City, have hosted some of golf's top players, including two-time champion Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson, Tony Finau, Justin Rose, Bryson DeChambeau, Sergio Garcia, Shane Lowry, and Brooks Koepka, among countless others.

Critics of the Saudi government and the tournament say the monarchy is using golf to whitewash its human rights abuses, including its notorious and barbaric mass executions by public beheadings.

The players didn't seem especially bothered by the criticism, in some cases accepting hefty appearance fees as well as chartered round-trip air travel, according to Golfweek.

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