Once the Tour Championship ends this week at East Lake, many of the PGA Tour’s biggest names will head over to the United Kingdom for the BMW PGA Championship.
That event, held at Wentworth Club in Surrey, England, is one of the DP World Tour’s biggest events each year. And, thanks to a special exemption that allows the top 60 players in the Official World Golf Rankings to enter, it will feature more than a dozen players from the LIV Golf Invitational Series.
That, Matthew Fitzpatrick said on Thursday night in Atlanta, will make for an awkward situation.
“It’s going to be odd seeing certain people obviously at Wentworth,” Fitzpatrick said after his opening-round 64 at the Tour Championship.
"That is going to be a bit weird, and obviously a little disappointing.”
Fitzpatrick, 27, picked up his inaugural PGA Tour win earlier this season at the U.S. Open. He’s won seven times elsewhere in his career, and has 13 top-25 finishes on Tour this season.
According to the field list released by the DP World Tour, more than a dozen LIV Golf members are set to compete next month at the BMW PGA Championship — including Talor Gooch, Patrick Reed, Abraham Ancer, Kevin Na, Jason Kokrak, Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter and Sergio Garcia.
Though the PGA Tour has suspended any LIV Golf member from competing in its events, the DP World Tour has not. LIV members who compete in the BMW PGA Championship will be hit with a six-figure fine, per the Golf Channel, but they can still participate.
PGA Tour members Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm and Viktor Hovland will join Fitzpatrick in the field, too.
It will mark one of the first times the two groups of golfers will compete at the same event since the controversial Saudi Arabian-backed league was launched earlier this year — and the first time since the PGA Tour announced new plans to try and counteract LIV Golf’s moves.
“I laugh at what the PGA Tour players have come up with,” Westwood said of the Tour’s plans, which include increased purses, stronger fields and more.
“It’s just a copy of what LIV is doing. There are a lot of hypocrites out there. They all say LIV is ‘not competitive.’ They all point at the no-cut aspect of LIV and the short fields. Now, funnily enough, they are proposing 20 events that look a lot like LIV. Hopefully, at some point they will all choke on their words. And hopefully, they will be held to account as we were in the early days.”