Patrick Reed DENIED entry at WGC Match Play after trying luck with LIV Golf pros

Patrick Reed was one of several LIV Golf players to enter this week's WGC Match Play on the PGA Tour, but quickly get denied, claims report. 

Andy Roberts's picture
Mon, 20 Mar 2023
Patrick Reed DENIED entry at WGC Match Play after entering with LIV Golf pros

Patrick Reed was one of several LIV Golf players to be denied entry at this week's WGC Match Play, according to Bob Harig of Sports Illustrated.

Despite LIV Golf players remaining suspended from competing in PGA Tour events, the grey area entering this week's 64-man Match Play contest is that it's a co-sanctioned event under the International Federation of PGA Tours.

While the PGA Tour is the 'Host Tour' of the WGC Match Play, this week's tournament is not solely a PGA Tour event. 

Now with the International Federation of PGA Tours encompassing circuits from all around the world, this means the DP World Tour is heavily involved in this week's staging of the tournament, which will no longer be on the schedule as of 2024

Given LIV Golf players who are members have been allowed to compete on the DP World Tour in recent months, despite an ongoing court hearing yet to confirm otherwise, some players on the Saudi-backed circuit are said to have tried their luck on the eve of this week's WGC Match Play. 

But despite showing interest in entering the tournament this week, it was very quickly a case of access denied for Reed and a couple of others on LIV Golf, according to Harig, who writes in SI

"Reed is one of several LIV players who entered this week’s Dell Technologies Tournament at Austin Country Club and were denied."

Harig continues: 

"The PGA Tour acknowledged that several LIV players had asked to enter but were denied because the tournament application for entry states that it is 'subject to acceptance by the Host Tour and the International Federation of PGA Tours and may be rejected or revoked by either without liability at any time before or after commencement of Tournament play if a player fails to meet the eligibility requirements ... (or) violates any of the Tournament Regulations of the Host Tour.'
"The Tour, which faces antitrust litigation from LIV Golf and has countersued, maintains that golfers who participate in LIV Golf events have violated its conflicting-events rules which require releases for overseas tournaments; the Tour has never granted releases for domestic events.
"Thus, LIV Golfers are deemed in violation of its rules which allows them to deny entry to a World Golf event."

Related: Controversy at latest LIV Golf meeting

A PGA Tour statement reads: 

"The PGA Tour has determined that any player who has participated in an event or series of events during the 2022-2023 PGA Tour season that the membership has been informed is not authorized by the PGA Tour is ineligible to compete in any event sanctioned by the PGA Tour for a period of one year from the final round of competition of the unauthorized tournament in which he participated."

Former Masters champion Reed would have made the 64-man roster this week despite lying 66th in the Official World Golf Rankings when eligibility closed at the end of The Players Championship last week. 

This is because Justin Thomas and Justin Rose chose to skip this week's tournament. 

The 64-man field always goes off the OWGR. 

In total, nine LIV Golf players could have played their way into the WGC Match Play. 

These players were Cameron Smith, Joaquin Niemann, Abraham Ancer, Thomas Pieters, Talor Gooch, Harold Varner III, Mito Pereira, Dustin Johnson and Reed

But the PGA Tour has ruled otherwise. 

The tournament comprises 16 groups of four players and it takes place from Wednesday through to Sunday. 

The group matches end on Friday afternoon, with the knockout stages commencing on Saturday morning. 

Fresh off his Players Championship victory, World No.1 Scottie Scheffler will look to defend the WGC Match Play as he goes in search of a third win in his last five starts on the PGA Tour. 

Rory McIlroy is also in the field as he looks to emulate his 2015 triumph, albeit at a different course, and get his season back on track ahead of The Masters where he bids to complete the career grand slam. 

What do you make of the PGA Tour's decision to deny LIV Golf players at this week's WGC Match Play, which falls under the International Federations of PGA Tours? Share your thoughts and comments over on the GolfMagic social media channels.