James Peut of Michigan State University a surprise addition to the Saudi tour; The coaches rush to his defense

US Amateur Golf Champion James Peat, who recently graduated from Michigan State Superstar golf, has signed up to play the new, lucrative and controversial LIV golf tour.

Piot was on the list of 42 players set to play the opening event of the Saudi Arabia-funded tour, in London next week. He turned pro last week and is free to cash checks in tournaments.

Piot plays at the PGA Tour’s Memorial this week in Dublin, Ohio, exempt from sponsor, before traveling abroad to play the LIV Tour. Piot didn’t send a message from The News this week, but two old Piot coaches defended the 23-year-old Canton native’s decision.

James Pewt won the US Amateur Championships last year and is likely to play Rocket Mortgage Classic with a sponsor exemption.

“James is comfortable with his decision. He has a place to play,” said Brian Kearns, head of Fox Hills in Plymouth, who has worked with Peyt nearly his entire life. “He gets paid to play golf. Mission accomplished.

“I support his decision 1000%.”

The Saudi-funded golf tournament, which rivals the PGA Tour, has been met with heavy criticism over Saudi Arabia’s human rights atrocities. Most of the game’s best players have rejected initiatives – and tens of millions of dollars – to stimulate the PGA Tour.