By Rory Carroll
(Reuters) – Jordan Spieth on Friday denied a report that he was in discussions to leave the PGA Tour for the lucrative Saudi-backed LIV Golf series.
LIV has lured away major winners including Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau with huge sums of money, while others like Spieth and Rory McIlroy have said they plan to stay with the PGA and DP World tours.
“Let me be clear, any reports that I am contemplating competing anywhere other than the PGA Tour are categorically untrue,” Spieth tweeted after shooting a 72 in the second round of the Scottish Open.
“I am not in discussions with LIV. I have been quoted on the record for months that I fully support the PGA Tour and have never considered any alternatives.
“My goal has not changed since I began playing golf – to win PGA Tour events and major championships, and to compete against the best players in the world. Those who truly know me, know what is most important to me.”
The $255 million LIV series is being bankrolled by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), which critics say is a vehicle for the country to improve its image in the face of criticism of its human rights record.
McIlroy this week said the escalating tension between the golf circuits is “splitting the game,” and called for the sides to hold talks to find common ground.
(Reporting by Rory Carroll in Los Angeles; Editing by Toby Davis)