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One of the biggest events on the European DP World Tour has asked those coming off the LIV Golf tour to keep their surf at home.
DP tour officials asked LIV Golfers not to wear LIV logos on their clothing in an email sent Tuesday ahead of the BMW PGA Championship at the Wentworth Club in Surrey, England.
The memo obtained by ESPN the nearly 20 LIV golfers who will compete in the event that they “will not be required to play in Wednesday’s Pro-Am, and out of respect for our partners, our broadcasters and your fellow competitors, we would kindly ask you to not to consider wearing LIV Golf branded clothing during your participation.’
A provision in LIV Golfers’ contracts requires them to wear tour-themed branding while playing at other courses.
LIV golfers like Patrick Reed will be asked not to wear breakaway tour logos at BMW PGA Championship in two weeks
Notably, big winner Patrick Reed sported multiple LIV logos on his shirt and hat while playing a practice round at this year’s Open Championship in St Andrews.
Reed, 31, blamed the PGA Tour for their departure to the Saudi leading group.
“I’m super excited,” Reed said as he joined the revolution. “Just the thought of being part of an evolution and a change in golf for the better is incredible.
“It’s refreshing to see team golf and bring you back to college golf and the Ryder Cup.
“I spoke to some of the guys after the first and second rounds and they told me how well the tournament went and the fan turnout, the energy and excitement.”
A recent defector is Open Championship winner Cameron Smith, who will play his first LIV event outside of Boston this weekend.
Australians Cameron Smith (L) & Marc Leishman (R) joined LIV Golf near Boston this weekend
Smith played coy in the lead up to the FedEx Cup playoffs before leaving shortly after their end
After months of speculation, the Australian officially jumped to LIV after the end of the FedEx Cup play-offs last weekend.
‘[Money] was definitely a factor in making that decision, I won’t ignore that or say it wasn’t a reason,” Smith said Golf summary. “It was clearly a business decision and an offer I couldn’t ignore.”
‘The most important thing for me to participate is [LIV’s] schedule is really attractive. I will be able to spend more time at home in Australia and maybe hold an event there too. I couldn’t, and to get that part of my life back was very appealing.’
Next to him are compatriot and six-time PGA Tour winner Marc Leishman, Chilean Joaquin Niemann, Indian Anirban Lahiri and Americans Harold Varner III and Cameron Tringale.
Varner posted his thoughts on joining the tour on his Instagram account on Tuesday, saying the odds were too good to pass up, but was shocked by the response when he spoke to reporters at the event in Boston.
“It was stupid. Who likes to be hated? It’s terrible. I hate to be hated. I’d rather not even be known than hated. So yeah, it was terrible,” he told reporters.
His Instagram post seemed aware of that potential backlash, ending with, “Your opinion of me may have changed because of this announcement. No lie, that will be hard to deal with. But I haven’t changed – I’m still me. I promise you that.’
Harold Varner III is candid about his choice to join LIV Golf and has read the comment
After that post, Varner took to social media to check out the reactions of others and read what they were saying about him.
“I read them all on purpose. Everyone says don’t go on social media. That’s stupid,” Varner said.
“I’m not ashamed to be Harold. I’m ashamed that we don’t spread love. We’re not spreading “Hey man, I get it. It’s not what I want you to do, I might be disappointed for you, but I love you, and go do your thing.” I thought there would be more of it.’
The LIV golfers won’t be the only ones attending the BMW PGA Championship. Many of the PGA Tour’s most ardent defenders and vocal soldiers also come to Surrey.
Rory McIlroy, in particular, has expressed his feelings ahead of his return to a tournament he won in 2014 and finished second in 2018.
A number of McIlroy’s Ryder Cup teammates including Lee Westwood, Sergio Garcia, Ian Poulter, Graeme McDowell and Martin Kaymer will be in the field that week.
“I hate what it does to the game of golf. I hate it. Really,’ said McIlroy.
“It will be hard for me to go to Wentworth and see eighteen. That just doesn’t suit me. I believe what I’m saying is right, and I think if you believe what you’re saying is right, you’ll be happy to stick your neck out on the leash.’
After winning the FedEx Cup, McIlroy faces some LIV Golf defectors