Host of PGA Tour player WDs at Canadian Open after shock LIV Golf merger

Number of PGA Tour players withdraw from the Canadian Open after PIF announcement. 

Andy Roberts's picture
Thu, 8 Jun 2023
Host of PGA Tour player WDs at Canadian Open after shock LIV Golf merger

The PGA Tour has confirmed a number of player withdrawals at this week's RBC Canadian Open following their shock merger with LIV Golf on Tuesday. 

Saudi's Public Investment Fund (PIF) is now set to bankroll a separate entity comprising of golf's three biggest global Tours - PGA Tour, DP World Tour and LIV Golf

Related: How much is Saudi PIF worth?

It is understood LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman will be forced out of his role, while PGA Tour boss Jay Monahan was called a "hypocrite" at last night's "heated" players meeting ahead of the Canadian Open. 

PGA Tour pro Grayson Murray reportedly shouted out during the meeting for Monahan to resign.

"We don't trust you Jay, you lied to our face," said Murray, as Monahan was addressing the room. 

Rory McIlroy then reportedly shouted back: "Just play better, Grayson."

A source has since confirmed to Telegraph Sport that Murray responded "f*** off". 

One PGA Tour pro competing this week revealed there is "no way players will be okay with this merger" following a leaked text.


Seven players have chosen to withdraw from the Canadian Open since the news emerged on Tuesday morning. 

These players include Zac Blair, Charley Hoffman, Ben Griffin, Davis Thompson, Joseph Bramlett, Arjun Atwal and former US Open champion Webb Simpson. 

It remains to be seen whether all these WDs were a result of injury or due to their initial feelings of the shock merger with LIV Golf. 

Related: Monahan reveals why Woods and McIlroy were kept in dark over merger

Those seven PGA Tour pros have been replaced in the field by Sangmoon Bae, Kyle Stanley, Arjun Atwal, George McNeill, Kevin Stadler, Ted Potter Jr and Omar Uresti. 

Recent PGA Tour winner Davis Riley withdrew from the tournament on Sunday night and he has been replaced in the field by Derek Ernst.

On Monday just before the shock LIV Golf merger, Byeong-hun An, Sam Stevens and Luke List were forced out of the tournament and were replaced by Derek Lamely, Tommy Gainey and Ben Crane. 

McIlroy is the tournament favourite as he goes in search of a third consecutive title at the Canadian Open.

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