First choice 2023 Ryder Cup captain Henrik Stenson heads a cast list of 12 players that have played in at least one LIV Golf event who are due to take part in the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, the first Rolex Series event of the DP World Tour’s 2022-23 season, which gets under way on January 19.
Stenson, who was forced to give up the captaincy as soon as the he announced his defection to the LIV Golf series, will be among a large contingent from the breakaway tour that will be teeing it up at Yas Links in the United Arab Emirates, which will cause a great deal of consternation in the corridors of power on Europe’s top tier tour.
LIV golfers are still eligible to compete in DP World Tour events, but that may change after an independent arbitration panel presided over by Sport Resolutions UK meets in London next month to rule on whether they will be able to do so in the future. That impending deadline has no doubt led to the rush of entries to upcoming DP World Tour events from members of the Saudi-backed tour, along with a run of events in the Middle East that will conclude with the Asian Tour’s Saudi Invitational, to which LIV golfers will be welcomed with open arms, as it is funded by the Saudi PIF, which is also funding the LIV series.
In addition to Stenson, Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter, Patrick Reed, Bernd Wiesberger and Adrian Otaegui are among those who have played on the LIV tour whose names are on the entry list for Abu Dhabi, where the DP World Tour begins its 2023 season. Luke Donald, the man brought into replace Stenson as Ryder Cup captain in Rome, is also on the entry list. It is unlikely that he will be paired with his predecessor, although it would be fun to watch the social dynamics on the first tee if they were.