Journal De Bruxelles - Former Masters champion Reed joins Saudi-backed rebel series

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Former Masters champion Reed joins Saudi-backed rebel series
Former Masters champion Reed joins Saudi-backed rebel series / Photo: Michael Reaves - GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP/File

Former Masters champion Reed joins Saudi-backed rebel series

Former Masters champion Patrick Reed has become the latest big-name player to join the Saudi-backed rebel LIV Golf series, organisers announced on Saturday.

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Reed is the 19th US PGA Tour member to sign with the breakaway circuit, with the 17 competing in the first event this week suspended by the Tour shortly after play started at Centurion Club on Thursday.

PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said the "same fate holds true" for any players who compete in future LIV events, with Reed and Bryson DeChambeau set to contest the second event in Oregon at the end of the month.

Reed, 31, who won the Masters in 2018 and has nine professional titles under his belt, is the ninth major champion to join the rebel series.

"The growing roster of LIV Golf players gets even stronger today with a player of Patrick Reed’s calibre," said LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman.

"He has a proven track record as one of the most consistent competitors in pro golf and adds yet another big presence at our tournaments."

Six-time major winner Phil Mickelson and former world number one Dustin Johnson are playing in the inaugural $25 million event near London, which finishes on Saturday.

Organisers have pledged to "supercharge" golf, offering 54-hole tournaments with no cuts, simultaneous "shotgun starts" and a team element.

Golfers who have signed up to the LIV series have faced tough questions over Saudi Arabia's human rights record and have been accused of greed in chasing the huge rewards on offer.

The eight LIV tournaments this year are worth a staggering $255 million, with plans in place to expand the series over the coming years.

Mickelson did not dispel rumours he was receiving a fee of $200 million to compete, while Johnson is reportedly getting $150 million.

Y.Niessen--JdB