PGA Tour pro Cameron Champ is playing a "one-off" event in Saudi Arabia and it shouldn't be interpreted as a sign he is testing the waters for the LIV Golf League, according to a source close to the American.
As reported by Barstool Sports' Dan Rapaport, Champ has committed to his full schedule on the PGA Tour and has already committed to the Waste Management Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale, which has been given "elevated" status.
Champ and two other PGA Tour players - Jhonattan Vegas and the reigning rookie of the year Cameron Young, are in the field at the PIF Saudi International this week at the Asian Tour's flagship event.
The source close to Champ told Rapaport:
What's the deal with the releases?
Whilst the event is under the banner of the Asian Tour, it is sponsored by Saudi's sovereign wealth fund PIF.
PIF is the primary back of LIV Golf.
According to the PGA Tour's player handbook, members are generally not allowed to compete in events when there is a PGA-approved or sponsored event taking place at the same time.
But if members play in a minimum of 15 events [the number of events needed to have voting rights] then players are eligible for three conflicting-event releases per season.
That's why so many players have played in the Saudi International, where the prize purse runs into the millions and the appearance fees are mind-boggling.
Last year's Saudi International - won by Harold Varner - proved to be an indicater of those who would be future breakaway tour members.
Varner has recently slammed the petty behaviour of the PGA Tour and LIV.
All these players competed then signed for LIV:
That being said, there are some who played in Jeddah last year that have so far remained loyal to the PGA Tour.
We don't know which players requested releases.
Event releases have been at the heart of LIV's antitrust lawsuit against the PGA Tour.
LIV alleged in their original filing last August that the the purpose of their action was to: