There are four PGA Tour players who have been given competing-event waivers to compete in the Asian Tour's Saudi International in February, and the names are somewhat surprising.
Cameron Young, Lucas Herbert, Jhonattan Vegas and Cam Champ have asked for and were granted releases for the event, played February 2-5 in Saudi Arabia. Three Korn Ferry Tour players -- Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Tom Lewis and Taylor Dickson -- were also granted releases. Golfweek was first to report on the granted waivers, though it's unclear how many players in total applied for the releases.
Young is the reigning PGA Tour Rookie of the Year, having finished on the medal stand an impressive seven times last season, including five runner-up finishes. The Australian Herbert won the Butterfield Bermuda Championship in 2021 and is one of the best putters on the PGA Tour and has played in this event since its inception on the DP World Tour in 2019. The long-hitting Champ is a multi-time PGA Tour winner, and he has been vocal and visible in his stances for civil rights. Vegas is a consistent PGA Tour player who has hoisted a trophy on the circuit.
PGA Tour members are required to obtain releases for events that conflict with the PGA Tour schedule, regardless of tour.
Victor Perez, who played on the 2021 European Ryder Cup team is in the field. Top-rated amateurs, now pros, Taiga Semikawa and Filippo Celli, are in the field, as is reigning US Junior Am winner Wenyi Ding of China.
In total, 62 players in the 120-player field have competed in at least one LIV Golf event. The Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund owns 93 percent of LIV Golf.
The $5 million event is the flagship event and first event of the year on the Asian Tour schedule, with players lured by the promise of sizable appearance fees. The Asian Tour has a 10-year agreement with the Saudis for $200 million of financial backing, including their International Series, which is a feeder series to LIV Golf.
The golf world has used this event as a proxy for players that might be interested in signing with LIV Golf. Last year, Young said he was intrigued by LIV Golf's business model but was concerned that he was too early into his career to make such a switch.