PGA Tour grants waivers to allow players to compete at 2022 Saudi International

Asian Tour event, headlined by Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson and Bryson DeChambeau, falls on the same week as the PGA's AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am

KAEC, SAUDI ARABIA - FEBRUARY 07: Dustin Johnson of the USA poses with the trophy during Day Four of the Saudi International powered by SoftBank Investment Advisers at Royal Greens Golf and Country Club on February 07, 2021 in King Abdullah Economic City, Saudi Arabia. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)

The PGA Tour has granted waivers to a host of players who have signed up to compete at the 2022 Saudi International, but with some specific conditions.

The Saudi International, an Asian Tour event, is scheduled for February 3-6, the same week as the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. Last month, Saudi event organisers announced several commitments for 2022, including defending champion Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson, Bryson DeChambeau, Sergio Garcia and many other high-profile PGA Tour players.

Those players were required to receive waivers from the tour to play in Saudi Arabia. According to a memo sent to Tour members, the waivers were approved but players who don't play at Pebble Beach in 2022 will be required to play the event once or twice in the coming years. It will depend on how many times those players have appeared at Pebble Beach in the past five years.

For players who have competed at Pebble Beach at least once in the last five years, getting a release requires them to play it once over the following two years. If a player has never competed at Pebble, he would be required to play it twice over the next three years.

“We do not consider the decision to grant these conditioned releases to be precedent setting,” the memo said, adding that other requests would be determined separately.

According to PGA Tour regulations, players ordinarily are allowed three releases a season provided they play 15 times in PGA Tour events. For each additional release, they are required to play five more tour events.

The tour has been known to be flexible depending on the player and the circumstances, such as giving more releases to Ernie Els, the most elite global player of his generation. The commissioner has always had the right to deny any request if he felt it would cause harm to the tour or its partners.

A year ago, 23 players took part in the Saudi International, which was the same week as the Phoenix Open. Then, it was part of the European Tour, but has since switched after signing a 10-year partnership with the Asian Tour.

Other players who the Saudi International announced last month would be playing include Paul Casey, Adam Scott, Xander Schauffele and Bubba Watson.

Johnson won it in 2019 and 2021, and he was runner-up to Graeme McDowell in 2020.

Updated: December 21st 2021, 4:40 AM