A former PGA Tour winner has become the first player to apply for permission to play in the controversial LIV Invitational Series, reports suggest.
According to Eamon Lynch writing in Golfweek, Robert Garrigus has requested a release to play in the Saudi-backed venture’s first event at the Centurion Club near London in June.
Sources say Garrigus is the only player to have asked for permission so far, although others are expected to do so.
Applications for releases must be submitted 45 days before the start of tournaments, meaning the deadline for players to make requests to the PGA Tour is April 25.
The tour is then required to make a decision 30 days prior on May 10.
44-year-old Garrigus is not currently a full member of the PGA Tour, with limited status thanks to his one victory at the 2010 Children’s Miracle Network Classic.
He has made just four starts this season and has not played in a major since 2013.
Last week Greg Norman, the chief executive of LIV Golf Investments, promised “marquee names” would be announced in the coming weeks.
However, initial fields are expected to consist of journeymen, and Norman admitted his strategy is to make big names jealous of the sums on offer.
“Quite honestly, it doesn't matter who plays, we're going to put the event on,” he said.
“There's a $4m first prize. I hope a kid who’s 350th in the world wins. It’ll change his life, his family’s life.
“And then a few of our events will go by and the top players will see someone winning $6m, $8m, and say ‘enough is enough, I know I can beat these guys week in week out with my hands tied behind my back’.”