England’s Paul Casey hopes to play The Open before his debut on the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Series.
The 44-year-old is ranked 26th in the world, giving the controversial LIV circuit 22 of the world’s top 100 players.
“I’m so excited,” Casey said in an interview during the live stream of Saturday’s final round of the LIV Golf Invitational in Portland, Oregon.
A lingering back injury forced Casey out of the US Open, and he noted that he hadn’t played a tournament since March.
Casey said he planned to make his LIV debut later this month at Trump National Golf Club Bedminster in New Jersey.
That will be the third of eight events in this inaugural LIV season.
First, however, Casey said he would “love to tee it off in the Open Championship in St Andrews.
“I’ve already missed three Majors so far this year … and then you will see me at Bedminster.”
The R&A announced in June that players signed up to the LIV Golf Series will be allowed to compete in the 150th Open, even though the PGA Tour has banned those involved in the rebel venture and the DP World Tour has also levied sanctions.
The series, bankrolled by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, has plunged the golf world into turmoil, drawing stinging criticism from human rights groups who say the lucrative series is an attempt to boost the kingdom’s image through sport.
In 2019, Casey was outspoken about not playing in the original Saudi International tournament, then sanctioned by the European Tour.
He cited his then-association with Unicef for skipping the tournament, telling the Independent newspaper that “signing a deal and being paid to be down there … I would be a hypocrite if I did that.”
© Agence France-Presse