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Paul Casey joins LIV Golf series and will play in next event at Trump National Golf Club

World No 26 Paul Casey becomes the latest player to confirm his arrival in LIV Golf Series as part of team Crushers GC, which is captained by Bryson DeChambeau; Branden Grace won the LIV Golf Portland Invitational with a final-round 65

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'Let's go baby!' - World number 26 Paul Casey is welcomed into the LIV Golf series, and team Crushers, by team captain Bryson DeChambeau

Paul Casey is joining LIV Golf series and will play the next event at Bedminster, New Jersey at the end of July.

The world number 26 is set to compete at the third LIV Golf event, which will take place at Trump National Golf Club later this month.

Casey, 44, will join former Ryder Cup team-mates Lee Westwood, Sergio Garcia, Ian Poulter and Graeme McDowell in playing on the controversial new tour, and will be part of team Crushers GC, captained by Bryson DeChambeau.

"LIV Golf continues to attract the best players in the sport as it builds increasingly competitive fields with each event," LIV Golf chief executive Greg Norman said. "Paul Casey adds to the growing list of top 50 golfers who are excited to be part of an innovative and entertaining format that is creating something new for golf.

"His proven track record on a global stage adds another exciting piece to the competition as we prepare for Bedminster."

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'Understandable, but all about money' - Paul McGinley gives his reaction

Casey, who is a former Unicef ambassador, opted out of the inaugural Saudi International on the European Tour in 2019, citing concerns over the country's human rights record, before performing a U-turn and playing the event - now part of the Asian Tour - in each of the last two years.

"This is not a decision I've taken lightly," Casey said in an interview with PA media in 2020. "I wasn't comfortable going in the past, but I have always been open-minded and willing to learn. I believe sport has the power to affect change. I've listened to the Saudis' commitment to this and their vision for the future.

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"It is always better to include rather than exclude when eliciting change, thus I hope my participation will make a difference and I am looking forward to seeing these changes in person."

Grace triumphs in Oregon

Branden Grace's round of 65 at the Portland Invitational was enough to clinch victory in LIV Golf's first US-based tournament as the South African held off Mexico's Carlos Ortiz by two shots.

Grace finished 13 under in the 54-hole tournament at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club, Oregon, to claim the $4m prize.

Branden Grace (L) receives his trophy from LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman after winning the Portland Invitational LIV Golf tournament (Associated Press)
Image: Branden Grace (L) receives his Portland Invitational trophy from LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman

Ortiz fired a 69, while Dustin Johnson's round of 71 left him four shots back alongside Patrick Reed (67). Johnson also led the Four Aces to victory in the team competition.

Grace, 34, said: "I played really, really well when I needed to do something special and came up and managed to pull it out. What a great day."

DP World Tour refuses to back down over LIV sanctions

The DP World Tour has issued a statement defending "proportionate, fair and necessary" sanctions imposed against LIV rebels after 16 players threatened legal action unless they were rescinded.

DP World Tour members, including Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood, were each fined £100,000 and banned from next week's Genesis Scottish Open and two other events co-sanctioned with the PGA Tour after playing at Centurion Club earlier this month, despite being refused permission.

Europe's 2020 Ryder Cup line-up
Image: Paul Casey has become the fifth member of Europe's 2020 Ryder Cup team to sign up for LIV Golf

In an open letter published by The Telegraph, the players "implore" the DP World Tour to reconsider the penalties and claim the strengthened partnership between the PGA Tour and DP World Tour leaves the latter playing "second fiddle" to the US-based circuit.

"There has been a leak to the media of a letter we received on behalf of a number of LIV Golf players which contains so many inaccuracies that it cannot remain unchallenged," said DP World Tour chief executive Keith Pelley.

"Before joining LIV Golf, players knew there would be consequences if they chose money over competition. Many of them at the time understood and accepted that. Indeed, as one player named in the letter said in a media interview earlier this year; 'If they ban me, they ban me.' It is not credible that some are now surprised with the actions we have taken.

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Sky Sports News' Jamie Weir reports the dispute between the DP World Tour and the LIV players is looking increasingly likely to end up in the courts

"The letter claims that these players 'care deeply' for the DP World Tour. An analysis of the past participation statistics on our Tour in recent years of several of the leading players named, suggests otherwise."

Pelley alludes to one player that has played in just six Rolex Series events in the last five years and another that has played just four, as well as questioning one player that had given a "signed commitment" to play at the Irish Open.

"I wish many of them had been as keen to play on our Tour then as they seem to be now, based on the fact they have either resigned their membership of the PGA TOUR or, if they are still in membership, have been suspended indefinitely," Pelley added.

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