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Golf

Pepperell defends decision to play Saudi International

29th January 2019, 16:44 by Aidan Perkins

Eddie Pepperell has explained his decision to take part in this week's controversial Saudi International tournament.

The Englishman has been criticised by some for playing in the competition hosted by a country that's human rights record has been called into question.

Pepperell will be part of a high-profile field that plays at the Royal Greens Golf and Country Club this week alongside world number one Justin Rose while star names Bryson Dechambeau, Brooks Koepka, Sergio Garcia and Dustin Johnson are among the others in Saudi.

Pepperell openly admits he understands why the staging of the tournament and those who take part has attracted controversy, but he launched a passionate defence of his decision.

In a lengthy blog post, he wrote: "The problem with taking a moral approach to us golfers playing in Saudi Arabia this week is that it would lay bare many contradictions of the past. Like, for example, why do we play in China? Or Qatar? Or Turkey?

"Depending on your time scale, you could argue that every country on earth has at some point exemplified the worst that human beings have to offer, but back to 2019.

"It clearly is true that Saudi Arabia's human rights record is questionable at best, and appalling to anyone in the West. But should that mean we boycott competing?

"That probably depends who you are. I can really only speak for myself, and plus, remember I'm not being paid to be here.

"For me, if I didn't play, I sacrifice the opportunity to play against the best in the world, I miss a chance to improve my world ranking also, which objectively speaking, does hold some importance for me, since if I fall out of the Top 50 before April then I won't be eligible for a PGA Tour event I have scheduled to play."

This article originated on sportinastorm.com

Aidan Perkins is a senior journalist that specialises in football stories. Aidan, a Liverpool fan, also has a broad knowledge of several other sports.

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