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PGA Tour grants releases for Saudi event, but with Pebble Beach conditions

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The PGA Tour has granted competing-event releases to nearly two dozen players to participate in the Saudi International next year, but there will be a quid pro quo.

The standoff between the Tour and the players seeking the releases – a group that includes world No. 3 Dustin Johnson, No. 5 Xander Schauffele and seventh-ranked Bryson DeChambeau – had been building for weeks and was seen as an extension of the ongoing rift between the Tour and the proposed super league which is being backed by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund.

As first reported by Golfweek, in a memo sent to players Monday, the Tour pointed out that under the circuit’s regulations releases can be denied by the commissioner “if he determines that such a release would cause the PGA Tour to be in violation of a contractual commitment to a tournament sponsor.”

The Saudi International will be played Feb. 3-6 at Royal Greens Golf and Country Club near Jeddah, the same week as the Tour’s AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. The memo said the competing-event releases will be approved but players will be required to add the Pebble Beach event to their schedules in future years.

According to the memo, players who have played Pebble Beach within the last five years will be required to play the event at least once over the next two years (2023 and ’24) and players who haven’t played Pebble Beach in the last five years will have to add the event to their schedules twice over the next three years.

The Saudi International had been sanctioned by the European Tour, but will move to the Asian Tour schedule starting next year.